I’m in a bubble. Not wanting to leave. A bubble full of love, joy, friendship, certainty, uncertainty, goodbyes, hello’s, growth and confusion. Having spent around 18 days in Koh Tao, I was reluctant to leave. I had the most incredible time there, met some unbelievable people, from all over the world and created memories. I was comfortable and that was starting to become an issue. I typical day for me would look like this, in a similar order:
Gym or BJJ
Pool or beach
Gym or BJJ
Couple of games of Pool
A few (or 10) drinks
I was having all the fun I wanted and needed. Before Thailand, I said I don’t want to have the typical backpacker’s holiday. It wasn’t for me. I’ve met many backpacker’s asking why I’m staying in certain places for longer, why I’m not doing certain tours etc…I wasn’t there for that. My aim was to go and enjoy the moment and stay in a place I enjoyed and move on when I was ready, to a destination unplanned. I was doing just that. My daily routine would of course change from time to time – it wasn’t rigid. Some days I would train just the once and every 2 or 3 days, I would have a day of no training, some days I wouldn’t drink and some, the night would be heavy…all in the moment. The key to this was to just go with it. The people, like I’ve mentioned in previous blogs and above, were incredible and unbelievable. Some, along the way I would say goodbye to, some would be a “see you soon”, as I knew we would cross paths again, possibly in the north of Thailand. Love and friendship were created in Koh Tao. The Island itself is immaculate, from the beaches, to the bars, to the coffee shops and finally, the gym I’d train at where I did strength as well as BJJ; Monsoon Gym, 10th Planet and a big shout to coach Luke. If you ever visit Koh Tao and want to train, there’s no better place.
A few places of mention for you:
Breeze – coffee, breakfast, brunch, dinner, cocktails etc – not to mention, right by the beach
Coconut Monkey – insane over night oats, breakfast, lunch – oh and by the beach again
Dairy Queen (DQ) – Ice cream to die for
Monsoon gym – gym, Muay Thai, BJJ, HIIT – Great little gym for the warrior minded person or anyone looking to get started
AC Pool Bar – a great vibe – 4 Pool tables – drinks, cocktails, good music, great staff who became friends
Leo – decent little bar with a great fire show at night – by the beach
Fishbowl – This place had me split – it was a love hate relationship but admittedly, was a good vibe most nights and were most of the party was at
Infinity – Great little restaurant near the pier serving delicious food
The list could go on but I will stop – if you want any more info or recommendation, drop me a message.
So, Koh Tao, I didn’t want to leave but I also didn’t want to get too comfortable. I guess it was too late for that. I had this feeling though, it was constantly there, nibbling away at me, poking me daily, the question and doubt about me staying there and going to the north, Chiang Mai. It wasn’t going so I knew I had to explore it and say bye to the lovely island and friends I made there. Some friends had already left for Chiang Mai so I knew I would see them again but some were on the island long term and it was a difficult good bye. As well as travellers and divers that were on the island long term, I had met some incredible and beautiful people from Bangkok, but in Koh Tao. I knew I would see them again in Bangkok during my final few days in BKK – this would turn out to be a final few weeks. Keep reading for reasons why.
Some Snaps from Koh Tao
The time had come, I was leaving Koh Tao – next destination was Koh Samui for 2 nights, 1 night in Phuket as a comfort stop before flying north to Chiang Mai. I won’t discuss Samui and Phuket as not much happened however I did meet good people in Phuket at the hotel I stayed at and we had dinner and spent hours in the pool during the day having a good laugh.
I had reservations about Chiang Mai – I mean, I think anywhere in the world would have given me doubts compared to Koh Tao so I accepted the feelings and thoughts, they were normal and bound to happen following an incredible time in Tao. I said to myself, just go with it, take it day by day and if it’s bad in 3-4 days, fly back to Koh Tao. My mind was made up and I agreed with myself, there is a way out but give it time. I’m writing this blog 10 days into being in Chiang Mai. Need I say more. Again, it’s been a great time and largely due to reuniting with friends from Koh Tao (Pete, Rheanna, Jamie, Hugo, Alina, Josh) as well as bumping into others I had met on nights out in Tao. The city itself is full of character. Big but doesn’t have that large city feel, more of a close not community vibe, good food, good people, good night life, good chill vibe, tourist attractions as well as more upmarket places to visit. It’s a place I could definitely live in, it has it all!
Once again though, I have not done much “touristy” stuff – apart from a cooking class with Smile organic cooking school, which I must say was outstanding and one of the best experiences here in Thailand I had done. I’ve found a great gym, which always helps my mind, body and soul. I have no routine and I’m just going with it, day to day, not knowing what I will do tomorrow. As I say and will say again, we don’t have tomorrow, all we have is now. I have another 3 days in Chiang Mai before flying to Bangkok on Wednesday 8th June and will celebrate by birthday there, on the 11th June with new friends. I do age well, like a fine wine – you know the saying!
So, here is the predicament, I LOVE Thailand and do not want to leave. I love the people, the kindness, the culture, their care and attention to nature, the humbleness and so much more. It’s a deep feeling, routed within my core values. I accept however all of this comes with me also being around great people and ultimately, the people have been a huge reason for the joy and love here.
My visa expires on June 18th and here’s the plan:
Apply for a 30-day visa extension and spend 2-3 weeks in Bangkok, but away from the hostel life and immerse myself into local life (which I’ve tended to do along the way since arriving in April), I feel this will give me a good indication if I really want to be here or not. I mentioned the girls I met in Koh Tao, from Bangkok, I’ll definitely be connecting with them again and very much looking forward to that. They are humble, polite, fun, full of joy, sophisticated, friendly, authentic, have depth to them, all what I admire in people, people I can connect with.
So, yes, stay in Bangkok for a few weeks and see what I think. If it’s good and I have that feeling inside, that gut feeling, deep within telling me to do it, then I guess it’s a done deal. I would have to return back to the UK to sort some admin out, apply for a specific visa to return and then, I will return. If not, for any reason, I will return the UK, start a new role in July and also, be happy to do so, also having created memories to last generations.
Ultimately, there’s one winner here, regardless of my decision, and that’s me.
That’s all for now, all i can guarantee is i will be having a great time, whatever i do. Please like, share and comment, it would mean the world 🙂
Thanks again for reading,
Rishi AKA Ferrero Rishi AKA Miami
Lets leave it there 🙂