Confused on where we are? I’m catching up on the black hole of content from May of 2016 to April of 2017 — when I jumped forward to blog the summer of 2017 as it was happening. This post is from December of 2016 through February of 2017, when I returned to Koh Tao for the season, and I can’t wait to turn my detailed notes and journals into more blog posts Thailand and Bali next! My apologies for any confusion with the timeline, and thanks for sticking with me.
By the way, craving some Southeast Asia adventure in your life? My Bali Blogging + Entrepreneurship retreat is still accepting applications and my Thailand Dive + Yoga retreat in August now has one spot remaining!
It’s a funny thing, making a living as a travel blogger but developing a home base that consists of an 8.1 square mile island. Sure, there are endless backdrops for beachy instagrams, a constant influx of fellow travelers inspiring me with stories of their recent adventures, and lots of long, easy days set aside for quality laptop time. But, there’s also a fairly confined amount of fresh blog content that can be created from it.
While on one hand I feel my eyes are constantly being opened to new hidden gems of Koh Tao, on the other I feel like I know this island inside out — I literally wrote a book on it! I absolutely glow when I think of the feedback I’ve gotten on my guidebook and am so thrilled to be helping people discover their own Koh Tao-shaped version of bliss. But as the years tick on, sometimes I wonder… how much more does my audience really want to hear about my own time there? After all, it’s pretty routine.
There are hikes through the island’s lush mountains, which always humble me and seem to make the island multiply in size.
(New twist: I tried solo hiking with podcasts for the first time, found myself terrified at what I thought was Lost’s smoke monster transported to a new island, then realized was Koh Tao’s legendary band of wild hogs.)
There are stolen beach days with old friends — or more realistically, stolen beach lunch hours before we all scramble back to our desks, since there are bills in paradise too.
There are girl’s nights at Banyan. (Or there were — cue me getting lost in a sea of nostalgia and homesickness.)
There are birthdays we go all out for — perhaps even heading out on an infamous, tourist-filled Koh Tao Pub Crawl.
There are more girl’s nights on the barstools at Banyan.
There are nights we break the mold and venture down to the beach.
And there are — yup, you guessed it — more girl’s nights at Banyan.
There are visitors from friends I burst with pride showing off my island home to.
(New twist: an influx of Pratt alumni Brooklyn-ites, including Becca and a few weeks later, our friend Steve, both of whom got stuck on Koh Tao in the midst of larger Southeast Asia sojourns — a familiar tale even for those who don’t have a local guide!)
There were spontaneous days off when the sun made a rare rainy season appearance, where everything but our beach bags was dropped as we made mad dashes for the sand.
And there were even days when I set my alarm for stupid o’clock, and watched the sun rise from the deck of a dive boat.
Even on days when the visibility is poor and the current is cracking, there’s nothing like a day underwater with friends.
So, yeah, my months on Koh Tao might create very little fresh, unique new content for this little ‘ol blog. Sometimes I wonder if I should bother posting about them at all. But then I imagine a me far in the future, looking back at my archives and marveling at the years I spent oscillating between roving the world on wild adventures and the privilege of taking this tiny little island and turning it into a home.
And I want to remember all of it.
Thanks for coming along for every part of this wild ride.
Heading to Koh Tao and want to know the best restaurants, beaches, dive shops and beyond? Check out the Wanderland Guide to Koh Tao!