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.
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.
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!