Love Letter for Banda Neira

K. Latuconsina
2 min readNov 13, 2023

Have you ever experienced a love so profound that it consumes your every thought? A love that makes you yearn to be with it every second of every day, to the point where you’d willingly leave everything and everyone behind just to bask in its presence? I have, but this time, it’s for a place — an island, to be precise. The enchanting Banda Neira has stolen my heart, and let me tell you, falling head over heels for this paradise isn’t a challenging task at all.

There’s a saying attributed by Sutan Syahrir,

“Jangan mati sebelum ke Banda Neira”

Which roughly translates to “Don’t die before visiting Banda Neira.”

But I believe it holds a deeper meaning: Don’t let life pass you by without experiencing such a deep love. that deep love that you can feel once you step your feet in here. I yearn to make a life on this island. There’s something utterly magical about how people live there, waking up to the melodious symphony of birds instead of the incessant honking of cars, falling asleep beneath a pristine, unpolluted night sky where the Milky Way gleams in stunning HD resolution.

My mom once told me that when you love someone, you must embrace every aspect of them, cherishing even their flaws. It’s a rarity to find such all-encompassing love, but that’s precisely how I feel about Banda Neira. I’ve scoured every nook and cranny, examined every facet, and discovered that there’s nothing I dislike about this place. I’ve fallen hard, and I yearn to abandon my current life to wake up on its shores every single day.

Have you ever had to let go of someone you deeply care about because you knew it wasn’t the right time for your paths to converge? You trust that fate will eventually lead you back to each other. This is the sentiment I hold for Banda Neira. I’m still in my twenties, I’m aware that I can’t relocate there just yet. I need to broaden my horizons, fill my pockets with experiences and resources. Someday, when I’m older and wiser, I’ll return to my beloved island. For now, I must bid it farewell. There are moments when I wish I could fast forward time, aging rapidly, just to reach that point where I can make Banda Neira my permanent home.

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