We only had two weeks in Thailand during our six month trek through Asia and Russia, which in hindsight was certainly not enough time but at least a put-together tourist place like these islands made it easy for us to relax.
Anyone who has been to Thailand will tell you of ‘must go’ places; specific islands that your trip will be lost without. But in reality, as with all destinations, each island has its own magic, similar to each other in the same fantastical ways and yet special and unique enough to help create a very personal experience.
We spent three nights on Koh Tao during our short trip, at the suggestion of a friend, who later revealed to me that this moment I shared with this man and his fishing rod, is one she was privileged to experience as well.
It’s easy to get caught up in the tourist flow of a place, especially Thailand. Everywhere you look, there is something for YOU. Scuba diving lessons, ENGLISH breakfast, cheap room rates, FREE Internet with purchase of coffee. It seems as though this little piece of paradise is one big tourist resort, without the matching staff uniforms and the front lobby.
But these places are peoples’ homes, where they live, where they grew up, where their culture developed and you’re actually being let into a space that is being so graciously shared.
Our view from our hut was out onto the water. If I fell off the balcony, I’d only have to bump off a few rocks to be swimming. Every early evening, we sat out on the balcony, watching the day turn into night and relaxing before heading out for dinner and drinks on the beach.
On the first evening, as I turned to my left, he was there. Doing what it appeared he did every day: trying his hand at some dusk fishing.
This window into his world is a moment that cannot be read in a history book or discussed in a world issues class. You won’t find this in a travel brochure or even on a guided tour.
These are the moments world explorers live for. A chance at connection. The opportunity of discovery.
This is what gets us back on the road again.