Southern Thailand

January 9-30, 2019

Relationship Renewal

I’m not going to sugar coat this: it took a while to change my mindset about Switzerland. I haven’t yet posted the raw feelings about what I went through in Switzerland as I’m not ready yet, but what I will say is that I felt like I had some depression surface and it was a very rough time in my relationship with Luc. Because of this, I think Luc might have hoped that a switch was flipped when we hit Thailand. Paradise right? Yeah that didn’t happen.

I remember standing in the airport after a crazy time change with about 1 hour of sleep and 10 hours of flying, Luc saying to me “why are you always so negative?” talk about a trigger moment. I was ready to catch the next flight back to Canada and away from him as fast as I possibly could.

After finally arriving at the first fancy hotel, we had it out beside the pool. What a sight – us basically yelling at each other in the most beautiful place we had seen in a while. Him flabbergasted why I wasn’t finally in a good mood and me yearning for him to just try to understand and accept me but totally being reactive and defensive.

I think those 2 days was so crucial for our relationship to finally try to find our relationship and love again through the crap and bullshit of the past 3 months. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all crap and bullshit. We had an amazing experience while I was emotionally very low. I look back now and wonder how did we experience so many cool things when I really felt depressed, alone and low.

From this point on, we spent time getting to know each other again and new things began to crop up that I didn’t know about Luc and him, me. As I move through our trip I will expose those things as they become more and more apparent. There was an article I read that was really interesting. What I got from it was that long term travel with your partner actually has you get to know things about them that you didn’t know or it wasn’t in your face enough to notice. This is so accurate. Traveling presents many different challenges that you don’t get in every day life: being scared (or not), spending money, eating new foods, experiencing new things, being tired, hot, parenting kids who haven’t been through this experience either. It’s challenging to say the least.

So 2 glorious days at the hotel on points helped us to reform our bonds again and start again just the 3 of us.

Bangkok

After lounging in the pool, we headed to Bangkok to explore. You will hear this for the next 3 months until we get to Bali but Bangkok was my first experience of HOT. We had grand ambitions to do learning time with Vivi in the morning and then set out in the afternoon to explore. WRONG. It’s minuscule cooler in the morning so we learned hard the first day to do it opposite from this point forward.

Everything was scary for me. Tuk tuks, walking on the street, worrying about getting my purse stolen from passing scooters, getting ripped off, street food. I was well outside my comfort zone these first few days (weeks). Luc on the other hand was LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Which killed me. How can one person be so afraid and the other want more of everything. I’ve said it before but we are the epitome of Ying and Yang.

He was ready to sample every single food on the street and I was trying to get back to restaurants for fear of food poisoning. I’ve been sick so many times in the past in Asian countries that I’m jaded. So this was a bone of contention that didn’t stop for about 2 months until I said enough was enough. More on that later.

We went to a few temples in Bangkok, Khao San Road, out to the Amphawa Floating Market and the Maeklong train market (See Luc and Vivi’s C’est La Vie! Video), we did an amazing cooking class (See Luc and Vivi’s C’est La Vie! Video), we hired a boat to take us down the river, and saw the reclining buddha and Wat Pho.

After 4 days in Bangkok I had had my fair share. It’s smelly, noisy and busy. It’s also incredibly unique, different and special. I don’t need to visit Bangkok again.

Koh Tao

We took our first double decker bus to Koh Toa which I think was 12 hours. What an experience of smelly noisiness. Hoped on a boat and met Mossy Mermaid and family! We were introduced to this family from my best friend and mutual friend back home. The MM Fam as 6 kids in total and Vivi was in absolute heaven playing with them and talking in English. It had been a while since she got to play with kids in English.

We made another fail and didn’t do enough research on where we were staying and booked 4 nights in the centre of Koh Toa where you need a taxi to take you anywhere you want to go which is about $12 one way. Or a scooter but we weren’t scooter people yet and I heard learning on Koh Toa was a recipe for disaster. So we would walk to the MM fam daily to hang out with them while Luc and a few of them learned to Scuba dive.

We had a blast swimming, playing in the pool, watching movies and the moms got to do mom things. I got some much needed girl time and empathy from Shelby. It had been so long since I got some face time with another woman. Luc got some much needed guy time with Cam and we even poked fun at their bromance.

Eventually we moved closer to them and we rented a boat and went snorkeling around the island for the morning with them. We forms some close blonds and can’t wait to visit them in Tofino when we get back.

Ao Nang

We took another all day bus to the other side of Southern Thailand. We debated if we wanted to stay at Railay Beach, Krabi or Ao Nang and in the end Ao Nang won due to price. I quite liked this place. It’s like a seaside town with a beach vibe. Very touristy. Here you can buy a ticket to Railay Beach for the day which is what we did.

But first we booked a Kayak and explored with a guide through the mangrove trees and watched monkeys watching us. Of course no double kayaking trip is complete without me and Luc yelling at each other. We never learn to not get doubles.

The next day we spent a day at Railay Beach. White sandy beaches, beautiful Karsts, and PEOPLE. It was hot, busy and a lot of people. I’m sure glad we went to see it as it was beautiful walking around and witnessing the penis shrines (you read that right) – and one day is enough for me.

Koh Lanta

After that we headed to the island of Koh Lanta. We booked this place beside the beach with a great pool! The room itself presented some cockroaches, a lizard, and a massive wasp in our bathroom. The thing that was AMAZING about Koh Lanta was meeting some French people with some kids around the same age as Vivi that we became fast friends with. We ate dinner together and played in the pool.

We had our first experience of Trash Hero. Trash Hero is an organization around the world that organizes beach and city cleanups by volunteers. We decided to walk to the beach for the clean-up but gave up about half way as it was way too hot! Us and the French hitchhiked (they had done it before on Koh Lanta) to the beach and then we had a lovely lunch. Then we got down and dirty and started the clean-up. It’s incredible how much garbage was hiding in the foliage of the beach. Vivi got some motor oil on her but I had my DoTerra Essential Oils so doused her with lemon and watched it cut the grease easy peasy.

We also paid for a crappy experience which should have been a lot better than it was but because of the waves, it was tragic. We were supposed to boat out to 3 different snorkeling places. In the end we went to 2 and they were basically in the exact same spot. I think we got forgotten for pickup because after calling someone got us and when we got on the boat everyone was already on board. They had all been given seasick pills too but they neglected to give them to us. Because we were last, we had to sit at the very back and I got soaked from the waves splashing in and on me. People started puking. I ended up putting on my mask because the salt water was killing my eyes. On the way back it was worse and took even longer to get back. It was one of those moments when you wonder if these might be the last people you see in your life.

We said goodbye to our new friends after about 6 days on Koh Lanta to head back to Krabi by bus for one night before taking off to Myanmar.

I loved the southern side of Thailand because of the ocean. I would come back here in a heartbeat and spend more time on the islands exploring. We made some great friends during this time that I’m really grateful for. I feel like this was a time that we were getting our traveling legs, reuniting as a family, discovering what was scary and trying to deal with the heat. We were newbies during this time in our travels for sure.

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