What Do I Mean?
There are some moments in life that are truly defining. Moments where you have a deep realisation that something has changed, and it’s changed for the better. Moments like this tend to hit you like a ton of bricks and this one was no different.
Where was I?
I had arrived in Thailand only 6 days earlier. And had just got to my very first Thai island. The island of Koh Phangan. Typically known as the island of the famous/infamous “Full Moon Party” I had fortunately timed my arrival to miss this event. Getting a bit old and long in the tooth for that one.
What happened that day?
I had finally made the decision that I was going to postpone my leaving the island another 4 nights. And so I had to make my way into Thong Sala (the port town) to get my ticket amended for a later date. I’d gotten the typical open back taxi on the way down to the port. It was a beautiful day, with a bright blue sky and seas to match, hot but with a breeze good enough to cool you down.
I arrived in town and quickly located the ticket office, swiftly rearranged the departure date and was out exploring the town. Many shops lined the streets selling the typical full moon garb. With some ex-pats having set up specialist shops, selling handmade clothing at home prices.
I came to leave the town and head back to Haad Yao where I was staying in Shiralea Backpackers Resort. I might add this is almost as far away from Haad Rin (Full Moon Beach) as you can get.
Attempting to get a taxi and as per usual having to haggle the price down. I waited an inordinate amount of time for a similar taxi home. After giving up I thought “what the heck I’ll try a motorbike taxi”, cue the haggling to bring the price down to not ripping me off and we were off.
The Moment Life Changed
After hopping on the back of the motorbike we were hurtling down the streets leading back to Haad Yao. Passing beaches a few feet from the road with palm trees laying horizontally almost kissing the water. Into forests of palm trees, and this is when the moment hit me.
There was something about feeling the wind in my hair, the blue skies and the towering palm trees that made me realise this was it. This was how I wanted my life to be. I had a grin from ear to ear and a sense of euphoria that I’ve had numerous times since I began travelling. But this particular moment will stay in my mind forever.
Sometimes you can’t put into words a shift you feel. When something feels right, when exhilaration grabs you and you truly feel free. Free to live a life you never even knew was right for you.
We continued on towards my destination. Where I’d made friends that are still dear to me now. Along winding roads past a lake, up onto a cliff overlooking the beautiful blue seas and a pirate themed bar jutting out over the ocean.
Arriving back at my hostel I felt a sense of belonging and rightness that I had not felt for many years prior to that moment.
What Did I Realise?
In that moment of realisation I knew I had to do what it took to make travelling a part of my life long-term. I realised that travel was for me and the freedom it brings is something I have to hold on to.