Written on December 24th, 2016.
It’s been an amazing trip so far, for me personally. I started a few posts when I was on my way out here, not quite sure how I felt about coming back to Khao Lak after so many years. Not sure how I would feel about, or manage, all the changes I expected. And a lot has changed. For better and for worse. But all in all it has been a very happy, healthy and good experience for me. And at the end of the day, nothing has really changed here – for better and for worse! LOL
It is always hard to go back to a place that has so many memories. A place that’s had such an impact on your life, as Khao Lak has had on mine. This is where, for the first time in my life I had the courage to do something for me. Not what was right. Not what was smart. And not what was expected. But something that made me happy. And it seems that I have come full circle again and being here has helped me make some decisions that have been playing at the back of my mind for the last few months, since I started re-evaluating my life. I don’t have all the answers to the where and how exactly, but I am close on the what, and I have figured out the why. I have written about that a few times and I will continue to do so probably, until I get to the place I want to be in life. Until I find myself and what makes me truly happy again.
I am at the end of the beginning of Chaper III in my life I think.
The first time I came here was December 2003. 13 years ago. I fell in love with this place. I fell in love with the people and the lifestyle. I fell utterly and completely head over heels with the diving. I did my first liveaboard and I loved it so much that I booked a second one as soon as I got back on land. And I decided it was time to quit a job that didn’t make me happy and shed all the expectations, tell Luther to “shove it”, go home and quit that job. I came back six weeks later to start chapter two.
Chapter II: I dared doing what I really wanted to do for the first time in my life.
The year I spent out here changed my life forever. I went through a lot of good. I did my Rescue Diver course and a great Dive Master Trainee program. This is what truly made me a good Diver. I had my first motorcycle accident and my first stitches. 11 of them to be exact, when I sliced my calf open on an old ruddy bike. I worked as a DM freelancing here, on Koh Samui and on Phi Phi island. I created some beautiful memories. I started working full time at Sea Dragon in the season 2004 and did my Instructor Development Course and became a PADI Instructor. And then it was Boxing Day 2004 and life fell apart for so many thousands of people. That changed my life forever. I saw things most people live a whole life without seeing but I was lucky. We all were. We didn’t lose anyone. At least not instantly.
I did come back twice, for Christmas 2005 and 2006 but since then I haven’t been able to, so you can understand the decision to come here was both difficult and emotional. But it was the right decision. And it was the right time in my life. Living in the now, not in the past, helped me see that and helped me do the thing that turned out to be right for me.
I am very lucky. I have a great friend out here who I know is a friend for life. We haven’t seen each other in some five years but we picked right up, just where we left things off last time. You know those people are the best ones and that they are the real friends. He is spoiling me rotten and I am enjoying the hell out of it because I really needed that right now. And we have a great time! Whether we get up to some shenanigans or just hang out, doing nothing together. So I’m super relaxed and I’m simply enjoying the shit out of living life right now. Enjoying being alive and being in the moment.
No plans. No regrets. No worries.
Being back on the boats these last few days is another experience that has been really good for me. Very relaxing. Seems my average heart rate dropped by approximately 20 bpm! Just diving, eating and sleeping. You don’t have much energy for anything else when you do 3-4 deep dives a day, at 26-30 metres really. And the Similan Islands are still as beautiful as ever. Sure, affected by coral bleach a bit, which is very sad to see, but frankly it could have been a lot worse and I expected it to be. So it was a pleasant surprise! The fish population has been dramatically reduced though, due to illegal fishing mostly and that makes me angry. It is heartbreaking to see how the stupidity and greed of mankind rapes our beautiful planet.
Still it was an amazing four days and four nights. I’ve seen some spectacular marine life. I have gone to sleep every night under the stars, with so little light pollution that you can see almost every constellation and every star. I have snorkelled with four Blacktip Reef sharks. Really close to me and really curious about me, giving me the opportunity to watch them for a long time. So close I could look into their beautiful eyes and study their powerful physique and yet so graceful movements.
I fell in love all over again.
With this amazing life. With these beautiful animals and all the weird critters in the sea. I found true happiness and peace and I want it all, all the time. Again.
Life is simply too short not to enjoy every single moment of it. To the fullest. It is time to start planning for Chapter IV I think… 😊