The most beautiful day I have ever seen.

Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. Then again, I’m not sure when nature has stumped me the way it did today….and I see a lot of nature.

So the superlative stays.

For now.

One of the perks, and points, of traveling by sailboat is that I get to find hidden gems…and try to keep them hidden. For that reason alone, I will not tell you where I am witnessing this magic, but I will tell you all about it and why it matters.

Somewhere on the eastern side of Fiji lies a little island, speckled with a few houses tucked deep into the hillside. A steep, blindingly white beach separates a dense palm tree forest from a turtle-packed colorful coral reef. There are gentle waves breaking off the reef, sharks chasing prey below the surface and tropical fish strolling around in a sort of blissful oblivion.

The silence is loud. Other than the occasional giggle slipping out of my snorkel – seeing fish poop never stops being funny – everything is silent. In and out of the water. I spend what felt like hours just floating along, watching the waves crash from below the surface, spying on turtles relaxing on the reef as sucker fish gave their shells a scrub down.

At sunset, I rest against a fallen palm tree and see the sun transform the water and sky into colors I’ve never seen before. Crabs poke their heads out of the sand to see if the coast is clear – nope, I’m still here – and mosquitos start singing warning songs. From my kayak, I’m not quite sure where to focus my attention. Do I look at the crystal clear water below me that is now reflecting an orange sunset? Do I look at the bright pink clouds overhead against a royal blue sky? Or at the palm trees that are now glowing the brightest green? I am 100%, absolutely, completely overwhelmed by how awesomely beautiful this day is.

Now, before I get carried away and risk sounding too¬†“out there”, let me stop myself and share the first thought that crosses my mind: how on earth am I going to keep this moment with me when it’s over?

On this blog, I aim to share my adventures in pursuing a life that FEELS GOOD. For me, a large part of a feel good life is creating new experiences and reliving old ones that…well, felt good. I’ve talked about the sensation of travel happy before and in this moment, experiencing the most beautiful day of my life, I stop to reflect. How can I bring this travel happy home? How can I relive this?

This is the answer I came up with: allow yourself to be amazed by what you usually skip over. Take a moment in your day to sit back and just soak in what’s around you. Yeah, you’ve seen sunsets before. Yeah, you’ve seen baristas making your latte before. Yeah, you’ve taken the bus before. But in each of those moments, there is something you haven’t seen. Something you haven’t paid attention to. Something you didn’t notice.

Notice it. Pay attention to it. Be aware. If you’re saying to yourself, “Gina, watching passengers on the bus is so not the same as watching a Fijian turtle…” I say to you: you’re right. And you’re wrong. The experience isn’t in the thing you’re actually seeing, it’s in seeing what you didn’t see before. Does that make sense?

I want to relive this moment because this moment feels good. To date, it has been the most beautiful day I have ever seen because I allowed myself to be amazed my it. Holding on to this lesson, I can say with certainty that the best is yet to come.

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