Rushing. Panicking about being late and wishing I could rewind to NOT waste those 5 minutes on Instagram earlier because I really need that time back now. I hate this feeling.
The day started off with an early morning knock on the door, 40 minutes prior to the time we were expecting to be picked up, and the hotel clerk politely informing us our driver was outside. The scramble and sudden adrenaline had us scooting around the room stuffing everything into any bag we could find, and when we got downstairs 3 minutes later quite pleased with our ability to dress and pack so quickly we were told that the van had left without us. All my nervous energy evaporated along with our ride, and I could feel worry seeping in as I considered our next steps. It’s moments like these when I realize I build my travel plans like a Jenga tower – it all looks creative and great until one piece is bumped and the whole thing topples. Missing our shuttle from the hotel means missing our bus that takes us to the ferry, and if we can’t get on the ferry then we can’t get to the island where our next hotel is already booked and paid for. The hotel clerk was quite unsympathetic when he assumed we stupidly slept in, but after I showed him our tickets with “7:30am pickup” written clearly on the front his demeanour changed. I may have also subtly played up the damsel in distress side a little too… Whatever the reason, he was our knight in shining armour as he made several phone calls before triumphantly announcing the driver was returning for us. He then dropped his voice to let us in on a secret: the operator we booked the tickets through wasn’t as good – if he had arranged our transfer we never would have been given the wrong time.
With this in my mind, memories of other warnings I had read about tourist scams blazed behind my eyes. I recall reading that people have been ripped off when booking a combination bus and ferry ticket to the Thai island of Koh Samui…. exactly where we’re headed to. So even though the van returned to pick us up, all through the drive I was alert for the moment when we would be informed we needed to pay more to continue our journey. And there were several moments appearing to be exactly that – when the van driver rushed us to get on the waiting bus but wouldn’t take the time to return our ticket which was our only proof of payment for the whole trip. Or at the next transfer point where we were told a new bus would take us to the port, still had no ticket in my hand but was assured it wouldn’t matter. Amazingly enough, all the way to on the ferry and including the van transfer on the next island to our hotel, everything ran just tickety-boo and we were never once asked for more money or proof that we actually paid our fare the previous day. ————————————-
So. I made it to my island paradise, but for me there was a little downside to being surrounded by tempting beaches. I of course brought my phone with me to the beach – all the better for taking photos and jotting down my thoughts while simultaneously sunbathing – but my phone had an unfortunate encounter with salt water. If you were wondering why there was suddenly radio silence on my end, it’s because I allowed my phone to drown. My lifeline! I didn’t know how reliant on (addicted to) my phone I had become until I needed to finish my travels without my phone. Thankfully I had already written the above portion of this post, and it was saved in my drafts online, but I didn’t have access to it at all.
I will say, though, that it truly was a serene paradise. If you find yourself headed to Koh Samui, I can highly recommend the resort we stayed in. It was difficult to leave, despite hoping I could save my phone once we made it back to Bangkok. Check out the Crystal Bay Beach Resort and see for yourself why it may be topping my mental list of favourite locals lately.
You know what I realized as I was finishing up this post? As I worried about the worst happening (getting scammed, ruining my electronics) I have somehow come through it all without any real problems arising from my worries. I feel so incredibly lucky to have gone this far, travelled so much, and really not had any major mishaps ruin my days. …yet… So from me to you: safe travels, friends. May your luck hold even better than mine!