A country of contrasts.
With my volunteering assignments drawing to a close, I knew deep down in my heart that if I returned to New Zealand straight away, I would feel trapped. I had grown wings in those 4 months. Passions were reignited. Dreams had become reality.
I wanted to keep flying and see how high I could go.
I loved the mountains of Nepal, but my love of the ocean was stronger. Scuba diving had been a hobby for many years. It was time to take it to the next level…divemaster.
Hours of research later (are you seeing a pattern here…I do like to research my decisions thoroughly!), Wicked Diving in Khao Lak had gained their latest DMT or Divemaster Trainee.
My DMT internship was 6 weeks of diving, theory, more diving, live-aboards, food, alcohol, more volunteering and of course, more diving. When I passed my course (oh yeah!) Wicked kept me on as a guide. So I really got to know my way around the Similan and Surin Islands dive sites, I knew where many of the cool critters hid and got to hang out with whalesharks and manta rays as part of my day job!
Khao Sok is a national park a couple of hours north of Khao Lak. With it’s eerie, green lake, underwater caverns and dead trees reaching up from the depths, it makes for a completely different diving experience. I adored the spectacular scenery and the slightly unstable floating village was stayed at only added to the experience (in my opinion!)
If only… Reflecting on 6 months in Thailand helped me realise that life always moves on. I could choose to keep doing what I’d always done, or focus on this one thing: Leave the past and look forward to what lies ahead.
I left Thailand to return only 5 months later on honeymoon with Kris! He quickly found out how much I love to see everything when I travel. Starting in Chiang Rai, we travelled around the city, up the river and through the jungle, gradually making our way towards Thailand’s northern border. While there are plenty of ancient ruins, royal palaces and modern temples to see, I got just as much enjoyment from slowly wandering the streets or catching every form of local transport to take in the atmosphere of everyday life.
Thailand is a contrast of crazy-busy and flat-out relaxed. Take your time, travel like a local and immerse yourself in the wild beauty of the land.