Having lived in Colorado, I thought I knew what dark skies looked like. In truth, I had no idea. Until I moved to New Zealand. How dark is it here? Well, in most places, on a partly cloudy night, the clouds show up as slightly grey, a bit lighter than the clear sky. Here in NZ, the clouds are completely black (because there is little/no light reflecting off them) and the night sky is actually a bit light (from starlight). The Milky Way is bright enough to cast shadows on the ground.
I have always been fascinated by space. Ever since I was a little kid, I could stare for hours at images of galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. I truly identified with this:
Without a wish, without a will
I stood upon that silent hill
And stared into the sky until
My eyes were blind with stars and still
I stared into the sky
The Song of Honour, Ralph Hodgson