Ummmm so Koh Tao.
Basically I planned to come here after Koh Phangan and spend the holidays here then decide whether I wanted to stay longer or go live somewhere else in Thailand. Well I chose to stay (!) and honestly it’s been a complete whirlwind/blur and I can barely keep track of time or what day it is but I want to try to recount what I’ve been up to these past few weeks…
The Rains to End All Rains
It rained nonstop around Christmas and New Years. I don’t know how many days the monsoonal downpour lasted (the lost-track-of-time thing) but the sky just opened up and wept endlessly.
I spent the first two rainy days desperately trying to find an umbrella for sale – a true challenge it turns out. Other falang gave up on trying to stay dry at all and braved the streets in their bathing suits with no effort at rain protection.
The streets flooded – one even became an actual river for a few days with a current and everything. People were sad and exhausted and frustrated. Enduring nonstop torrential downpour for days at a time is like fighting a war with the gods. It’s a battle of patience and willpower.
I was still staying at a hostel at the time and spent my days and nights with my hostel friends trying to keep busy. We played cards, got foot massages, sang songs in the dorm room, got tattoos (the friends, not me)…
Sometime after New Years, the rains let up. The weather has still been finicky – lots of cloudy, grey days, the sun coming in and out many times in a day. I sometimes think it’s a miracle I have a tan at all.
I met a pretty famous travel blogger
Guys, I met Alex of Alex in Wanderland fame! I’ve been reading her blog for 5 or 6 years now and knew she was based in Koh Tao but didn’t expect I would actually get to meet her.
She had planned a reader meetup here on the island I was going to attend, but then by chance I also ran into her the night before at a bar. I was surprisingly nervous – starstruck even. She’s a super successful and famous travel blogger and I really admire the brand and business she’s built.
Anyways, that was a really cool moment for me.
I’ve been doing island things
Like snorkeling and hiking and laying out on the beach, and even drinking a bucket or two 😉 Things have gone so fast – a whirlwind, like I said – and people have come in and out of my life in the blink of an eye.
Here are some highlights:
There is no end goal
I’ve realized something in the past two months of travel that I’ve been thinking about a lot:
There is no end goal in life. The whole point of being here is to just enjoy it while it’s happening because at some point you will die and you won’t even have the opportunity to enjoy your life or not.
In conventional Western culture, we’re always working working working towards something. A “career”, a financial goal, building a family, etc. etc. and I think we forget that the whole point of any of this (*gestures broadly at the universe*) is to feel good. To feel joy and happiness. To literally be in love with your life.
I mean you should have goals and a career and a family but not because it means you’re successful and you “did it” (yay for you) but because it makes you happy in every moment you live it.
There won’t be someone waiting at the finish line of life to congratulate you on your achievements and give you an award. Life will just end one day, and my god you better hope you enjoyed every minute of it while you still could. Right? Right??
So cook a meal with your friends. Sit around doing nothing but talking. Rest and enjoy leisure time and do the things that fill your soul to the absolute brim. Move away from a city that doesn’t resonate with you. Go where you’re being called.
STOP MAKING EXCUSES ABOUT WHY YOU CAN’T DO THE THINGS YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DO IN LIFE. It isn’t about “buying that plane ticket” unless you’ve been dreaming about buying that plane ticket. Travel if you want to, don’t if you don’t want to. But do the things you want to do and stop waiting for a right time or for permission, or for “enough money” whatever the fuck that means (you’ll never have “enough money”).
I was afraid to live my truth and follow my dreams for 6, 7 years and I can’t tell you the difference it makes to move even an inch in that direction. I have moments now where I literally walk around the island thinking to myself, “I am in love with my life.” Aim for that. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever felt.
Okay rant over.
The next phase
I’ve had some clarity about how I want to proceed in terms of making money or “my job” if you want to call it that, so for me I’m planning to use this time here on the island to strategize what I want to do on this blog moving forward.
I also want to spend some good time being good to myself. I’ve been struggling with some self-love stuff lately which may be a whole other post, I don’t know yet. But I want to become more committed to doing things that help me love myself and my body just the way I am.