The small islands of Les Saintes form an archipelago about an hour-long ferry ride from Pointe–Pitre to Terre-de-Haut, one of the most beautiful bays on the planet. While tourists were rushing to rent scooters in the village, I eventually found a small kayak shop and escaped on waters a shade of blue I had never seen before.

Our day began in a small port, where our kayaks slipped gracefully between traditional fishing boats. The locals watched from shore, clearly amused. One thousand people inhabit the island. “Life is quiet here,” said our guide, Cedric. Our destination was the Pain de Sucre, a huge landmass protruding from the sea.

Three days later we journeyed to the tiny port of Morne Rouge, a divine oasis that mercifully remains unsullied by the urgencies of the outside world. For lunch, we stopped at a tiny island where a fishing hut stands. After a feast of marinated fish, I basked in water that was warmer than the air. How many times have I dreamt of living this moment?