Stuck in Thailand? Why leave?

Trip Start Sep 01, 2004
Trip End Apr 25, 2005

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Dearest Friends and Family,

Has spring sprung yet...cause we are not coming home till the sun is shining!

What can I say about the islands in Thailand? I think that the hardest job in the world would be writing articles for Island Magazine. How many different synonyms are there for sand, waves, sun, and swaying palm trees? Can you imagine the stress of coming up with something original to say every time.

Our living conditions have improved greatly since we are now giving star ratings to beaches instead of toilets. Also, air conditioning and window screens are no longer an optional amenity. The adrenaline level brought on by exciting and challenging travel conditions has diminished, and funny as it may sound, part of us really misses all of that, although it is in spirit only, and any talk of going on another "big" adventure is usually shot down by one of us. We may be just getting plain ol' lazy.

We had 4 days each on Koh Samui and Koh Tao. Koh Samui was a beautiful green and mountainous island, but not our favorite. Resorts have taken over from shore to shore and reminded us of Maui. Generally it is geared toward European tour groups. There is little if any snorkeling and the beaches are not very conducive to swimming and there was only a bit of site seeing to be had. Poor Don and Jo had to lay by the pool and read. Boohoo

Koh Tao, a 2 hour boat ride from Koh Samui, is a world apart. Being just hard enough to get to discourage tour groups, it is a paradise found. Sairee Beach borders a crescent bay lined by silky white sand and filled with the clearest, calmest water you can imagine. At least 100 yards out from the beach the water is only chest deep, so it is like floating in a huge warm swimming pool without even a swell to rock you as you drift on your bright green air mattress contrasting with the brilliantly shining turquoise water. It's totally awesome.

Diving and snorkeling was great. There is so many interesting and colorful coral here.

The small tourist town is very laid back and mostly populated with young, and very cool people. Don has been having fun since bathing suit tops are optional. We are pretending that we are cool too, but are missing multiple body piercings and a few big tatoos to complete the picture.

Every evening there is a string of restaurants along the beach that offer a variety of fresh seafood from shark to lobster on display to be selected and BBq'd. The alturnating bars prepare the beach with pillows, low tables, and lanterns so you can lounge and watch the sunset. This island is highly recommended.

Monday is the Full Moon Party on the next Island over. Hundreds of kids have been arriving to take the boat for the wild, all night, Eurobeat beach party. The boat drops them off at 6:00pm and picks them up the next morning at 7:00am. Full moon parties are the rage in Asia and one of the biggest is on Koh Phangan. I wanted to go and dance on the beach all night in my bikini, but Don gets sea sick and was being a party pooper..Ha! Ha! Ha!

Now....We have had a lot of down time lately, and I can actually say I have had some episodes of intense boredom. I have been embroidering the country names on my pack and I have read 3 whole books, which is a lot for me. Don has read about 10 and slides right into the beach bum persona. No worries....

When the decision was made to take this break from life it was like locking up the brakes on a semi-truck and trailer going 80MPH, and throwing it in reverse, then taking the first off ramp to who knows where. There was a lot of smoke, grinding gears, and searching for maps.

Don and I have been working pretty hard for about 35-40 years now and really have never had much time to think. We always wondered what it would be like not to have to get up to go to work, wash clothes, fix well pumps, burn brush, go grocery shopping, pull weeds, etc., etc., etc.. and thought that this was our big opportunity to find out. I have to say it is really weird. I find myself wanting to volunteer to help someone wash dishes, or cook, or something to make myself feel useful. I try to remind myself that I should enjoy it and stop being such a putz.

You know how sometimes the dream is better than the reality? The following were some of my fantasies about having all of the time in the world to relax, rest, think, pamper myself, and daydream, and then the shocking truth emerged;

Fantasy 1. If I could just relax my mind completely that I would have an epiphany. Thoughts so profound that it might change the world. reality- The mind just goes blank and scares the hell out of you. You fear that you have gone over the edge and your brain will never work the same again. It is amazing how you can sit for hours and actually think of nothing at all.

Fantasy 2. If I could have the time to explore my talents, to set my artistic abilities free, some hidden talent would that was so long oppressed by the daily grind. reality- You just sit there and wait, and wait, until you realize you were deluded and now you know the truth.

Fantasy 3. If I could sleep as much as I wanted, at some point I would be completely rested and I would wake up at the crack of dawn, run out to the beach, do an hour of yoga as the sun is rising, then run for 10 miles with as much energy as I had when I was 20. reality- It doesn't mater how much you sleep, you just want to sleep some more and it is just as hard as ever to make yourself exercise.

Fantasy 4. If I didn't have to do any housework my finger nails could grow. - This is the only one that came true, but they just get in the way when typing.

The best thing that comes of all of these realizations is that now I can just let it go...forget it all...relax, take it easy, be a complete lazy butt, eat, sleep, drink, swim, snorkle, sleep, lay around, eat, drink, get the picture....ahhhhhhh

May all you take the time to take a break today. See if you can think of absolutely nothing for 5 minutes.

All of you stay cool, but no tatoos please.

Love, Don and Jo
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