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The island

by Martina 8 months ago in female travel
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I was always told, we have the most beautiful sea, we have the most glorious mountains, what more do you want?

The island
Photo by Matthijs van Schuppen on Unsplash

I was born on an island.

I didn’t travel much as a child. I was six years old the first time I went on a ferry and it felt to me like the rest of the world was swallowing me whole, larger than anything had ever been. It would be another six years before I travelled again, this time by plane. I looked at my island from the window plane and realise it didn’t look much like those maps on my geography book, his colours not as bright but alive nonetheless.

I was born on an island.

Everything that happened, it always happened to someone that wasn’t us, the people of the island. Everything was always far away, was worrying in a way that didn’t feel personal and probably never would. If something ever happened to one of us, though, we would all go through the pain. It was a kind of personal that was always shared with somebody else, someone that would understand what we were going through like nobody else in the world ever would.

I was born on an island.

I always felt like I was missing out on something, every other place always so far away that in my youth I used to compare it to how Marco Polo felt when travelling through different continents. Travelling somewhere else was always going to take so long, so why bother when everything we needed was right there. I was always told, we have the most beautiful sea, we have the most glorious mountains, what more do you want?

I was born on an island.

The legend says that a boy of the island was the best swimmer in the world. Better than the fishes in the sea. The king wanted to see for himself this boy wonder, faster than the fishes in the sea, and dropped a gold cup in the deepest waters, asking the boy to retrieve it. When the boy reached the bottom of the sea, he saw that one of the columns keeping the island afloat was about to collapse, so the boy took its place. Since then he’s been the one keeping the island afloat. But the boy is still a boy, and when he gets tired, the island shakes, as alive as the boy still is at the bottom of the sea. So you see, we live on an island that has been alive for longer than anyone can remember.

I was born on an island.

Ever since I can remember, the sea has brought weird objects to the coast. We never know what the tide will bring, but once it reaches the island, it’s ours forever. Who knows what the sea will bring next, but one thing is certain: if we were to ever give something to the sea, it will be lost forever, travelling further than any of us can reach.

I was born on an island.

For the longest time, I didn’t realise how like my island I am. I take, and cherish, and love, and keep, and I never know how to let go. Every earthquake feels like it will tear me apart, and the scary part is knowing that another one will always come when I least expect it. I don’t know how to love quietly, in a way that is not all encompassing, but I’ve felt everything so far away for so long that I have no idea how to give myself to the sea, how to let the unknown take care of me.

female travel

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Martina

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