The cliche that travelling alone helps you to ‘find yourself’ has always confused me. Will I ‘find myself’? Do I need to find myself? What will I find? I’m not sure anyone really knows what it means, but at least now it kind of does make sense to me.
When I first arrived in Samui I had a different feeling to what I’ve had in places I’ve visited previously. Instead of excited to see new things and meet new people, it was kind of ‘what do I do?’ After coming from the cultural and welcoming Chiang Mai and Pai, I’d just checked into my party hostel in between a McDonald’s and a Burger King directly opposite the most famous bar on the island. Don’t get me wrong, the hostel was really nice, but I wasn’t sure about it. I instantly messaged Negin, my friend from LA who I met in Pai, and told her to book the same hostel to be with me as I knew she was arriving the next day, and I’m so glad I got to spend my time here with her.
Koh Samui is beautiful, the beaches are amazing, it has some incredible waterfalls, and the Fisherman’s Village is one of my favourite places I’ve visited in Thailand. But as with a lot of the Thai islands, it has a huge party scene. And after spending half a night drinking with the other people in the hostel and visiting the famous Ark Bar, I soon decided that scene wasn’t for me.
Negin was feeling the exact same, and we just looked at each other and both said we’d changed our minds about the Full Moon party. The biggest party in Thailand attracting over 30,000 people partying on the beach once a month. Everyone I’ve met so far was going, but suddenly I was dreading it. So instead we headed straight to 7/11 for snacks (I’ve found someone who can happily buy and eat as much crisps, biscuits and chocolate as I do…the perfect friend) and spent the rest of the night in bed re-planning our next week and cancelling our bookings on Ko Phangan where the Full Moon Party takes place.
I wasn’t sure at first, and I kind of thought I’d probably still end up going. But why should I? Why should I go along with it all and spend four days on the party island knowing I wouldn’t feel comfortable or properly enjoy myself? This was my breakthrough moment.
It may seem like a small decision, but to me it’s more than just deciding to change my trip around a bit. It feels so good that I’ve made the decision to do what I want to do. I’m not going to go along with everyone else and keep on trying to convince myself that I love it, because that’s not me.
Partying is not what I want out of this trip. I’ve already had lots of fun nights here, but my idea of a fun evening is bar hopping with people I’ve met at the hostels, or chilling with cocktails at a beach club. Not getting as drunk as possible on whatever alcohol you can find with thousands of other people in a packed out club, or at the Full Moon party.
So right now I’m on the ferry to Ko Tao, smiling to myself knowing how lucky I am to be on such an amazing trip, exploring the world and doing whatever I want to do. And then I’ll be sailing straight past Ko Phangan over to the islands on the west to some more beautiful beaches. I’ll still be enjoy the evening of the full moon, but I’ll be doing it somewhere I want to be surrounded by the people I want to be surrounded by.