I’m a beach girl for sure. I grew up in Central Florida, and some of America’s most spectacular shores were always nearby. My husband grew up on Lake Michigan, and spent his summers sailing the beautiful waters of our country’s largest lake. We are seascape and ocean breeze people. So moving to a tropical island in Southeast Asia was a real good plan for us.
I thought I had seen beauty in the world around me. I thought I had seen beautiful beaches and epic sunsets and landscapes found only on postcards. But I was wrong. Until I moved here. The sunsets literally stop me in my tracks. I will never grow tired of watching the pale blue skies explode into oranges, reds, pinks, and purples that fade into navy and finally black with starlight. There’s a beautiful beach around every corner it seems like. Some are overtaken by tourists and their parties or overrun by locals and their litter. But sometimes, we find an untouched corner that feels forgotten and it speaks to my soul.
This country is a large consumer and exporter of rice, and so there are ample rice fields on our island as well. Rice fields have an exotic beauty about them. They will always feel foreign to me, as I grew up with orange tree groves and cow pastures as far as the eye could see. Rice fields are detailed in their beauty. Each terrace, with it’s back-breaking work to ensure it’s preciseness. Different seasons show a different side of their beauty. Whether lush green, glistening with puddled water, or yellowing and harvested bare, it’s an incredible sight.
I have fallen in love with the beauty of this place. I wish a photo or words could even capture what we have seen. Some moments, I just put down my camera, and take it all in. This is our home. This beautiful piece of paradise is where we live. Sure, it’s got traffic and litter and stray dogs and burning trash and construction, and maybe that’s all some people see here, but I have loved discovering the rare beauty of this place. It will stay with me always.