‘I am heading to the Edge of Wilderness’, says my driver as I arrive at the tiny airport of Sumba. In my head, after some research and website stalking, I am sure I am heading to a piece of heaven, but alas, the Edge of Wilderness will do for now.

As I cover my face with a cold towel, laid ready and rolled in the van, suitcases are being uploaded into the back. I close my eyes a little longer than anticipated and get startled by the sudden speed we’re making heading out of the airport parking. In the next days, I come to realize this is the only possible means to travel on the island, as well as to claim the right of way on the rugged roads and winding motorways. I hold on to the towel, in case I need it to wipe away the droplets of fear running down my face or to simply to hide away altogether. Excitement wins over and I decide to keep a close eye on the road and what lies behind it -where wilderness might show its first sign.

Written for and published in Simply Abu Dhabi XXXII, 2018-2019