The dream and the reality is coming to an end. Life on koh Tao is always authentic and a new experience, yet very comfortable and simple. All I worry about is catching the sunset.
I’ve lived 5 months on this island over the last two years, coming back on 4 separate trips. The in between seems like the dream and this island living must be the only constant. I guess maybe that’s the feeling you get when you keep going back to some place that makes sense. Everywhere you drive the ocean is in view, the choice is whether to dive today or not. This island hooks you, it really has all you need, and every time you walk away with really good friends. “You’ll always come back.. everyone does..” And so many good mates come through this island as well since it’s one of the cheapest places in the world to get dive certifications.
This island has been my back up plan if shit hits the fan. I know that if anything doesn’t work out, I can come here and easily get a job doing what I love – teaching yoga and diving.
I originally came here in 2015 traveling after graduating to get my advanced diving certification.. the ocean is my heart and soul so of course this place just kept calling me back. I came back after volunteering in rural remote locations (the D.R., Nepal, Indonesia), no where close to the ocean, and as soon I hopped on the ferry to come back, I could breathe in that salt air and breathe out. The warm humid air making me feel alive, the sun kissing my skin, and the freedom to wear shorts and a bikini !!!
I’ve worked for several dive shops, taught at different yoga studios, got a motorbike and explored the land wonders of this island. I’ve fallen in love. I haven’t crashed my motorbike – thank god! I’ve snorkelled with sharks and turtles. Eaten at many restaurants. Watched the stars. Rock climbed. Sunset paddle-boarded. I’ve drank many nutmeg shakes but no buckets! I’ve watched fire shows and enjoyed sitting on bean bag chairs on the beach. I’ve even gotten a concussion from a trigger fish hahaha!
Every time I leave I think, what am I doing?? I’ve learned it’s nice to live comfortably here without worrying about only having $100 to your name. Last time I was here I missed my ferry and ended up crying to my brother and he saved the day, wiring me money to make it to Bangkok to make my flight to India the next day. I have money now but it goes quick. My bike, my home with an amazing view, my lifestyle of eating well, and visa runs rack up the dough pretty easily. I’m leaving so I don’t let my money keep running out. I could stay and work as a divemaster (wooohoo!!! I’m a divemaster now!!!) but I think the amount I spend I couldn’t possibly make here working my butt off as a divemaster and yoga instructor. So I’ll stop while I’m ahead, two months into this island dream.
This island will always feel like home. It takes 10 minutes to get wherever I need to, traveling on a bike. Almost every meal is spent with a friend. Getting together means going out for a free movie at the cinema or snorkelling or watching the stars at our favorite place to hang out. This life is authentic. It feels like college. Just a bunch of good looking people at all the same places but instead were all here to dive. It’s a small island. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thank you, Koh Tao, and all the people here that always make me feel at home. I’m heading now to Bangkok to get x-rays and blood work done for the Australian working holiday visa, then Ill be hopping over on a bus to Cambodia while my visa processes, and then the next flight with hopefully be to Australia to work for a year. I’m heading to the unknown! I don’t know Cambodia and I don’t know Western Australia. I feel like it’s quite the big deal, moving into new territory, feeling uncomfortable once again, making new friends. Well here I go, ripping up my roots to set them down again.