A few hours ago I put up a picture on Instagram of me from a viewpoint on Kho Tao island. In the caption I said something about this place being too good to me. And then the ATM ATE MY CREDIT CARD right before I was heading to the ferry for Bangkok. A moment later I was on the back of a motor bike going all over the island in order to get someone from the bank with a key to unlock the machine to help me. But all the banks were closed. By now they’re open but the three people from the bank I’ve talked to said they don’t have the key…
Did I speak too soon on my Instagram post? Nah. Things like this happen all the time. Travel roadbumps. If they happen over and over it could get discouraging but mostly the lows make the highs feel that much better. Kho Tao is a tiny island off the eastern coast of south thailand. I feel like I’ve been in a dream world since I arrived. Blue clear waters, happy people, good food, lots of sunshine. Maybe these are the ingredients for a blissful life. Thailand is such an affordable paradise escape. I’m even considered to be in a more expensive area versus further north. Here’s an idea of what I spend during a day
- accommodation- 200 baht/night ($5.60usd)
- Lunch/dinner like a curry with rice, salad, noodles 80-130 baht ($2.25-3.60)
- Fresh fruit smoothie or shake-50 baht ($1.40)
- Renting a kayak for 1hour-100 baht ($2.79)
- Renting snorkeling gear for a day-100 baht
- 60 minute Thai massage-250 baht ($6.98)
- Renting a motor bike for the day-200 baht
- Large bottle of mineral water-20 baht ($0.56)
- 10 hour train ride to Bangkok-85 baht
It’s all good unless you don’t have money. Like me in this present moment. Actually I have about 40 baht maybe, enough for two waters so I don’t get dehydrated in this excruciating heat. Stay outside in the sun for 20 minutes and you will be sweating.
….a little while later… Aha! I realize I have some Malaysian currency that I found in a used book I bought in Oz and cash that in for Thai cash. So now I may have enough for food and water until Monday, when the atm people can come unlock the box.
I came to this island with the intention of staying two days. But now I’ve realized the universe didn’t want me leaving quite yet. And how could I complain? It really is a paradise. I’ve learned during my travels that money is just a tool, as long as you have what you need to survive. So yes if I have more money I can do more and buy more things. But if I don’t have a lot of money I just do less and honestly less is more sometimes. I find myself cherishing the last sips of coffee, staying at the beach for hours reading free iBooks or rereading the ones I already have, being content with the few clothes I have, understanding more fully impermanency.
I found the right spot for me in this little island, away from the bars, crowded beaches, dirty harbor. Here there are beach bungalows, clear blue water, butterflies of all different colors fluttering about, fire dancing at night, low tables with cushions at restaurants, friendly expats and Thai, stray cats, geckos in the showers, and possibly too many honey-mooners. Hehe
🐠Finding peace in clear waters, my ears covered from the world above under a tapestry of ocean, closing my eyes to feel more fully the gentle motion my limbs make as I swim on my back, opening an energy that’s left too often pensive inside, itching to move in harmony with the beat of nature, the collision of souls. I am exactly where I need to be in this present moment.
I call this a sea sloth. I don’t actually know the real name is
The Thai burn most of their trash. There is no such thing as regular access to toilet paper. We take our shoes off before entering shops, restaurants, any business. Most are Buddhist. They are kind, giving, quiet people. I’m very new still to observing and taking part in the culture here. Now I am up north in a completely different sort of place, where my friend has been teaching English for the past year. There are little to no tourists and food/transportation prices drop.