I've haven't really been to the actual desert—a few cacti near Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico is as close as I've come— and I have never managed to personally keep a succulent alive for very long. I've come to terms with my less-than-green thumb, and luckily I can see spectacular desert collections at the Brooklyn and New York Botanical gardens without having to travel very far.
Every year I've gone to the NYBG for the orchid show, and the route through the greenhouses takes you right past their desert collection, full of strange and wonderful plants. The signs posted do nothing to make me not want to touch everything I see, and it's probably a good thing I don't find myself around pointy plants too often.
Humans are innately programmed to notice faces in inanimate objects since we're so used to seeing each other's faces, but I might have that sense to the extreme. Even before I was able to digitally add eyes to things on Snapchat and Instagram stories, I was obsessed with putting googly eyes everywhere. Cacti can look especially human-like and animated to me, always looking like they're reaching out or ready to give you a (prickly) hug.