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!
Beautiful pictures! I want to read all your adventures not just some of them. We just got back from Belize and it was wonderful! My posts to my girls were long and detailed, one daughter said she loved my updates! I just wanted to remember everything! Thank you again for your posts!
I bet she did! I sometimes send super long details emails to my family while I’m on a trip as my way of journaling it 🙂 They love the little preview before the blog posts come out!
You must be missing them right now. Cheers to many more amazing memorable adventures with your KT crew.
I certainly am Julia. I know I’m lucky to have such an incredible crew.
A great reflection of your life in Koh Tao. But as age and stage changes, i’m sure you’ll find more to share with us or even a new place to call home! ????
Changes are indeed afoot 🙂 2019 is going to be a big year, methinks.
Will be looking forward to reading all about it. I’m a Therapist by trade and if honest, I really enjoy listening too and observing the changes you create, as you grow as a person. As well as the destinations you visit and the trips you go on!! 🙂
So beautiful and I feel Your Passion for the Place !Never Stop Posting What is In Your Heart
Thank you Janice! I try to follow my heart when blogging <3
What happy photos of what looks like a great place to visit
Happy photos indeed <3 Thank you Jo-Anne!
I love following along on your journey! Your writing style has always felt so authentic. It’s so enjoyable to read.
Aw, Rachel, that warms my heart — can’t think of a great compliment than authenticity in this space. Thank you.
Sometimes the wandering heart tell us when its time to move, and other times it implores us to stay awhile and soak it all in. Both are important and interesting!
Love this comment, Mary. Beautiful and poignant for me right now.
I love reading about your adventures all around the world but I would miss those more “casual life” posts if you chose not to write them anymore. (Okay, the fact that casual life in your case is having lunch on the beach with friends before going back to work or hiking in the jungle may have something to do with it…)
Your sense of words and pictures makes every post you write interesting.
I’m touched, Tania. Love hearing that!
Of course you should keep posting about Koh Tao! It’s a beautiful island, and it’s a place you love. What else is needed for a successful blog post? 🙂
When you put it that way, it does sound like a recipe for success 🙂
I like your underwater pictures.
I feel like going scuba diving soon.
Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
You are so welcome! I ALWAYS feel like going scuba diving soon 😉
SO want to travel to Thailand. The people, food and fishing seem awesome!
I can’t speak to the fishing, but the people and food are for sure worth traveling for!