Far out in the uncharted waters of the unfashionable end of the south-east Asian islands lies a very small unregarded beach resort formed by only 2 bungalows.
Its name is Alaia.
Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 5 minutes to 1-hour local boat ride is ‘Waveland’, or how the surfing world has come to call it: the Mentas.
This surf-descended underworld is so amazingly focused on surfing that your trendy digital phones are luckily useless.
However, this coconut palm planet has a problem, which is this: from the moment you leave it until the moment you come back (if that ever happens) you will be unhappy for pretty much all the time.
Many solutions have been suggested for this problem, but most of these solutions are misguiding, to say the least. Telling yourself: ’It is too far to go again, too remote’, or, ‘that was only good for a holiday, you could not live there.’
Which is odd because, on the whole, it is not the thoughts of not coming back that will make you happy again.
And so the problem remains in most of the travellers who have been there, most of them often miserable afterwards, even the ones who have managed to make their latest and trendiest smartphone work again.
Many of us are increasing in the opinion that we’d all made a big mistake in coming back down to our normal lives from the Mentawais. Or ‘heaven on Earth’, to name it appropriately.
And some say that even going in the first place had been a bad move and that no one should ever have heard about Alaia—where the dream remains alive for those who dare to chase it—, that no one should even consider going there one is not to surf the highest quality waves in the planet and having regrets of leaving ‘the place’ for the rest of their lives.
Photos Jorge Abian