It's been 42 days and it's hard to believe that it's really me doing this. Before, I would not even go away for the weekend on my own and to know that I've been traveling this long on my own is very empowering!
Most recently I was in Phuket for an event and once it was over I couldn't wait to get out. Phuket is very touristy, in Patong Beach where I stayed the beach chairs are four-deep. There are people everywhere, lots of GoGo bars and skimpily dressed Thai women and lady boys. There is a bar where they dance on the balcony.
Across the street from the hotel I was staying in is a gelato shop where all the waitresses are in French maid outfits. Most of the clientele is women or older couples, so it is my guess that the waitresses are dressed this way purely for the owner's enjoyment. Good for him! I went there a lot because the ice cream was so good but had to stop because I've been putting on weight. I guess the fried rice for breakfast and ice cream-once-a-day diet is not for me!
I caught a long boat on the pier and came to a small island called Yao Noi. The taxi driver on the pier heard from a friend that I was coming and knew my name. He dropped me off at the guest house in the middle of nowhere. They spoke no English. Considering I had no other options and no way to get anywhere else, I decided to stay at least one night. If this was in the beginning of my trip, it would have really freaked me out. But by now I am a bit used to it here. So, after resting a few minutes I figured out how to get to civilization and asked the first white person I saw (while the local bus taxi waited for me) for information. Map in hand, I was told to go up the street and have someone call me a motorcycle taxi into town.
I walked into a cafe and a blond woman asked if she could help me. I could not have been more enthusiastic in my "Yes!" The owner took me into town where I was able to get some food and rent myself a scooter.
I toured the island for the rest of the afternoon. There is almost no one here, the beaches are empty, the water warm and the view amazing! I am sitting in a restaurant having breakfast, and my table is 20 feet away from the water. Looking out I can see many other islands scattered around as if some giant being threw out a handful of rocks. They are layered, one overlapping the other between the fog much like the cliffs of Carmel. There is a long boat in the distance. I am eating homemade yogurt with fruit, honey and granola, home-baked bread with butter and hot tea. There is a little poodle laying at my feet. My plan for today is to write, go to the beach, read, have a Skype date with a friend and try to meet some fellow travelers while having dinner. How did I get so lucky?
Voice sales rep Anna Mirsky is taking a sabbatical to travel solo around Asia and is blogging about her adventures. She's currently in Thailand.