I had my first high in 2005, when I visited Pangkor Laut Resort in Malaysia. The villa, attached to a bridged walkway, floated above the sea, where colorful fish swam below and my bathtub had unobstructed sea-level views of the sunset, which I watched from my private deck. I listened to the water lapping at the stilts below me, truly giving a sense of place.
This was my first taste of a stay in an overwater bungalow. And you know what they say about the good stuff: it'll ruin you for anything else.
In the decade since, I've stayed in almost a dozen overwater bungalows in bungalow-iconic places, among them Bora Bora (Four Seasons Bora Bora, InterContinental Resort Thalasso Spa), the Maldives (One&Only Reethi Rah, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island), and Mexico (Rosewood Mayakoba). My overwater bungalow obsession is a weird travel addiction. So are, say, frequent-flyer mileage runs and danger selfies. Mine just happens to cost more per night than most Americans spend in rent.