Powdered sand is soft underneath your feet. The tide licks the soles as you focus on your breathing. There’s something freeing about running barefoot, especially on a beach. It’s tricks you into believing that if you run fast enough, you can fly. That’s the euphoria that you strive for. The perfect runner’s high. The waves of the ocean are calm and the sand untouched. The birds have their morning song and the trees whistle in the light wind. Dawn has arrived, acting as a marker for the start of a new day. A new adventure. You don’t need headphones at this moment. Your heart rate becomes your rhythm, the ocean the bass, and the birds your melody.
Your mornings are spent exploring the island. Caves and temples are dispersed in all directions. Water bottle at hand, you begin your hike. Friendly locals chant hello as you pass, welcoming you to their breath-taking country. Others beckon you into their shops, where the smell of freshly cooked food hits your sinuses like a brick wall. Taxi drivers honk as they zoom by, hoping for a new customer. You walk on. My body is my car. Your first stop is after an hour of hiking along the coast. It’s 9am and the fresh fruit at the stall invites you in. You cave and purchase an iced coffee. Oh how I missed the sweet pleasure of caffeine. The young lady serving you portrays the biggest smile. You’re on a side street far away from any tourist location. She doesn’t speak a word of English but with some animated, and occasionally inventive, sign language, you communicate. The locals are the best part of travelling.
The locals who don’t deal with tourists are the best part because they don’t have the look of contentment in their eyes.
You’ve been walking for over 4 hours and it isn’t even afternoon. The Laughing Buddha shakes his belly as yours rumbles. Flowers, cups and trinkets surround the statue. Buddhists have brought them as tribute, laying them in a gracefully chaotic manner. The temple cat sniffs the offerings before dragging his paws back to the cool tiled floors. With a quick snap of your camera, you immortalize the moment. Several photos later, and a brief moment in aw of the crystallized ocean view, you scan for a food stall. I’ll never get sick of noodles. You settle for a small stall overlooking the never-ending blue. You can see the ocean a million times but never see the same thing twice. It’s always changing. That’s what makes it fascinating. The shore begins a crystal teal and slowly fades into a pallet of blue. Looking towards the horizon, you understand how people believed that the world was flat. You recount all those moments when you thought the world was too small. How can something be so large and majestic and yet so small and vague at the same time?
Some mysteries are best left unsolved.
The taste of salt is fresh in your mouth. The warm water surrounds your body and your hair drips with satisfaction. You don’t believe in wading into unknown waters, sometimes it’s best to face things head on. In the case of oceans, dive in. The sun has tired and disappeared among the mountain tops. Fire has once again taken to the sky. You look up from your bath of blue. The sky tells a story of struggle, hope, and life. Dusk is settling in.
That’s the thing about sunsets, no matter how the day was, you can always find peace in knowing a new one will follow.
The midnight sky collides with the fire half way, causing stars to sparkle in the moonlight. Orion’s belt appears to your right, and the Dipper is distorted above. Greek heroes, gods and beasts string tales of their history across the sky. The blimp of an airplane peaks in the distance. You close your eyes and you’re barefoot once again.