Last weekend was by far the best weekend I’ve ever had in my life. I went on a retreat with my Christian Fellowship Intervarsity to Catalina Island. It was a three-day trip from last Friday to Sunday afternoon.

Santa Catalina Island is a small island of about 22 miles in length and 8 miles in width, and it is located about 22 miles from the southern coast of Los Angeles, California. Because it is so close to LA, it is actually considered a part of Los Angeles County. To get to the island, I, along with about 200 other people from the group, got on a three-story boat on an hour long ride. We left the coast just in time to see the sunset from the ocean, which was just breathtakingly beautiful.

We arrived at Gallagher’s Cove to a place called Campus-by-the-Sea, a site managed by Intervarsity. The facility offered so many interesting activities that I just wanted stay there for a month to try all of them. But with my limited time on the island, I had to choose, and I chose to go kayaking. I was especially excited to go kayaking from days before the trip, because I had never gone kayaking before, but it was nothing like what I had expected. Not only is it fun to just splash other people with your paddle, but the incredible feeling of freedom you get when you are away from the coast out into the open ocean absolutely blew me away.

Apart from kayaking, I also went hiking, where I saw one of the most incredible sceneries of the Pacific Ocean, and swimming.

At night, I went down to the ocean to sit around a warm bonfire under the moonlit sky. The sky was so clear that I was able to see the individual stars embedded in the sky. Some of the people who went to the retreat last year said that they actually saw some shooting stars. In hopes to catch a glimpse of a shooting star, I went out with my sleeping bag, but I fell asleep before seeing one.

My weekend on Catalina Island was marked by the beautiful nature and amazing friends. It was an unforgettable experience. It is definitely a place to visit when you are in LA.