It was such a pleasure to travel to Siberut island in Mentawai regency of West Sumatra province in Indonesia. I went there with a ship sailed from Padang city located in the same province. That travel was my first time to be on a fast ship. “A very fast ship”, I thought. Though I had been on a ship before, when I traveled from Merak harbor in Sumatra island to Bengkahuni harbor in Java island, I noticed that traveling to Mentawai island provided me with a new story to tell and experience to remember.
First of all, I had to travel to Siberut early in the morning. The day before, I heard news on weather that there was a storm coming. I purchased the ticket a week before traveling schedule. At first, I was a bit afraid, but this traveling was conducted as part of my job as an English lecturer. I would visit my student performing teaching practice there. When I was on the way to the destination, I always wondered, “What would it be like to be there?” In spite of many pictures available on Google to see what and how the island looks like; nevertheless, I always think that to see the place directly with my eyes will bring an everlasting image in my memory.
It took four hours to get to Siberut island with a fast ship. After the ship reached Siberut harbor and I came out to put my feet on the ground, I began to look around. Such a vivid green image on the sea shore! I saw calm sparkling water under the sun reflected from afar. It was at 11 o’clock in a daylight. The smell of the harbor gave me the sense of salt and the odor of fish. Then, not far from the place where I stood in the harbor, someone yelled at me, saying, “Mister!” I searched for the voice and there, my student awaited for me. With a motorcycle, we went to the school where he performed his teaching practice.
While I was sitting on the motorcycle, I observed environment around me. I looked at the right and left side of the road. Still many trees but clean! Traditional Mentawai house and the tribes! I was so captive by the sight. 33 years I have never been in the island. All I knew was only names of the place and pictures with limited sense of description to delve into alive existence on nature.
To this day, I kept thinking to myself that earth is only a planet, but its dazzling beauty is beyond limit. We see nature of different places on earth that we never visited from the eyes of the people taking photos and videos somewhere on earth and they shared those images with narrative words to internet so that everyone can see and hear.
So many places remain unknown to me on this earth. Once my eyes see them, I know that beautiful nature will taste even better when I see lovely humans there, smiling to share happiness to the world. Like Siberut island. Who would have known that I one day visited the island?
Exploring Indonesia and enjoying the travel journey to different places on earth will always be such an enchanting experience, and a dream of this once life, not only to remember but also to be written for everyone to read, of course.