less than a week away from home, our last blog is a look into paradise...
05.01.2012 - 05.26.2012 105 °F
I can't believe this will be our final blog! We have officially been away from home for WAY TOO LONG!! My constant obsession with countdowns tells me that I've been away from home for 642 days, Joe's been away for 563 days, and we've been traveling for a whopping 86 days!! There was never a question in anyone's mind that Joe could handle all the adventures backpacking threw at us but I genuinely can't believe I've made it this long!! Who would have ever known that I had it in me?!? That being said, the most important countdown tells me that we have 5 days and 19 hours until we're taking off enroute to America!
We haven't been blogging as much these days since life has just been a beach. We've been greedily soaking up the sun, relaxing away all those stressful SE Asian bus rides and utter craziness, and laughing so much that we actually have tan lines in our dimples!
You can tell you're a seasoned traveler when this is what you look like waiting for a taxi... nothing can phase me these days.
We arrived in Phuket on May 1st and spent a few days relaxing on Karon Beach. Unfortunately, it seems the rain came a bit early this year and it rained almost everyday we were there. I was stressed and threatening to come home early because if I wasn't getting a tan, I wasn't staying 8,000 miles away from my family! After that threat, the sun started to peak out here and there. We went for a nice motorbike ride around the island and got stuck in our first of many monsoons, haha. The perks to Phuket were Starbucks for the second time since we started traveling and Joe finding Wolverine claws. The man selling them assured us that customs would have no problem with us bringing them home. Watch out America!
Our next stop was Koh Yao Noi. We found Yao Noi completely by happenstance but my God, WHAT A TREAT! This very small island is reached by speedboat from Phuket in 30 minutes and it's so small that it can be circled on a motorbike in less than 30 minutes. There are only a few restaurants, two bars, and one 7-11 on the island. It was completely quiet, undeveloped, and the views were amazing!!! The water was indescribably blue and spotted with limestone cliffs. Do you remember when we went to Halong Bay?? This is a smaller bay with the same beautiful cliffs but since the island was so small and quiet we felt like we were getting such a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. We were one of the first people to stay at these gorgeous, newly opened villas. We stayed for a week and got the place for an absolute steal! Every single time we walked out of our room, we both lost our breath at the beauty and couldn't believe it was real! We really hate tours so instead of being packed onto a boat with tons of other tourists we had a local fisherman take us around the bay on his longtail boat . It was so romantic. He took us island hopping, snorkeling, and even had a home packed lunch from his wife for us to eat on an abandoned beach. Joe and I looked at each other and couldn't believe this was just a Thursday lunch, staring out at some of the world's most beautiful creations. We are just so blessed.
After a week in Koh Yao Noi, we reluctantly decided to leave and head to Krabi, another 30 minutes to the east for our last stop on the Andaman Sea. Krabi gave us another few days of rain but luckily, Starbucks again as well. We actually stayed at a hotel that provided a free shuttle to Starbucks... that's a BIG WIN!! As I'm writing this, it's occurring to me that rain and Starbucks seem to go hand in hand, haha. In Krabi, we stayed on Ao Nang Beach. The nice part of this town was that while we were able to look out onto the limestone cliffs in Koh Yao Noi, in Krabi we were literally on the beach nestled between the limestone cliffs. The city was more developed so it allowed us to get laundry done, sent out post cards, and go souvenir shopping! :o) We also got to sneak in some time on the beach to keep up our tan between monsoons. While they are a bit annoying and they come in fast, they bring with them beautiful black clouds on the way in and amazing spotted sun on the way out.
Rather than beaching everyday, one day we went to an adventure park called "TreeTop Adventures". We spent about 5 hours living among the trees. We ziplined, climbed, swung, and completed numerous obstacles high above the ground. Some of these obstacles included skateboarding, bike riding, and surfing among the tree tops. It was one of the best things we've done in SE Asia! We had so much fun!! I was nicknamed "Monkey" by one of my uncles when I was younger and I definitely filled the shoes for the day. Joe was amazed at my confidence and grace on the courses.
Our last stop has been Koh Samui. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here and we're staying in absolutely beautiful accommodations. There are a few popular islands right off the coast here that could be reached in a day trip but I'll admit that Joe and I agreed we were too greedy for relaxing beach hours to spend time and money going anywhere else. We feel so blessed to have such a beautiful location, amazing room, incredible pool, fantastic beach, and each other - We don't need to move anymore! We have been on the move for such a long time, we dedicated our last 9 days to staying in one place, enjoying each other's company and celebrating the fact that, as of tomorrow, we've been adventuring together for 5 years now!
If you have a few minutes, take a look at this video we made to help take you on a tour of the our beach adventures. As you all enjoy Memorial Day weekend, it will surely get you into a summer state of mind!
If you'd like to take a look at all our pictures you can view them here: