Turbulent Times in Thailand's Koh Tao
This title may appear dramatic, but I promise that when you finish reading this post you will agree that yes, it has been a touch turbulent. Sidenote: If you're looking for some sensationalist nonsense about last years murders in Koh Tao then bugger off, this is not for you!
Regular readers will know that I've been since last year, and if you follow me on Instagram, you'll probably think that life has been smooth sailing, sunsets, and cuddling cute kittens. That's partially true and I'm not going to lie and say that I haven't been having a bloody amazing time here so far, but there's another side to the story that I haven't talked about.
I've never wanted to live in a village, never. I have lived in London, all of my adult life and loved the anonymity and space you get living in a place with 8 million people who don't say hello, goodbye or sorry when they push you out of the way to get the last size 10 top in Primark.
I loved London life, and I never paused to consider that living in a tiny island with a population of about 2000 people may take a little getting used to.
I know, what a serious lack of common sense.
So, the upshot of this lack of common sense was wholly unprepared for what was soon to hit me. The gossip, the drama and the Koh Tao community board.
I wasn't prepared for everyone to know my business, to know when I went out and got embarrassingly drunk or when I crashed my bike or even when my boyfriend stayed out for 24 hrs without coming home (that was an epic fail!)
I didn't expect to know everybody else dramas and be put in awkward situations....or to put myself in awkward situations....or to take 25 minutes to walk 25 metres as I stopped and chatted to everyone.
And I certainly didn't expect to be kicked out of an apartment by a complete nutter. A nutter who subsequently accused me of slashing her tyres. Yeah, that happened. And no, I didn't slash her tyres.
The flipside of this small world is that when you need help, it's there. As unexpectedly as I found the intrusion of living in a small community -- so I found the kindness I've received very welcome too. From a toaster in my hungover hour of need, to the rescue of a puppy I was housesitting, and so many little acts along the way.
The people I have met here in Koh Tao, the life I have created, and continue to create, has been a bit of a journey. I like my alone time.....I need solitude to recharge my batteries and am a bit of a loner at heart. Despite wearing my heart on my sleeve a bit, I like my privacy, so this has been one hell of a learning curve
At the tender age of 31 and 11 months, I have learned to (almost) let go and stop caring what other people think. Yep, it took me that long to learn what most of you learned at University if not at school.
The most important lesson I have ever learned was one that I've known about forever, but like all good things, finally clicked while drinking wine on a friend's porch.
People say that travel changes you, helps you to learn about yourself and that is true. In the past two years, I have changed more than just my location. I have changed my career: my present and my future. All it took was a shift in my outlook, and yet it has taken me stopping and staying still for a few months to make me work out how to cope with village life.
I know two things for sure, I'm a city girl through and through and I need to be near the ocean.
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