Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I departed for a week-long adventure in Marfa. The decision to go to this West Texas town was a whimsical one; I’d stumbled upon it within the depths of the Internet and became obsessed. So, I surprised my boyfriend with plane tickets to El Paso—the nearest airport, some three hours away—and we spent the next month waiting impatiently. It’s taken this week of being back home to translate our trip because Marfa isn’t easily translated into words.

Basic facts about Marfa: it’s a small town in the West Texas Chihuahuan Desert with a population of 2,000. Renowned minimalist artist Donald Judd put the town on the map after he moved here in 1971 from New York City and since then, it’s become a destination for artists, ranchers, and people from all over. Still, it’s not for everyone. If the desert heat doesn’t get you by day, the bugs might by night. The town shuts down at midnight and some days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything open. But if you can survive this, you’ve found yourself something special.

I don’t know what we came here for exactly, but it was the people who touched our hearts the most. I met some of the friendliest, most interesting people ever here. A man from New Zealand traveling across America; a former New Yorker, now Marfa retiree, who took 30 minutes out of his day to tell us what to check out; a couple who invited us to a local goat (cabrito) roast where we were only strangers for a minute and people genuinely wanted to hear our story. Here, people will pause a phone conversation to say hello and ask you how you are. Here, things may look like a movie set, but it’s real and it’s impossible not to fall in love with this town.

~ Caitlyn Holroyd, @caitlynholroyd