Archives for posts with tag: Thailand

In my last post, “Island of Smiles”, I not only told you what made ‘magical beach’ special, I showed you. Now, I will wholeheartedly strive to articulate the scenery and views, which give rise to the beauty of ‘magical beach’.
Each morning, my internal clock would wake me shortly before sunrise. I initially attributed this to jet lag, the time difference, and being in a new place. I didn’t mind because I took pleasure in an occurrence that I had taken for granted in the past.

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I would lay in the hammock facing east, dozing, having the sun kiss me awake, suggesting I turn and face west. While stationary, I would admire the clear blue sky, the deep green jungle, and the ocean that contained shades of both. I never grew tired of the view nor the musical arrangement produced by the waves rolling onto the beach. It was amazingly peaceful. I guess one can never tire of peace.
I would later be driven by the desire to see the breathtaking views this island had to offer.

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Dan, who so graciously volunteered his time, agreed to take a few of us on a hike to a view point he believed to be one of the best on the island. Dan, Frode, and I trekked the not so visible path, being infrequently directed by signs that were either painted on rock or made out of sticks.

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My excitement was initiated by the thought of seeing a most wondrous site. The fact that I couldn’t turn back, there was no distinguishable path, after getting halfway there kept me going. I was hot, drenched from sweat, and just plain out of breath. This was no walk in the park.

My look at the beginning of the hike

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My look halfway there….glasses off, shirt wet, face red, no more smile

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After an hour and a half of ‘are we there yet’, beyond the overgrown shrubbery, this is what I was blessed to see.

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Sitting on top of Koh Phangan

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I’m staying riiiiiight here

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The viewpoint, that rock peeking out in the middle, from across the beach.

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Me and the boys

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Dan did not lie about this view point. Actually, as I would come to find out, if Dan said it, believe it.

Can all experiences be put into words? I’m starting to believe otherwise. As I lay in my hotel room in Bangkok, reflecting on my time spent on a “magical beach”, I had a hard time summarizing my Koh Phangan experience. I arrived on this island with no expectation, but somehow it exceeded in every way.
I had the opportunity to become acquainted with a place where the sane, insane, happy, sad, or indifferent co-existed seamlessly. Well, at least while I was there. Everyone did what they wanted, how they wanted, without being intrusive. I now understand why people come back to this anomaly, year after year. This beach is beautiful because of the exceptional scenery and unbelievable views, but this beach is made special by the people. While on Koh Phangan, I crossed paths with some fascinating people.

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If you know me, you know that I thoroughly enjoy conversing with people; trying to visualize their unique journey. I find myself in constant amazement when our lives intersect. To know the paths we’ve taken in our respective lives have led us to a place where we meet is pretty awesome. Especially, when it is half way around the world! I know my steps; I want to know theirs. It deepens my understanding of the human experience. It is a blessing to realize that essentially, we are all the same.

Me and the girls

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Frode is a cool, cool guy

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Piña colada time

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One of the many funny moments with James

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Charlie and his Angels

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Dan was an unexpected surprise. He became my unofficial guide to exploring the island of Koh Phangan.

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Nic made that lovely bikini top for Catherine for her birthday. Beautiful.

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Lou, oh Lou. One of the most thoughtful people I have met. Such a sweet spirit (until she gets hungry!).

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Massimo and I sharing a moment

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Piña colada time again

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Catherine, oh Catherine. I shall see you again, same place same time.

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If it has ever crossed your mind how I came to be on this island, I will tell you. Last year I met the lovely, kind hearted Catherine Bradley. Catherine and I shared lots of laughs, motorbike rides, and a couple of dinners on the beach. As they say, the rest is history! We kept in touch via social media (gotta love it!) and she had mentioned this beach. So when she invited me, I gladly accepted.
As this vacation approached I remember thinking, on more than one occasion, how I wished time would slow down. In my mind, the quicker December 26th came, the sooner my vacation would come to an end. I wanted to revel in the anticipation of the unknown just a while longer. The time came and I am here.
The views are stunning. A view like this undoubtedly came with a price. I am not at a 5 star resort. I am not at a WiFi equipped facility. I am in a one room bungalow with no, I repeat NO, hot water! Yep, I see ants, other crawling creatures, and I have monkeys in my backyard! Damn Gina! Talk about simple living! This may be harder than I anticipated but it’s cool, I got this. Side note: if you are looking to do a beautiful beach vacation on a shoestring budget, I know just the place!
On a serious note, this place is what I needed. Being here has allowed me to stop, be still, and rest my mind. Let me put it like this, I’m on an island where it almost seems offensive to ask the time! I wake up each morning before sunrise and get in the hammock. I lay in that hammock for hours looking out at the big blue sea, thinking about absolutely nothing; grateful and thankful for everything. With the passing of each day, those things that I once deemed important, aren’t such anymore. Being able to experience life like this…invaluable.

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December 26, 2013

Last night I walked out the doors of The Womans Hospital of Texas, for what will be the last time. This was my second contract at one of the busiest labor and delivery units in this country; close to a thousand babies in one month! When I walked out of the doors at approximately 7:10pm, I was tired. I couldn’t stop to think about my tiredness because I knew that in the next 24 hours, I would be flying over the Pacific Ocean. I didn’t want to think about how much I desired to stop and be still, because I knew that I was on my way to experience life like never before. I knew, when getting off work last night, that I was going to a place where I could truly VACATE! I am talking about vacating life as I know it and live it from day to day.
Having joy in discernment, that I am truly blessed and favored enough for God to allow me an experience such as this, there are no words. I am not kidding! From 1108 Wisconsin Blvd Dayton, OH to Koh Phangan, Thailand, is a mighty long way! I have been blessed not only to meet people from this country, but people from around the world. Good people. People like you and I. People who enjoy life, laugh, and love.
As I anxiously anticipate my new adventure, I get lost in the thought that I am unable to imagine what is in store. Therefore, no expectations shall be set and for the next two weeks, I will live simple, think simple, and enjoy the simple things in life. My mind and heart are open to experience the world how God intended.

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