Last post was about taking time, being home and enjoying a “normal” life. But just days since writing that, the travel whirlwind has whipped me away again and I’ve been running through these weeks with a wild rush. Continue reading Like a Box of Chocolate…
There’s a quote I came across a while ago, and today it’s on my mind again. It’s by the brilliant Margaret Atwood:
“We lived in the gaps between stories”
And it’s not so much that this is a powerful quote, or is one that might make us stop in our tracks and consider something new. Margaret Atwood has so many great quotes that do that – go ahead and google her – but this one is just where I am right now. And I think it might be a good transition to help me get back to this blog after letting it sit ignored for so many months. Just in the simple obvious, there’s been a huge gap in my blogging. I last posted in the fall, and I didn’t even finish publishing everything about my travels through Turkey. I have so many drafts that I started and will likely never return to, unfortunately. I wanted to tell about the ancient cites in Turkey, and the epic natural sights, plus the cities and food and vibrancy. But life was changing and I was busy living so there’s gaps left in my external chronicles.
Here’s a little sample of what I had meant to write about:
I bet you can relate. We scroll through stories online and keep up with others’ lives digitally, and we post our own hoping to capture a good memory, or to gain validation. As silly as it may seem to say; the obvious is easily overlooked; Despite our connectivity in 2019 we still have life outside of what we share as our social media stories. I have to admit, for a minute there last year I was beginning to getting caught up in the idea of being an Influencer. And even while I knew that my paltry 250ish Instagram followers left me about 2,000 short of what would qualify as a fledgling social media influencer, I’d still daydream about it. My unplugging from this blog and from writing was not some grand gesture by design, not a deliberate retreat to ‘find myself again’ and come back all glowy and full of marketable tidbits of wisdom. Nope. I was just battling a bit of writer’s block and also just really busy. Living the little details of daily life, slogging away at work but also having fun with the people who mattered to me already.
I lived in the gaps between the stories. To be literal I say that because I spent about 6 months without posting anything on AimlesslyAli. Life went on without the spotlight. More poetically, the gap allowed for an echoing in my life. Words I had sent out ages ago came back to me and I was reminded that building up love and fostering purpose in myself and others is what life’s all about. Even without any intentionality, it turns out I did learn something. Here’s what I learned: I don’t need to be paid for my words, or to get free samples for photos I take. I want my influence to be personal, in real life, in my day to day connections with people who cross my path. I hope to be able to demonstrate that kindness and gentleness ARE a form of strength rather than just the aloofness we tend to associate with mental toughness. So this aimless wanderer is now on a deliberate path to show love to others in the gaps. Though, let’s be real – this’ll likely be accomplished without a map and written with drifting thoughts and paragraphs of run-on sentences….. I am still Aimlessly Ali, after all. (who’d in a heartbeat accept a sponsored trip in exchange for promoting the location if I ever got the opportunity!!!)
If I ever run away from home (ok, if I ever run away from home again) and you need to find me for some reason keep this spot in mind as the first place to look for me. And pack a swimsuit because chances are when you find me, you’ll forget about why you were so keen on dragging me back. I’ll save a spot on the sand for you.
Koh Samui, a small island in the Gulf of Thailand, is one of those places that’s probably on millions of screen savers as the perfect beach paradise bored workers daydream about. And it’s even better in real life.
Here’s a quick disclaimer about this post, though: I spent a lot of time in a bikini and I’ll be including pictures. If that’s going to be a problem you should probably skip this post, and return to my blog next week when I’ve returned to my modesty….
I already mentioned in my last post that I spent a lot of time on the beach here; you may remember that I ruined my iPhone this way. Tricia and I had 6 glorious days where the cumulative extent of our experience could be summed as such: brunch overlooking the water, beach, pool, beach, dinner overlooking the water, fall asleep to the sound of the air conditioner. (I wanted to say waves but I promised I’d be fully truthful in this blog!) Oh. If anyone is trying to plan a honeymoon, apparently this is what you should do. Someone should get to experience this as romantic!!
White powder sand beaches. Crystal clear turquoise water. Lush forest and dramatic bolders. Teeny bikinis. Yes.
I shouldn’t say it, but sometimes I wonder why Tricia or I ever bother to wear clothes… (sorry, I did warn you that my modesty was on hiatus…)
There was one day we experienced more than just the beaches. Good thing, because I’m sure there’s so much more to the island that one could see, if one were to drag themselves away from the perfect coastline. For example, the Big Buddha. Living up to its apt moniker, this beautiful gold statue is a sight to see. It’s not my religion, but I love visiting these temples and monuments. I’m continually fascinated by other cultures; and learning about the way that religion, history, and geography has shaped the lives of the people around me never fails to amaze.
After spending the afternoon with Big Buddha we were ready to get back to the water, and fortunately found a great restaurant right on the water. The views bathed in late golden sunlight were equally as delicious as the meals – my kind of place for sure!