“Sleep under the stars”. It always felt like one of those generic bucket list items to me, something that reeled easily from the tongue without any meaning or reason. So, when it happened, it was accidental and not something to think twice about. Of course, it’s stuck in my mind ever since.
On a night filled with laughter and a covert mission to return our stolen property (that’s a whole other story -> The Lilo Mission), I’d somehow ended up embroiled in a semi-drunken water fight. Appropriately soaked and triumphantly carrying our newly returned inflatables up to the top deck of the ship we called home that week, it was time to take it down a notch.
Looking back, I have a crystal clear memory of feeling on top of the world. My sailor hat falling off, revealing crazy, salt-crunchy curls, as I lay back and looked up at the sky full of stars. As the sky brightened, the cool air caressed my bare arms and face as I drifted to sleep.
Waking felt like moments later but completely at odds with this was the heat from the sun. Moving felt impossible but groggily, I propped my head up on my hands to watch our journey out of the port and across the water. Gently, gently, we sailed away from the cave we danced in for hours and towards our final destination.
As I made my way down the ladder to my cabin later on, contemplating my smudged eyeliner warily in the mirror, it never occurred to me that this evening, of all the wonderful evenings that summer, would stick out in my mind looking back. And yet, sleeping under the moon and waking under the sun made me feel incredibly lucky to be really living. My night sleeping under the stars in a foreign land has become one of my favourite travelling memories.