By: Nikita Mandhani
As I walk down the seashore, I gaze at the sea, the sands and the sun and soak up the magnificence in my eyes. Isn’t there a splendor in the amalgamation of sparkling waters, fine sands and the setting sun? Yes, that’s the sight I hold in my eyes every time I think of the Tioman Islands. These are a group of islands situated in Malaysia and yet closer to the Singapore city. When I decided to go to Tioman with a few friends, I didn’t read about it too much. I wanted it to be a mystery. I wanted it to astonish me and delight me all the same. We took a ferry from Mersing (in Malaysia) to Tioman and it felt like being in the midst of a huge ocean of beauty, life and possibilities. Most of the islands in Tioman are commercialized and hence we had booked the Melina Beach Resort close to the Paya Terminal to have some exotic time away from the hustle-bustle and throngs of the world.
I don’t know whether Melina needs too much of an elucidation and yet I wish to talk about it because that’s one place that has been engraved into the depths of my heart for the wonder it held, for the promises it fulfilled and the friendships it crafted. The resort is one of a kind owned by an Irish man and set amongst rain-forests. The most astonishing part of the holiday and stay at this place was the private beach it offered: stunning, mesmerizing and oh! So quiet. Some places touch you in ways that others can’t because they give you a part of themselves that you can keep for as long as you live. Tioman will just be one of those lovely places for me; a place I didn’t want to leave for a long, long time.
One of the most thrilling experiences was the snorkeling trip I undertook. I have always wanted to do scuba diving but perhaps I never got the opportunity all these years; also taking into account the fact that I haven’t travelled as much despite my love for it. When I put on the snorkel equipment and jumped into the water for the first time, what I saw nearly brushed away all the qualms of my mind. I felt like I was an element of another world. I could see schools of fish, scenic rocks, plants and colorful water animals. An inexplicable charm took over me all this while. We went to about four snorkel sites and every time I took a hop down the boat ladder, I never felt like coming back until I was drained of my energy to go any further. Perhaps that’s what you call the beauty of immersing yourself into not only a fraction of the world but also a piece of an unusual existence that at times we disregard. I felt like a fish, a mermaid or a turtle and I cherished those sensations. I treasured the vibrant vistas and the cool waters. I loved to realize that life has so much more to put forward than we can envisage. The world is a beautiful place. Shouldn’t we embrace it?
After the snorkel trip, I went into my little cottage to take a good shower and get back to the beach. Melina presented an unusual sort of serenity and a blend of amity, love, good food, pleasing surroundings and a library. Ah! That’s what caught my breath. Think of it yourself. You are in the middle of a vast sea, rocking in a wooden chair and reading beautiful words from people all over the earth. Isn’t this emotion of the kind that drives you to leave everything behind, initiate a new life and throw yourself into a new existence because beauty lies where we discover it?
Next time you go to a beach, strive to sense the presence of this splendor that has the power to make us smile, believe, enliven and look beyond our confined domains. As the sun rises every morning, the hues of the sky make beaches even more breathtaking. And as the sun sets each day, these waters stir us and remind us of the being of an untainted Universe.
Walking back to my cottage that night, I felt I had achieved something: more contentment, more dreams and more wisdom. Maybe, that’s what travel does to you. All the time.
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