There are some magical places on our planet which conjure up a real sense of mystery and enigma. Some are real and some are mythical – Zanzibar, Shangri-La, Machu Pichu, Inca Trail, Kathmandu, Timbuktu, Silk Road, Mandalay and Borneo are a few which spring to mind.
I lived in Kathmandu for many years, and when I left even for a few days, I used to love sitting in the departure lounge of whatever airport I was in when on my way back to Nepal. I used to get a quiver of excitement tinged with disbelief seeing “Kathmandu” on the flight departures board, and a greater twinge at the thought that not only I was heading right there, but that I was actually living there! That shiver of excitement was evoked without fail every time I returned to Kathmandu. I remember one friend being surprised that Kathmandu was real – they thought it was one of those mysterious, mythical made up places – perhaps like “Atlantis”.
That suggestion of mystery and romance is contained in so many places.
Borneo for me, is one of those places. Now I have to confess that until very recently I actually believed that Borneo was a country. I only recently learned that it is in fact an island, part Malaysian, part Indonesian and with Brunei nestling on its northern shores. I have long dreamed of visiting mystical Borneo with images of rainforest, volcanic peaks and possibly even Tarzan having featured in my imagination and dreams. How unfortunate that I knew so little of the island.
So, in the spirit of carpe diem, the wish bucket and not squandering time while I am well, I have decided to spend some of my leave in Borneo. (Thank you AirAsia and Agoda for making dreams affordable :) ). Tomorrow I will travel to Malaysian Borneo. I know that there has been major deforestation and that my expectations of the island will be different to the reality. But the other purpose of the trip is about removing myself even further from the roundabout and putting myself in a space where I can disengage, relax and focus on my emotional and physical wellbeing. I imagine it will also provide rich material for the creative side.