Literary travels - my love of reading has brought me to so many faraway and unfamiliar places, even way before I learn to appreciate the joys of traveling. Just like visiting and experiencing a place for yourself, reading often brings up a myriad of emotions from the stories of others.
This year, I made a promise to read more books in Malay. And one of my choices was Andrea Hirata's Lasykar Pelangi. Through his compelling first book, Andrea Hirata wrote about his life and growing up in the small island of Belitung, located in the Java Sea.
This was the first time that I heard of the island. And the extraordinary feat of the children of Belitung, to rise above their destitute lives - made them unforgettable.
Today, the whole world heard the name Pulau Belitung. An Air Asia Indonesia flight QZ8501, with 155 on board, has been missing since the morning. It was enroute to Singapore from Surabaya. And its last known location was in the vicinity of the island.
I hope the next time I hear the name Pulau Belitung again, may this obscure island brings us good tidings.
Safiza is a Travel Blogger, Common Reader, Book Hoarder, Art and Nescafe Tarik Lover.