Forget tropical islands and balmy sunsets—what about windswept hills, mist-shrouded mountains, soaking cities, stormy coasts and moss-covered forests? Jo Stewart argues that rain, far from ruining a trip, can make it even more special.

I’ve been rained on in Milan. I’ve skipped puddles in London. I’ve collected snowflakes on my tongue in Vancouver and been stalked by a permanent raincloud in the Falkland Islands—but nothing beats seeing rain in the Australian Outback.

Soundtracked by the deafening thud of raindrops pelting a rusty iron roof, there was something soul-stirring about watching crackles of lightning illuminate the Outback sky. It was one of those rare travel experiences you feel with every cell of your body. After all, it’s not supposed to rain in the Outback, is it? It doesn’t fit with our preconceptions. And yet, it was glorious.