Living in paradise

Trip Start Feb 25, 2010
1
5
17
Trip End Jan 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
Adaman Jungle resort

Flag of Thailand  , Krabi,
Saturday, March 6, 2010

I just want to start by thanking everyone for their comments and emails and support. It is always fun to still feel connected with all of you in some way. It's funny, I have only been gone for slightly over one week, yet it feels like I have been gone so much longer. Not because the days are monotonous, they are anything BUT that, but because so much happens in a single day. On an island like this, I use the term island because it is only accessible by boat and cut off from the main world, time is not a valuable commodity. Everyone has different budgets, different plans, and different ideas of what they want to get out of this place. But one thing everyone has is a seemingly unlimited amount of time. I would hate to have this much time back in the U.S. I would be bored, restless, depressed. I am forced to ponder, why am I so happy here with all of this time? I came to the realization that my home, my bungalow, is a place that I eat, a place I shower, and a place I sleep. It is NOT a place that I live. At what point did the function of a home go from the basic human requirement of shelter, to a place where people spend the majority of their free time and for many families even the majority of their work time. I do so much with my time here, there is so much to do on this tiny island, whether it be slack lining, rock-climbing, swimming, snorkeling, hiking, eating, sun-tanning, playing music, playing frisbee, enjoying the wild-life, talking with friends, experimenting with food, having a drink; the list goes on. However when I really look at the list of the things I've been doing for the past few days, there is not one of them that I could not easily do within a 30 minute drive from my home in California. Chances are, even with this realization, if I were to return to my home in the U.S. I would probably consider going outside and doing something but end up taking the easy and lazy route and sit on my couch watching TV. I suppose when that situation presents itself, I will have to ask myself if I want a life that is extra ordinary, or a life that is extraordinary.

All philosophical reflection aside, life in my paradise is progressing quite well. My insurance covered the loss of my camera and I went out and bought a new one today, so expect to see some stunning visuals in the near future! There are actually two beaches on this island, Tonsai beach and Rai Leh beach. Rai Leh Beach has a gorgeous beach with plenty of sand, turquoise water, and all sorts of travelers to socialize with. The inland of this area is home to some of the nicer resorts, and Rai Leh beach is reserved for the tourists. Tonsai is where I have made my home, the beach isn’t quite as nice but the community and the natural beauty is what makes this place exceptional. It is the opposite of Rai Leh in many ways, as the beaches are empty, relaxing and a perfect place to have a lazy day with some friends and a guitar. All of the bars are on Tonsai and all of the locals stay here as well. The travelers that inhabit Tonsai are all of the hippy, great looking climbers that I mentioned in my last post. Those travelers tend to stay here longer as they are here for extended climbing trips and most of them are backpackers just like myself. I have completely fallen in love with climbing. I have gone almost everyday. My "Tonsai family" has given me a lot of hand-me-downs and I already have almost an entire set of equipment for free. My Thai friend Ta also has given me permission to come into his climbing shop at any time and just borrow whatever I need, I don’t even need to ask which is awesome. I officially got a job at the Kasbah bar and restaurant. I have a four hour shift every other day that pays 200 Baht per shift, an extra 100 Baht for any overtime, and a free meal. This comes out to be about $1.50 an hour not counting the free meal or the overtime. The job will also give me an opportunity to meet a lot of new people in Tonsai. While the pay may sound astonishingly low, one has to understand how much things cost around here. In the Thai cities, a meal costs about 60 cents, drinks cost about one dollar, and everything else is around the same ball park. Tonsai is actually very expensive because everything that comes here has to be delivered by the long-tail boats. When I say expensive, I mean that in a very subjective sense. Nothing on this island cost more than three dollars. I had a huge meal the other night that consisted of a huge slab of freshly caught King fish, and an all-you-can-eat salad buffet for $3.00. Everything is in the range of $1-3. In the past week I have been staying at a Bungalow by myself for $10 a night. I am moving in to a new spot with one of my friends tomorrow. I will be sleeping on my hammock on the porch while she gets the bed. That way I will still have a bathroom and a place to put my stuff for only about $4 a night.The Tonsai family that I have had the incredible fortune of becoming a part of, meets for drinks every night at sunset, from there we exchange stories about the adventures of the day and go have dinner together. After dinner we go to a bar and just have genuine, laidback, good fun. If anyone out there is looking for an adventure, or even just a vacation. Come visit me! I want nothing more than to share this paradise. Everyone deserves to live like this. Take the road less traveled and hop on a plane.

Ironically, traveling through-out Thailand as an American is not a negative thing. Constantly walking down the road, young Thai boys and girls will run up to me and exclaim a greeting in English with a huge smile on their face. Last night I was with my group at the Sa Wat Dee bar, relaxing and talking, when I noticed some attractive Thai girls having a few drinks near us. I approached them and began a conversation. They all spoke English but only one spoke fluently. She graduated from college and has a decent job on Ao Nang (the adjacent city). She was clearly educated and it was interesting to finally get a sense of Thai culture from the perspective of a female bourgeoisie 22 year old. To start, she eased my mind a bit by assuring me that the prostitution ring of Thailand only makes up a fraction of a percent of Thai women, She was wearing a cute strapless shirt and a short skirt, similar to what a Californian girl would wear. She explained to me that if her Dad saw what she was wearing she would be severely punished, since the older generations still hold on to the conservative values of the past. I was shocked at how similar she was to girls in the US. The vulgarity and immaturity of her words reminded me precisely of the way girls talk back home. She described how she was part of the new generation and the old generation need to stop holding on to their dated values and let things progress. Upon reflecting on some of the things she said as well as conversations I have had with other Thai people. I realized that this is a country trying so hard to adopt as many Western values as possible. It is so strange how modern technology is intertwined with ancient and 3rd world technology. Thailand is moving so fast in the direction of westernization that it seems their younger generations are fast forgetting the ancient traditions that made this place so magical.
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Comments

Aaron Bennett on

I love that you got a job. A great way to meet people. I love reading your posts.

Dana Barnett on

Thank you for sharing your adventures. Your travel blog thus far is very well written and if i close my eyes I can imagine myyself right htere enjoying the adventure of the little village and experiencing the culture and the life. Look forward to more. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers Quest...may all your travels be safe. Enjoy the experience for every precious moment and for all it has to offer.

andrea henkart on

Hi Quest! You are such an amazing writer. I love seeing into your philosophical mind and feeling your heart in each blog. The way you describe everything makes me feel like I am there. Your insights into life and your sensitivity to Mother Earth is heartwarming. I am so proud of you and so grateful to be your mom and your best fan! I love you with all my heart. Just keep being -- the amazing being you are -- becoming! xxoo

Ellen Bradley Ganus on

Quest! I look forward to your entries each day....and as we are so far apart, we still get to be part of your adventure!....Thank you for this gift....this moment that you are giving us to escape our busy-ness and enjoy your beautiful perspectives on places so unknown to us!

Ken Farber on

Hey Quest!

You have such a gift of connecting with people. Your honesty, love, integrity and spirit shine through in all you do and you are a gift being shared with the world. Thank you for including us in the process!

Love.....

gardendeva
gardendeva on

Enjoyed your posting today! Yes your life sounds wonderful, Quest. Thank you for sharing it with us. It certainly makes us consider what makes each of us happy. Today I am in my garden. Feeding the beauty that is coming through the soil in the form of flowers. Yesterday I visited the forest behind my garden gate and found the most amazing mushroom I have ever seen. I ran to get my camera and took five pictures trying to capture the celestial colors of pink and crystal white. It blew me away. Have fun my friend. I am!
Bonnie

Mark Frank on

Now I know why you were named Quest....Your quest for adventure and writing abilities are amazingly fantastic!!

Reggie henkart on

You truly are an awesome writer and I'm so glad you got a new camera. I can't wait to see your talent explode in those two different media. Great reading!

Cori Kauk on

Glad you are still loving the Ton Sai family! I miss you and love ready your travelpod blog. I wrote one too come find it at corikauk!

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