Apologies for the light posting again this week, guys — it’s been an emotional roller coaster around here! In the past week I turned 25, showed one of my favorite travel buddies of all times around Koh Tao, and said goodbye to the island that I never quite seem ready to leave. My friends on Koh Tao and around the world made sure I was ridiculously spoiled with love on my birthday — I still can’t believe what a special few days it was. However, that only made it harder to say goodbye to my little island family. The past two and a half months have been the happiest and most content I’ve felt in quite some time, and I’ve long been in denial about them coming to an end.
I’m currently in Bangkok, where I’m bidding farewell to my favorite country in style for a few days before flying to Cambodia for a week of catching up with an old friend. Then it’s home for the holidays — a fact that my brain still hasn’t quite wrapped itself around. I promise to actually write more than one post this week — pinky swear, in fact.
Much love and happy Monday!
A birthday getaway at Sai Nuan Beach
Mind-boggling sunset views from Aminjirah
My friend Katy making wishes for the new year on Loy Krathong
Which photo is your favorite?
Seeing as I just booked Roctopus to do my open water, your stories and photos of Koh Tao have clearly influenced me! My question for you is, why leave?
Aw, so happy! You’re going to love it! I am leaving to go home for the holidays. I promised my family I’d do it, and despite my sadness at saying goodbye I really do want to go home every other year for Christmas and Thanksgiving 🙂
It’s crazy to believe the holidays are almost here – it feels like (as a reader, at least) that you just got to Thailand the other day.
Are you planning to return in the new year?
I am definitely going to be back in 2015 — the question is just when. And yes, these three months just flew by!
That sunset!! I love how blissed out you always seem when writing about Koh Tao. And if you’re anything like me I’m sure you’ll find yourself returning to Thailand again and again.
I think this is already my fifth or sixth trip to Southeast Asia. It’s home! And I love that my Koh Tao happies seep into my writing x
Happy belated birthday! I am glad you rang it in with good friends and full of happiness.
Also – photo D!
Thanks Emily, I did indeed 🙂
First of all, happy 25th! This week I’m going to go with D. That sunset is unbelievable and I must say I’m missing good sunsets here in Jakarta! For some reason I’m sad that you’ll be leaving Southeast Asia and Thailand, I suppose because I love reading about it! I’m sure you’ll be back on your favorite rock of Koh Tao soon enough though! As always I’m excited to see what’s next for you 🙂 Enjoy Cambodia!!
That is too sweet Justine… I’m feeling the pain right now! Thanks for the sympathy pangs 🙂
Happy Happy Birthday Alex! E for me this week — candles make for such beautiful, warm light.
Koh Tao indeed seems like a magical place, so much so that I’m recommending my coworker head there for the Xmas holidays, solely on the strength of your posts! He’s a first time visitor to Southeast Asia, looking for good diving & delicious food so I thought it was a no-brainer no?
No brainer indeed! The only problem — he’ll be spoiled for life.
So many gorgeous photos, I can’t choose just one! I love Photo A, B, and D. And happy belated birthday!
Thanks Ashley! It was a big one…
Maybe after the Holidays you can get back to Ko Tao and stay longer! I did notice you hadn’t been posting as much 😉 but it’s worth it. have fun…. blog later!
Ha, yeah, I can’t believe how badly I’m slacking! I promise to make up for it over the holidays x
Happy belated 25th! What a lovely way to spend it.
I loved C and then my heart absolutely skipped when I saw that SUNSET!
It was pretty insane… felt like I was losing my mind while I watched it!
Belated birthday greetings Alex. I’m choosing photo D this week. Have drink on me.
Thanks Steve! I definitely toasted to the whole Wanderland community over the birthday celebrations 🙂
Loving Photo D this week. And happy birthday! Glad to hear it was so nice 🙂
It was lovely. I felt spoiled! Thanks, Emily.
I’m a sucker for a sunset so I have to go with D.
What a gift to be able to spend your birthday in such a beautiful place with people who mean a lot to you. Best wishes for the next year!
Thank you so much Mary. It could not have been a better way to celebrate a quarter century.
Definitely going with E.
I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while, but it’s even crazy to me how quickly your time in Koh Tao has gone by! Must have been even faster for you. Can’t wait to read more about your time there!
I don’t know how the last three months slipped through my fingers. It’s insane. Big sigh…
Loooooove photo E! And totally get how hard it is saying goodbye to Koh Tao. Hopefully there is a return trip in the near future?
I wouldn’t say the NEAR future… but it is on the books. More will be revealed soon!
I adore the pic of your mate Katy making wishes for new year. I can’t wait to do this on my Asian adventures later this year. Happy belated birthday too. 🙂
It was so special to see at Yi Peng in Chiang Mai, and then to relive in Koh Tao again on my birthday 🙂 Happy days!
Happy belated birthday – sounds like it was a fantastic one! My favourite is photo B, theres something about it that seems raw and real and beautiful. Despite missing Koh Tao, it will be so lovely to spend the holidays with your loved ones!
It will indeed. I am already looking forward to big reunion hugs with each and every one of them.
Happy Birthday Alex! I pick photo A because that’s exactly where I want to be laying right now.
I don’t know how long you’re in Bangkok, but if you have time for a reader meet up that would be awesome!
Hey Miquel, sadly it was a total whirlwind of a trip! I’m already in Cambodia. I hope to be back again soon though 🙂
I love all of these! But I think A gets my vote because I want to sit in those chairs right now. Looking forward to reading a few more of your posts about what you’ve been up to! Enjoy Cambodia!
I would do almost anything to be back in them right this second, Laura. It was a dream!
Gonna go with D. I’m such a sucker for a gorgeous sunset. This one looks like fire. Is it common to see one like that in Koh Tao nightly? Stunning! (and happy bday!)
Definitely wouldn’t say it’s common… still a special treat 🙂 At least during these rainy months, it’s usually pretty cloudy.
Love them all, but photo A makes me want to be right there! Happy birthday!
Me too. One of my favorite new memories in Koh Tao!
I love photo C, that dewey hibiscus is dreamy!
And that was an iPhone shot. That damn phone amazes me!
Photo B for me!
You’ve sucked me in with the blue water and lush palms… not that we’re lacking in either at the moment on the beach in El Salvador 😉
I’m actually heading to El Salvador soon myself, Chris! Looking forward to reading your posts about it… and thanks for the birthday wishes!
Feel free to shoot me any questions you may have and I’ll see if I can be of any help! 🙂
…and I almost forgot, Happy Birthday! Or perhaps more fittingly, Feliz Cumpleanos!
Happy B-Day! I am excited to go back to Koh Tao in a few weeks. I have one question … Where did you find a room to rent long term and how much did you pay for it? 🙂
Hey Nika! You can find rooms from anywhere from 6,000 baht/month for the most basic to 20-30,000 baht/month for the most luxurious. Check out the Koh Tao Rooms for Rent page on Facebook, and drive around looking for “For Rent” signs when you arrive. Hope that helps!
I’m reading your blog for quite some time now and decided to visit Koh Tao in February for a few weeks.
I would really love do learn yoga and maybe do my Advanced Open Water Diver. Do you have any recommendations for me (especially for yoga classes)?
Would love to hear from you,
Hey Lisa! Have you seen my post “Staying Fit on Koh Tao?” It has a list of yoga studios I’ve frequented on the island 🙂 Best of luck!
So you found paradise… Wow!!
It definitely is my own personal paradise, and many other people’s too 🙂