To the Sea

Many of my fondest childhood memories involve the sea, or being near it.

I remember going to the fish market by the sea with my parents as a kid, seeing sea creatures bigger than myself being laid out for sale by the fishermen, being fascinated by it. Going on family outings to Bidadari Island in the Gulf of Jakarta, playing around the ruins of a Dutch fortress on the island, pretending to be a pirate. Taking the ferry ride across the Sunda Strait and feeling excited to see the mighty Krakatoa sticking out of the sea. Building a sand castle on a beach by the South Java Sea and having a horde of Japanese tourists take a picture of me, the scrawny little brown girl in a red swimsuit.

By the time I hit teenagehood, I barely saw the sea anymore.

I can’t say I missed the sea then. But then again, I had many other things occupy my mind. Only after we came back from our honeymoon in the Canadian Maritimes did I realize how much happier I am when I’m by the sea. Unfortunately, we live in a landlocked area, 2 days drive away from the seafront. Sure we live between two Great Lakes but it’s not the same. While I love the Great Lakes (I’d made it a goal to visit all five of them, and I did), I’m head-over-heel in love with the sea.

Many of my fondest memories with my husband involve the sea, or being near it.

I remember driving the Cabot Trail on our honeymoon and being awestruck by the sea views. Seeing the humpback whales on a zodiac off the coast of Tofino. Getting sea-sprayed on the boat that took us to see the icebergs off the coast of northern Newfoundland. The bumpy but exciting ferry ride to the Westman Islands off the south coast of Iceland. Seeing a puffin for the first time on a piece of rock by the Norwegian Sea. Letting the gale force wind beat the crap out of us on the ferry to Iles-de-la-Madeleine in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Seeing foxes roam freely at sunset near the red cliffs of Cavendish in Prince Edward Island. Watching the Northern Gannets dive into the sea in PercĂ©, Quebec. Hiking to North America’s largest colony of them on the top of a cliff in Ile Bonaventure. Seeing a large pod of beluga whales in the St. Lawrence estuary.

I’m sure there are still many more my tired brain couldn’t recall.

I can’t wait to be by the sea again with my husband. I heard Scotland has stunning coasts and sea views.