A vacation while on vacation!

Before I left the United States, I thought every now and then I’d check in to a nice hotel and take “break” from traveling. Initially, I planned on doing a lot of Workaway opportunities, but things on that front haven’t worked out too much for various reasons. After my first week living with a host family in Mongolia, I checked in to a hostel that was $8.00 for the night. After spending a week without a shower and a wooden box for a toilet, it felt like the Ritz. I didn’t think I’d ever feel the need to stay in a hotel after that and it works out just fine as hostels are much cheaper anyway.
I didn’t plan on renting an apartment for two months on an island in the Gulf of Thailand, but it’s been nice to settle for a bit, have a routine, and most importantly, get to the gym. I extended my Thai visa so I have a total of 60 days in county, but I’m getting ready to go. There’s been an inordinate amount of rain and clouds and the picturesque quintessential island scenery is non-existent most days. I know I shouldn’t be complaining, I practically live in paradise, but the rain is getting to me. I feel like I’m on the verge of depression. I just want to hide under the covers, eat chocolates and bonbons, and watch tv until it all passes. But I can’t. I don’t even have a TV and I get tired of being in my bed. I needed a change of scenery. So despite the rain, the shitty forecast, and extensive cloud cover across all of Southeast Asia (trust me, I know, I’ve been glued to the Doppler radar forecast), I booked myself a hotel room on another island. This is a BIG deal for me (and one I’ll likely regret at some point). A resort- yes. TV, AC, buffet breakfast, proper towels, a pool, beach, and a beachfront restaurant. One night in a rainy paradise, but if I take the ferry back tomorrow, I won’t actually get to do much here.

Beautiful views despite all the clouds in the sky.

I checked in. Looked at the room, looked at my budget, looked at the area, thought about my budget, went for a walk, did some math, looked at the Doppler radar, and willed the sun to come out. And then I paid for a day of snorkeling and a second night. Merry Christmas to me, right? There’s some blue in the sky. It’s not raining. The beach is nice. You can even see a hint of turquoise in the sea when the sun hits it properly. I love the ocean and I’ve hardly been in it here. I’ve been waiting to do everything until the rainy season ends (which has been much later this year than it’s supposed to be). And with all that waiting, my time here has nearly run out and I don’t have much to show for it. So, here I am on Ko Tao, a diver’s paradise, great snorkeling, and an all around different vibe than on Samui.

It turned out to be a great day of snorkeling and sight seeing. Here’s a view of Ko Nang Yuan.

The more I travel, the more I want to travel. A part of me feels like I don’t want to go back to the states, not any time soon, anyway. With that in mind, I definitely cannot get into the habit of checking in to fancy hotels but I am definitely going to enjoy the shit out of these two nights. I can also say that wherever I end up in the world, the weather has to be decent. I’ll never be able to go home, to New Hampshire. After living in sunny south Texas for 13 years, I cannot deal with crap weather. I just don’t like it. I really feel like living in a place where winter lasts for 6 months would be truly depressing. I can’t even stand the rain in paradise!! (Sorry mom).
Luckily, I’m still on an adventure of indefinite duration and because I still have time, I don’t feel super pressed to squish in a bunch of stuff right now, like a dive when the weather is crappy. I’m sure I’ll still have plenty of opportunities to visit beautiful places, but for now, I needed a change of pace so this will do. Oh- and I also applied for my visa to Myanmar. I’ll be crossing into the southern part and because much of the country is closed off, the only way to get to Yangoon, aside from flying, is by boat. It’s far too. So not only do I have plenty of time to enjoy the seas in Southeast Asia, but I think I’ll actually be on one for quite a while!

I Love It Everywhere!

It’s been a while! I’ve been in Thailand for nearly 6 weeks and haven’t updated my blog. I’ve been doing some freelance writing for a company stateside, http://www.blitzbarz.com/blog, so my time sitting (and drinking coffee), has been devoted to that. I want to keep up with this blog though- I want it to go places, and I want to keep going places!
It was my “travelversary” the other day. I’m now into my 5th month of my Asian adventure and I’m still loving it and motivated to keep going.

My new friend Sarah and I out for my “travelversary” dinner.

Before I left Nepal, I looked at the Thai railway system and saw there was a line to the coast then you could ferry over to an island. I looked up gyms in the area and found one that looked awesome. I booked an apartment for a month and made my way south, to Ko Samui, in the Bay of Thailand. A week in, I decided I’d stay for two months. This “slow” travel is nice. You get to know a place, meet people, find your favorite spots, plus I love the gym and the active lifestyle I can live here.

Passed some time after my workout to chat with the Muay Thai instructor and this giant dude from Sweden.

My new visa now expires on January 1st and because I no longer want to fly anywhere, I don’t think I’ll have an exciting NYE- I’ll be in a small town not too far from the Myanmar border, where I’ll cross on the first of the year. But that’s ok- there’s adventure to be had and overland travel is cheaper than air.
When I extended my visa, the Thai authorities said you must leave the country in order to get another visa. I was a little disappointed, BUT it’s good because I’ll actually leave. A goal of mine is to see many countries, so this will temporarily force me out of Thailand. I’ll cross back in once my 28 days is up in Myanmar though and travel through the north. It’s supposed to be beautiful and I really want to see the White Temple so it’s a good plan.

More stamps, woo hoo!

Things were a little slow here, but they’ve picked up and I’ve met a lot of people. Mostly other expats and travelers, but some Thais as well. It can be a crazy place- Ko Samui is one of Thailand’s main islands for beach vacations and people do their fair share of partying, but I’ve mostly kept to myself and pass time at the gym… Until recently! We had 6 days of rain! I never got a good weather forecast, but some Dutch travelers said there was a hurricane in China, so we got the edge of it. So many areas on the island flooded. Thank god the gym was open so I had a place to go. Being isolated in my apartment was lonely. The rain got me out- I met so many people this past week and despite the fact I didn’t stick to my healthy ways and had a few drinks, meals out, and wasn’t super motivated in the gym, I feel ok about it. I can look back and say I survived the Thai typhoon of 2016 and have stories to tell because of it! When the sun came out yesterday, I think the island was pumped. It was such an amazing sight.

The calm after the storm- it makes you appreciate the beauty and everything else so much more. I had to get to the beach right away, and here I am again today, too, after the gym. Later, my new friends and I are going to Fisherman’s Village to watch the sunset, get food at the night market, and go salsa dancing! ??
Slow travel is nice. It’s great to have time to stop and smell the roses. I’m not going to want to leave on the first but I’ll be excited as always. Maybe someday, after I’ve been a few places, I can pick a spot and go back, but in the mean time, I need to keep exploring!