|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
|Maybe it's time you booked yourself a plane ticket.|
Round-trip airfare on Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles to Jakarta, Indonesia, is going to set you back close to $1,800. From there you still have to get to Padang, which is another $500 flight. Then two weeks on a boat out in the Mentawai Islands will run about $3,000. And if you factor in the two or three surfboards you're going to break while there, your Indo boat trip's going to cost more than $6,000. That's a pretty penny for a few empty, perfect waves.
Is it worth it? It seems like a lot of money just to go surfing. Ah, but therein lies the catch. You're not just going surfing. Your traveling, you're seeing strange and interesting things. You're encountering a foreign culture firsthand, rather than trying to absorb it through CNN. True, boat trips can be sterile affairs. Just you, a few bros and the captain confined to a 40-foot vessel hardly qualifies as a cultural exchange. But should you take the time to mingle with locals when on land, wander into the jungle (but not too far), stroll the docks of Padang or the street markets of Jakarta, then there's plenty to see and plenty to learn. All of these intangibles make your paltry $6,000 investment seem well worth it.
So it's with that in mind that we offer up this collection of images. Most of the media you see post-boat trip involves thin-lipped, offshore-kissed Lance's Right or Macaronis, but here's a look at some of the other people and sights you may stumble upon if you're fortunate enough to remove yourself from the well-worn path.