Being an 8 to 5 worker in this young age totally ruined my happiness. I felt very alienated every time I wake up in the morning. Then suddenly an idea came up in my mind. I must go. Then i packed up my things and took my first step outside home. That was 3 years ago when I started my long journey around Indonesia.
I kept walking through the exotic places of Indonesia. From the primitive cultures in Papua and Borneo, until the remained civilizations of Dutch colonization. From the top of Mahameru mountain, until the beautiful view of Taka Bonerate atoll. I keep traveling on and still can’t fulfill my search for peace. Until I found this place called Maratua.
Located in northern part of East Borneo, this small remote island offered me everything I’ve been looking for so long. First time I came here all by coincidence. I was in Berau looking for the only train that has ever operated in Borneo from Dutch colonization era. But I was disappointed bacause all of it were thrown down and almost no remains left at all. That was a depressing time for me. Because I spent almost half a year look for it. Then a local there offered me to go to this island.
I was not in the good mood the time I went there. But it changed suddenly once I arrived in this island. Beautiful white sandy beach with clear water, natural rain forest, and hundreds of limestone caves to see. Six months of disappointment payed in a minute. The people still live in a traditional way. Relaxing place with beautiful view.
Wake up in the morning to see the sunrise in front of me. It looks like raising only for me. With all the seagulls dancing on the sky. Waves and breeze bringing joy. A good picture to start a day. Then I go to the beach to see green turtles swim around me. This island is home of thousands of green turtles. One of the biggest species of sea turtles in the world. Swimming a little bit far and I found manta rays swimming around the shallow water to take their food. The sun is high now and a walk to Maratua lake to swim with the stingless jellyfish would be a good option. Here I can find 4 species of jellyfish that has no sting at all.
This is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. Besides the nature, the local people here are friendly too. Not only to the people but also to the environment. They keep all the environment as natural as it used to be. I enjoy the conversations with them. They still keep the principal that God, human, and nature are one substance. Therefore we must keep balance between all of them.
Seeing green turtles lay eggs at night is very magnificent for me. Local people help this animal to reach the safe part of the beach to lay eggs. This for me is a lifetime experience I won’t forget forever. Running away from modernization and back to nature. Learning how people interact very friendly with the environment. Not because of the environmentalist campaign, but only by the local wisdom they keep for hundreds of years. In this island called Maratua, I’ve found my peace.
About The Author: Prayuda Said. An Indonesian who enjoys traveling around his country. After 3 years of non-stop traveling, he is now permanently staying in Maratua Island. But still frequently travel to fulfill his dream. Seeing all this 17,504 of island archipelago with his own eyes.
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