My birthday was anti-climatic.


Because the whole day was a blur of magical perfection and never reached a “high point” since every hour was a high point.

It was sincerely better with each coming minute.

I started the day listening to sleepy Tori mumbling “happy birthday!” from our tent as I got dressed.  I worked out and watched the sunrise, then swam in the morning waves.

We didn’t expect to like camping out on Nature Beach nearly as much as we have, so we only booked for 3 nights (luckily able to extend our stay to 4 nights yesterday), and now, we want to stay another (5th) night. Sadly, they are all booked up. BUT GOOD NEWS. The super cool dive guide Jason said we could crash at his place since there’s three open bunk beds. So, Nature Beach is stuck with us for another day.

Jason also told us about a diving/snorkeling excursion he was taking a group on today. So, after banana pancakes with chocolate sauce for breakfast, we hopped on a boat for some snorkeling.

I think I was a fish in another life? I love the water too much for there to really be any other explanation. Tori bumped into me while swimming around, saying through her snorkel in a darth vador voice “Luke…..I am….your father….NOOOOOOOO.” I’m so blessed to spend my birthday with someone who will sing finding nemo “just keep swimming” with me through our snorkels and take underwater selfies with a GoPo.

After one island of snorkeling, we ate a FEAST on the boat of stir fry and curry and rice and other yummy-goodness. Then, we went to another island to snorkel some more.

Midday, we arrived back at the Koh Rong, where we painted and read and tanned. Tori treated me to a birthday chicken burger for dinner and bought me a fancy drink. She also gave me the most wonderful present: a pile of “open when” cards for situations such as “missing home” or “feeling far from God”. Her friendship never ceases to impress me.

As if the day wasn’t already great, we wanted to end the evening with a bang. So, we thought we would check “skinny dipping in Cambodia” off our list tonight.

With nothing but sundresses on, we walked out to the private beach past all the bungalows and tents. Awkwardly…we ran into some men who had just finished swimming. They excitingly asked us “are you going to see the phosphorous!?” We weren’t, as we had been on Koh Rong for 4 days and hadn’t seen any sign of the rumored bio-luminescence, so we assumed it didn’t exist. Well, they explained, apparently the phosphorous (for whatever reason) was out tonight! How lucky are we!?

They showed us where to swim, far enough away from the light of people staying on the island. We had to swim in our clothes since we had nothing else on underneath. But, this made it even cooler. As we splashed in the waves, the water glowed and sparkled. When we twirled in our dresses, the water stuck to our clothes and made them literally glow in the dark. It was magic. Absolute magic.

After the boys left, we skinny dipped. I felt like one with the ocean, my body sparkled. We became the stars. It was surreal.

Back at Jason’s house, we changed and sat on the porch watching the stars in silence and listening to the music from the bar below. Suddenly, we heard the Happy Birthday song begin to play on the bar’s speakers. I had briefly mentioned to the guys we swam with that it was my birthday, and apparently they had taken it upon themselves to ask the bar to play happy birthday for me. The song played on from below and a few fireworks went off.

Year 19 is looking good so far.

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