You have to get away from it all to see it.
I remember the first time that I saw the Milky Way. It was so bright, much brighter than I've seen since. I was on the tropical island of Ko Pha Ngan, in the Gulf of Thailand. I was on the beach, and all of the generators for the resort had shut down for the night. There was no artificial light, no sound except the waves lapping on the shores and the wind through the palm trees.
The stars were so bright that they cast shadows in the sand. As the surf hit the shore, a ghostly glow came through the water: bioluminescent dinoflagellates, smaller than beads of tapioca. I could scoop them up in my hand, but removing them from the salt water seemed to extinguish their luminescence.
The Milky Way spread across the sky like a spilled glass. It was mesmerizing and made me feel insignificant.
In the city, you can't see the Milky Way. You need to drive away from the lights, but even then, in this part of the world, it's hard to completely escape the glow of some distant town. But I try.
Because I want to see that galaxy above. I want to feel insignificant. Just for a bit.