So close, and yet….


It has been a life-long (ish) dream of mine to go to the equator. I have flown over it 3 times, but have yet to see it in person. I hear it’s not much to look at, sadly, and so I’m afraid of a major letdown when I finally get there. I’ve thought about planning a special vacation to the equator sometime while I’m in Indonesia, but I refuse to go somewhere non-touristy for the occasion. I want signs, a line painted on the ground, posts cards, t-shirts, etc. It’s all or nothing.

Anyway, in the melodramatic way that my life flows, I saw the equator today. Out on the horizon, one degree of latitude away. A mysterious nothing, created in our minds and on our maps to give us a sense of direction, and with it, a sense of security. The false hope that we can pin-point our place in this vast and unknown universe.

Interestingly, I recently read Swimming in the Congo by Margaret Meyers. The main character is the daughter of two missionaries in the Congo in the 1960s. Her father tells her that the equator runs right through their village. She then spends months hunting the elusive equator in the jungle, trying to sneak up on it so she can catch a glimpse. I feel for her.

And So I left the beach today, the equator still not a reality in my life – still just a dream. But I have hope, that someday, somewhere, somehow…

Looking North from Biak Island in Papua. A fabulous little island with only one fault – it lies just south of the equator.
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3 Comments on “So close, and yet….

  1. Annie – I recommend the totally touristy, landmarked, line-painted spot outside of Quito, Ecuador! Excellent place to stand with one foot in the Southern and one foot in the Northern. I know – far from Indonesia. It looks to me (judging from Google Images) that you need to get to Bukittinggi – Sumatra

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