When people say Thailand is beautiful, they’re not kidding. In fact, I’m not sure beautiful is the right adjective. It is outstanding, heavenly, stunning, amazing, literally perfect in so many ways.
I have finally made it to the islands. Utterly breathtaking. Yesterday was a bit stressful after my plane was diverted to Phuket as apparently Krabi airport was closed. Luckily, I had walked 4 miles in the airport while waiting for the first plane. There was no chance of walking anywhere before the second plane .. the airport was tiny, cramped & boiling .. like torture knowing how epic the weather was outside.
In typical Thai style, there was no explanation as to why the airport was closed or any hint when we would get to our final destination. I’m learning however, that getting stressed won’t change the situation. It is what it is, whether I go mental or get pissed or cry or moan. It just won’t change a thing.
Luckily, I met some great people from Vancouver in Canada .. Tom, Dennis, Laury & Debbie .. this blog is for you .. and Debbie, you don’t need to phone the Embassy! I’m safe! They kindly lent me their charger to charge my phone and also let me share their cab to our final destination .. thanks guys, you rock! Not you though Tom 😂
We eventually landed in Krabi after dark & negotiated a rate to get to our hotels. The Canadians were dropped off first and I was left alone. I think thoughts of ‘I hope I’ll be ok’ & ‘let’s hope he knows where he’s going’ will always occur as a girl, irrelevant of where I am or where I’m going, but he was so miserable, I knew I’d be ok.
After trying to drop me at two random hotels (he refused to look at my map or my instructions in Thai of where we going), I eventually made it, tired and a little deflated. I guess, like life, travelling isn’t always quite the dream you’d like it to be ..
After drawing breath, having a word with myself & assessing my new surroundings, I ventured out of the hotel. It was very quiet with only the sound of the waves crashing to the shore. I had a brief thought of ‘I wish it was a bit more lively than this’ and was quite pleased to find that there is still a glimmer of sociable Sober Fish in there somewhere! I carried on walking towards some lights and eventually found the ‘action’ .. a cluster of cute little beach bars, music playing & people chilling, and realised I’d stumbled upon a little gem of an area in Krabi. I had my standard coconut milkshake & chicken & cashew nuts to die for before heading to bed, excited about tomorrow and what this place would look like in the daylight.
After another fantastic nights sleep .. it’s all about the air con and the ear plugs and the mosquito bracelets .. only 1 bite so far .. I woke up with excitement to see outside. The sun was just coming up and I could see the sea from my balcony. It was stunning.
After yesterday’s waste of a day and the amount of travelling I’ve done since I’ve arrived, I’ve now made the decision to go to Koh Lanta tomorrow and stay there for 5 days rather than keep moving. I want to go on boat trips & enjoy the sun rather than continually packing up my case & wasting valuable time. Oh and to all those who said pack light, I hear ya. Next time, I’ll listen.
Today is about being lazy. I’m on the beach with my book & finally in my bikini, soaking up the rays. The sea is as clear as, warm like a bath. There is a slight breeze and I’m in my happy place.
I really couldn’t wish to be anywhere better. It really is Heaven.
Today, it became clear that this was the day I’d been preparing for. This was the day that all early mornings in the rain & the walking & the weight loss & Soberdom was all about.
And I didn’t even know it.
Pre Soberdom, I hated trainers & rucksacks & mountains & exercising & ‘wasting’ a day in the sun. I would never have been up before sunrise on holiday .. I would’ve only just got in .. and would’ve hated getting on a bus full of strangers, out of my comfort zone, to go & see waterfalls & pagodas & trek through the Doi Inthanon National Park.
I would’ve been hungover & moody & dehydrated .. in fact, the thought of doing anything like today would never have entered my head.
Today, after bolting down a coffee & a banana for breakfast, I was picked up at 7am in a van by my tour guide Boon. My fellow passengers were 3 solo girl travellers from Lithuania, Austria & Germany plus a lovely family of 4 from France.
We headed out of Chaing Mai at rush hour. This translates to no one going anywhere very fast but use whichever means possible to undercut each other, the size of the gap between vehicles irrelevant.
Our first stop was the waterfall .. it was spectacular! We walked up to it for photos then had a coffee, sitting & chilling & marvelling at its magnificence. Then we all piled back into the van to the next stop.
When we arrived at a clearing on the side of the mountain road, we were told this was where our trek began with a small Thai man who apparently spoke good English. This was a blatant lie but his lack of English actually made the trek far more real & endearing.
The trek started uphill. I was thankful for my recent trip to Manchester & my hill climbs! For once, I wasn’t the heavy breather at the back, the one in the stupid footwear, the one struggling to keep up. I was strong & confident & raring to go.
The trek took us through forests & through strawberry fields where we ate the fruit fresh from the ground. We saw coffee plants & bamboo & ate cinnamon fresh from the tree. We trekked on paths I would’ve been petrified of before & crossed rickety bamboo bridges to get to waterfalls on the other side.
Lunch was at a traditional Thai village. It was truly gorgeous .. rice, fresh soup, chicken & cashew nuts & vegetables, followed by fruit. Nothing was too much trouble and after all the energy exerted in the morning, was very welcome.
After lunch, we got back in our trusty van & went up to the Royal pagodas at the top of the mountain, built for the former King & Queen of Thailand. Each pagoda is at the top of a massive set of steps and is very opulent as are the grounds surrounding each one. We then headed back home.
I feel like I’ve just woken up. That this is what it’s all about. Getting out there, seeing things, immersing myself in culture, seeing how other people live. It is not about sitting by the pool & downing gin or hangovers & endless late nights.
It is about the moment, the here & now, being present.
Some people have asked if I feel safe here. I can honestly say I’ve never felt safer. I feel invincible, untouchable, ‘with it’ .. I simply can’t understand why I haven’t done this sooner and know, without doubt, that I will definitely be doing it again.
The Soberfish has landed! And has a bed! And WIFI! And survived 2 planes, 3 airports, 1 security check from hell, 1 baggage claim from hell & 1 taxi ride like no other!
I have no idea what the time is. Well I do but my body is all over the place. I can’t imagine doing this type of travel with alcohol in the mix. It will be interesting to see what the jet lag will be like as my last long haultrip, pre Soberdom, was to Vegas & the tiredness was pretty horrendous. I’m praying for a miracle this time.
The flight from London to Mumbai was pretty good. As I’m tight and refuse to pay any extra for the seat I’d already paid enough for, I checked in for free within the last 12 hours before take off & by some small miracle (even though I obviously saw the seating plan), bagged a seat with an exit directly behind it so had no annoying person kicking me for 8 hours. Result!
The people next to me were fairly calm & normal .. the people in front of me were not so calm & normal. There were severe ‘chair wars’ for the first few hours .. the guy next to me battling back and forth with the bolshy teenager in front. Luckily I escaped the agro, even when she moved to the seat in front of me. I swear it was my PMA (positive mental attitude) that did it .. or maybe it was just because she finally fell asleep.
Mid flight however, I had a massive wave of anxiety .. it literally overtook my rational mind .. ‘what the ACTUAL f**k was I doing?’, ‘what if I miss my connecting flight?’, ‘what if I get lost?’, ‘what if my bag doesn’t get there?’.
Jesus. #overthinkersanonymous anyone?
I literally had to ride it out, patiently telling myself ‘it’ll be fine’ and ‘it’s a bit bloody late to start freaking out now’. Like most unwelcome thoughts, it passed and was replaced by excitement again. A pure emotional rollercoaster!!
My anxiety reminded me of alcohol cravings. It arrived out of nowhere .. unnecessary, irritating, fierce. It’s quite interesting that if you remove any options … in my case, to escape and run .. and HAVE to deal with it, it will eventually go away. It’s all about confronting how you feel head on & battling it out. Ahhhh the power of the mind.
Soberfish 1 Brain 0 ✅
In other news, the J Pillow is the best £19.95 I’ve ever spent. And I had an aisle seat! It’s like your own personal portable shoulder without protruding bone. Who needs a man?!!
I urge you to get one, even if it does look a bit phallic. For extra kudos, you could even pair it with a Love Honey blindfold like I did … now that’s what you call cougar fashion.
The flight landed 45 minutes early in Mumbai which was extremely lucky as the fiasco that was the security area took way longer than the 2 hour stopover. There were hardly any staff so they were multitasking spectacularly badly between check in staff, baggage control and any other jobs that may need a human! It was more Faulty Towers than Faulty Towers. Just what you need with no sleep!
And now I am here. The final destination for the next two days. I’m writing this by the roof top pool, surrounded by high buildings and smog. And it’s hot. Gloriously hot. I plan to have a snooze and a shower before going for a wander nearby and grabbing some food.
Until later Fish Followers 🐟🐟
#day442 (I think) the adventure has begun