“Miss, please step on the scale,” the rotund lady insisted. It took me a moment to understand, as she recorded in her manifest my bodyweight in addition to that of my surfboard bags. Amidst this surreal travel moment, the lovely lady with heavily stained bright red teeth gave a cursory third world TSA-style glimpse into my backpack and shooed me forward with a caring, “Have a safe flight ma’am.”After a short walk across the dirt landing strip, I grabbed hold of a repurposed rubber hose that served as a handrail and headed up the tiny steps of the Twin Otter. As often happens with planes of this size, I banged my head on the battle-worn doorframe before taking one of the 16 seats. When the pilot appeared through the entryway, he was awkwardly squeezing my rather large board bag through the miniature aperture. I watched as he belted my mammoth-sized bag into some empty seats with their backs fully reclined. The unorthodox practicality of baggage handling in the island nation of the Solomon Islands was my first inkling that I had bargained for more than just the adventure of a lifetime… To read the full article become a subscriber of Tkb Magazine.

Tkb’s spring 2019 digital issue is available now. The print issue will be landing in mailboxes soon!
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