Home sweet home. It’s been over a week since I arrived back in Koh Tao, moved into my apartment (if you follow me on Snapchat you’ve already had the full tour!), bought myself a motorbike and started settling into my routine for the next six months. Life is good. Honestly, I can’t imagine being in any other state other than still — work and business are still a hot mess as I play catch up from my ridiculously indulgent summer, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the first time in a long time. And for that, I know that this is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve got more thoughts to share on this lifestyle shift later this week, but suffice it to say I can’t wait to see where this journey in going nowhere (well, almost nowhere) brings me.
Also coming up this week is another Wanderland Guide to Travel Planning post, a monthly roundup post, and a peek at my Father’s Day trip to California. And since photos of me sitting on my laptop are boring, here are a few snaps from the moments I snuck away in the past seven days. Happy Monday, friends.
My juice-bar-owning friend Janine joining me for a swim
Wanderland Basecamp for the next six months
iPhone panorama feature doing this Koh Tao viewpoint proud
Which photos is your favorite?
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Introducing Alex in Wanderland’s featured bloggers for November!
Silvia is a duel citizen of the United States and Norway – and her international adventures don’t end there. She’s lived in seven countries and visited over seventy, and chronicles it all on her unabashedly girly travel blog, Heart My Backpack.
Why I Love This Blog: Heart My Backpack just got a fresh new fall makeover — and it’s looking glittery gorgeous! Whether you’re a first time reader or a long time fan, click over to see all the fun new features.
Cheskie — short for Francesa, if she doesn’t mind me telling you so! — asks a pretty good questions in her tagline. Why should we only get one year? She decided to turn her gap year into a Gap Life, and has been living and working in Australia ever since.
Why I Love This Blog: There aren’t many bloggers nor travelers with whom I can bond over a shared love of long haul flights. This girl’s got it!
Amy is equal parts funny and reflective — a killer combination. Her blog covers her travels around her current home in the UK, her recent one in Thailand, and plenty of places in between.
Why I Love This Blog: A travel blog that works in recipes is lovely. A travel blog that works in a recipe for banana nutella cake? I will start an award show and make an a new award category specifically for this blog.
Y’all know Amanda over at A Dangerous Business, right? Girlfriend claims to be just a small town Ohio girl trying to see the world, but I think she might secretly be some kind of blogging sorcerer, because she always writes the posts I want to read before I even knew I wanted to read them! I dare you to check out her site and not open, like, seven tabs.
Why I Love This Blog: Amanda and I have fairly different travel interests, yet hers is one of my go-to sites when I’m planning a trip and want to see if my fave bloggers have already been to my destination. She’s one of the players I respect most in this blogging game.
A born and bred New Englander, Mary travels the world taking gorgeous photos and collecting travel tales to share on her blog, Nomadic Elephant. Currently based in Maine, her weekend getaways come with a side serving of quaint.
Why I Love This Blog: We’ve got no shortage of blog facelifts in this featured blogger section this month! I’m loving Mary’s updated logo that reflects her blog’s namesake — pop over and let her know what you think too!
Interested in becoming a featured blogger or shop? Read more here. Limited spots still remaining for March and beyond.
Really excited to see you back in Koh Tao, can’t wait to see this place through you again! 🙂
I couldn’t be happier to be here. Thanks, Char 🙂
Photo C is just gorgeous, I’m not at all jealous as I type from wet and windy England! 😉
Actually, it’s monsoon right now so it’s pretty wet here right now too! But had to sneak away on that beautiful sunny day…
I really wonder how does your apartment look like. Hope you’ll share more photos on the blog.
I’ll probably do another house tour post again at some point! 🙂
So glad I’ve found another long haul lover, makes posting some ridiculously unflattering pics worth it ha! What’s your snapchat name?
I’m @wanderlandalex! See ya over there 🙂
I love Photo B! That seems like a gorgeous place to call home.
Thanks Marni! It’s so nice to have a place to call that.
I’m going to go with C because…wow! Also, how does Koh Tao compare to the other nearby islands in terms of cost of living? I might be looking to have a different “home base” somewhere in SE Asia next summer for about four months and I’m just starting to explore my options. I want to live comfortably but frugally(ish). And strong internet is super important. I figured you’re the girl to ask! Anyway, glad to hear you’re loving life on Koh Tao 🙂
Well, Koh Tao is really the only Thai island I’ve ever spent more than a few nights on, but I think it would be pretty similar to it’s neighbors Phangan and Samui. Maybe I need to do a cost of living post for Koh Tao the way I did for Gili Trawangan. One thing I know off the top of my head — the internet here is WAY better!
I love how you captured the beauty of Koh Tao in picture C. Picture C catches my attention among others. So beautiful.
Thank you Marie. It’s a gorgeous island!
Photo B, because I saw your house on Snapchat and it’s so cute! I love how you’ve made it your own already! 🙂
Thanks Dominique! I was a busy little bee last week getting settled in 🙂 Feels good to be “home!”
I could just do with a dip in the warm water surrounding Koh Tao right now!
Then maybe a drink from the juice bar. Coconut shake with whiskey!! 🙂
Mmmmm… I love me a good coconut shake!
Of course the viewpoint photo is the winner! Alex – Which viewpoint is the easiest to visit or u would recommend, say from Mae Haad or Sairee? I really was at split decision the last time I was there, missed that activity on that trip.
The best one from Sairee is Fraggle Rock… if you search my site, you’ll find a post on it!
Nice to read you already settled a bit and feel at home. I’m looking forward to read more from this adventure 🙂 Oh, and definitely photo C!
It is amazing what that little iPhone can do! Thanks Rianne.
Cant beat a good panoramic so I say C. Great spot Koh Tao, went on a snorkeling trip there when staying in Koh Samui. Enjoy your next 6 months, I’m sure you will!
I can already feel it’s going to go fast!
That panorama is killing me.
I’m starting to regret I skipped Koh Tao in my first visit to Thailand.
Oh well, just another excuse to come back (as if I needed one more)
Koh Tao is definitely a good reason to rush back to Thailand!
Alex, I am choosing C. I’m amazed what you can now do with a phone.
I know! I’m constantly impressed by what mine can capture. Sometimes it makes me feel sill hauling around my dSLR 🙂
I’ll go with A because that lady right there is one beautiful soul & my friend also… x
She’s the best, isn’t she!
Hi, I have just started my travel adventure. But never been to Asian Countries. Nice Article!
Hopefully Koh Tao makes the cut for you on your travels 🙂
Not traveling to new places does not equate to not having material for new posts. I can easily think of a hundred!
Update on your fav snorkel/dive sites! Sounds like Nangyuan has changed a lot since your 2011 guide, and not for the better 🙁
Cost of living, like you mentioned above.
Best place to hunt down groceries for the backpackers who intend to cook their own meals.
Cost of longtail, cost of taxi.
Revisit hiking trails and take photos along the way to help the less adventurous adventurer choose the correct turning and know that they’re on tract? Maybe sketch a map? (!!!)
Risk banana bar a second time xD
Last but not least, photos, photos and more photos!
Absolutely! Koh Tao is an endless source of content 🙂 And I still have SO many posts about my summer travels to share in the meantime! Thanks for all the inspiration!
How dreamy that you’re living in there for the next 6 months! I’m sure it will provide a great location for business building plus relaxing, which is the best of both worlds.
And love the featured blogger content, so great to see other sites highlighted!
Thanks Allie! I’m glad it’s been a hit.
Photo C! So beautiful:) Makes me want to hop on a plane and go back to Koh Tao to go diving again! So jealous.. it’s dark here in Norway already at 5pm.. haha:/
Oh man, that is my least favorite part of winter. I need big hits of Vitamin D to stay happy!
That flower-shaped light bulbs boost my mood this evening! Thanks for that!
They do the same for me every day. Love them!
Wow, such beautiful place and amazing photos. Keep enjoying Koh Tao and post more greats photos of Thailand.
More coming your way every week!
Photo C for sure! I’ve never used that tool in iPhone and it looks great! It reminded me that I need to get to Koh Tao.
It took me an embarassingly long time to figure out how to work it but once I did I was in love!
Photo B is my fave! Love the way you’ve captured the string lights — I’m a little obsessed with all dainty lighting and those are gorgeous!!
Enjoy 6 whole months in Koh Tao – wow! How are you able to stay so long, visa wise?! I just checked out your year four roundup post and remember your goal of slowing down and commitment – you’re doing it!! 🙂
I am doing it — and it’s about time! Before I left LA I secured a double-entry visa, which means twice I can get stamped in for 60 days, and can extend that for another 30 at an immigration office inside the country. So that’s 180 days right there, with two quick pops out of the country to restart the next visa and two trips to an immigration office (none on Koh Tao, so requires a little trip) to extend. I don’t mind as I like to have a little getaway once a month!
Hey Alex…love your blog site and this recent entry. I am with Jael with posting a blog re current situations on Koh Tao. We have been told to avoid it due to corruption, crime and other problems. However, we are drawn by its beauty above and below the water…and btw photo C gets my vote. Super jealous of your home for the next 6 months…but good on you. We hope to be there before your 6 months is up. Could you give me a little insight in to what your thoughts are on the advice we were given re the dangers!!! Thanks Alex and enjoy yourself…and yep LIFE IS GOOD!!! Michaela x
Thanks Michaela! As for Koh Tao’s safety: everyone has to make their own decision and set their own comfort levels, but I think the fact that I return to Koh Tao over and over again speaks for itself. I continue to feel safe here as a woman living alone. Murders and rapes sadly happen anywhere in the world and while the investigation of the infamous one here has been tragically mishandled by police, it was the first recorded murder of foreigners ever on Koh Tao. Considering the number of tourists here each year since the 1980’s those are impressive stats compared to many other popular travel destinations. Best of luck with your decision!