The other week I headed to a part of Samoa that's fast become my favourite spot. Granted I've got about 80% of the country still to explore and I've put many of the really well known spots on hold to ensure I've got lots still to see over the next three years. But the beaches along the south coast have won me over.
In 2009 they were smashed by a triple tsunami that smashed the whole region into the beautiful steep mountain walls behind and then threw it back into the ocean. The beach was halved in size and the sand was dumped out on the coral reef a hundred metres out to sea. The reef is either dead of dying and the beach isn't as amazing as people tell me it once was, but the spirit of the people combined with help from around the world has restored the area to an absolute garden of Eden.
I was lucky enough to head that way on a clear night, so after dinner and a traditional Samoan Fia Fia show (fire dancing) I grabbed my gear and walked down to the beach. The moon was about a 1/4 full and behind me so the sky above was absolutely teaming with colour and life. Billions of stars say just above me as I gazed billions upon billions of kilometres into the centre of the Milky Way. I realised I was staring many billions of years make in time as well.
When you find yourself looking at a sky like that night, it's easy to feel small...insignificant...unimportant. But on this night I felt only gratitude. Grateful for the sky above me with zero light pollution. Excited by my tropical surrounds. Fortunate that my career has brought me here. Happy that I have a wandering star above me to follow. And content. Was there anything I'd change...yes there was. But that night I was happy to be where I was, see what I saw, and do what I was doing.