Photo by Dakota Duncan

The Best Moments Are Often Unexpected

Dakota Duncan
5 min readAug 8, 2019


In this whole big, wide world of amazing people, places and things, how could I possibly pick a favorite? I’m not good at choosing favorites. Whenever possible, I select the option that gives me the most variety.

Need to make a choice when ordering dinner at a restaurant? I’d much rather my wife and I order two separate things and then share. Going on vacation? Can we find a place that gives us a metropolitan experience and a natural one? Historic sites and a fun nightlife? I prefer not to make single choices, but when necessary, I appease myself with the caveat that it is my favorite at that moment in time.

I received an email today containing a truly challenging question — what is my favorite thing in the whole world?

I’ll start by confessing I don’t believe I can answer this question. I can barely pick a favorite food, much less a favorite thing out of all possible things in the world. Still, I like challenges, so I’ll make an attempt.

I decided to avoid all obvious things — my kids, my wife, our animals, significant milestones like the birth of my kids, our wedding day, and our honeymoon. Those are all hugely important things I can’t possibly choose between, and frankly, might not be that interesting to share. These are things highly valued to most of us. I wanted to dig deeper to find something unique to me.

After flicking through the images of the past several years in my head, I found it. My favorite thing in the world (right now) is the memory of an experience in the Maldives.

My wife and I were married about a month prior to my mother’s death. We knew her time was drawing near, so opted to not take the exotic honeymoon we’d been planning in case we were needed back home. Instead, we saved our dream honeymoon to the Maldives for our first anniversary. It somehow made the experience even sweeter.

The Maldives is a collection of around 1200 islands in the Indian Ocean. Many are uninhabited. Many are private resorts. These are the kinds of resorts you see in the travel ads — beautiful blue water, perfect white sand beaches dotted with palm trees, tropical huts reaching out over the water so you can snorkel right off your own private deck. In a word: paradise.



Dakota Duncan

I’m an animal lover, author, and artist. I love learning about small but amazing creatures. See Captivating Creatures