An Island To Myself

I’d like to say I truly had an entire island to myself, but really, I just went on a trip by myself. There are many people who can’t or don’t like to travel alone, and six months ago I was one of them. Now, I rather like it. At times, I even crave it.

This week is midterms week. All the students have been testing with their Thai teachers, so I’ve “not had class” to attend. I’ll get to why that’s in quotations in a bit. So I decided last weekend to go to Koh Samet, an island just off the coast in the gulf. Koh Samet happens to be a National Park, so you have to pay an entrance fee which is only 200 baht ($6), but with my work permit, it was knocked down to only 40 baht ($1.30)! Round trip, I spent 447 baht to get there which calculates to just under $15 USD. The bungalow I stayed at, Jep’s, was really nice… I’ll post a write up under the “Hotel Reviews” section in the next couple days. Enough about the cost of things, that’s just for curiosities sake… Let’s get to the interesting stuff.

Morning View with James Franco

I spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday relaxing on the beach, reading, and stuffing myself with delicious non-thai dishes. It was quite a treat. Since I cut myself off from the outside world (i.e. no electronics, internet access, phone, etc.) I was finally able to finish reading An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington, a book I started a couple months back but have been too distracted to finish. Then I started reading Palo Alto by James Franco. Haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve made some good headway. I’ve got a good stack of books I’m hoping to get through in the next few months, so hopefully with the help of a couple trips I’ll knock ’em out.

About 15 minutes into my beach time on Saturday (when I arrived) I decided I would get into the water for a nice “cool down,” as it was midday and quite hot out. Not five minutes in, I felt a sharp stinging across my legs so I got out of the water. My legs continued to burn, and I’d still not a clue what had gone on. I looked at my legs, and there were two lines going across my shins on both my legs…. Are you catching on to what happened? Yep, jellyfish. That was the last bit of water time for Saturday, and I only got in the water one other time (on Sunday) because the salt and sand didn’t feel too good on my legs. Turns out, tiger balm (which is a bit similar to Vicks vaporub… maybe? Or could just smell similar. Either way, it’s got some sort of menthol in it.) doesn’t make your jelly stings feel better. It actually hurts, quite a lot.

Like most trips when I travel alone, I met a few people. The first day, I helped some backpackers from Sweden (Frieda and Jonas) find a bungalow… They were lost and on the more crowded side of the beach. We chatted for a bit and then went our separate ways, as many encounters go. Then, on Sunday evening, I had dinner with a girl from Australia, Katherine. She had just come from a two week Mahout trip and told me many stories from her adventures and about her life in Oz. I’ve definitely noticed that you meet more people when you travel alone than when you travel in large groups, but you have to be open to it!

Other than that, nothing is new! I came back to teach my M6 students because they didn’t have testing this week, but none of them have showed up to class… I should have just stayed on the beach. I know for next time! I will just skip classes all week.

Testing the waters... Deciding my legs don't like salt and sand, but I needed a picture.

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3 thoughts on “An Island To Myself

  1. Jellyfish…..why I have mostly stayed away from oceans. Oh we go beach walking, but the water here is too cold for me anyway. A lot of people actually do swim in it, but with a wetsuit on. I’m guessing that might be protection from jellyfish too, but I’m not sure. You are so adventurous and brave to do so much traveling on your own. I might do it here, but here we speak the same language, sort of. lol Two countries divided by a common language. But you just can’t always understand them.
    Better luck next time with the classes. I can’t imagine that they just don’t show up. That’s crazy.
    So when is this term over and when does the next one start? Are you still planning to do the next semester there? I just think what you are doing is amazing. I would never have had the courage at your age to do that. I lived all over the states at that age and was often alone for weeks at a time and with a baby. But I don’t think I could have gone off to a country where they aren’t English speaking. I don’t see how you have any idea where you are going or where you are. I guess you adapt to your surrounding very well. Keep up the blog, I really enjoy it. Stay safe and away from the jellyfish. Love you young lady.
    Aunt Cheryl

    • This term will be over (latest) end of March, but it’s possible that I’ll be finished teaching sooner. The next term will start mid-May and last through the end of September. Yes! I am planning on continuing to the next semester here! Hopefully traveling between semesters a bit and then heading to Australia come November (possibly December). But who knows where I’ll go, really? Thanks for reading, Aunt Cheryl!

  2. You are having a good time! I am glad you can do things by yourself and still love every minute of it. Good for you. My kind of girl — independent, interested in people and things. Sorry about your jellyfish sting! That’s happened to many of us, I am afraid! Love you and miss you!!
    Mia

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