This morning as I was sat on my rooftop terrace sipping on a coconut milk latte and I had to pinch myself.
Am I dreaming?
Twelve months ago I was mindlessly heading for the bright lights of Hong Kong to climb another rung of the career ladder. Nine months ago that all fell through so I handed in my letter of resignation. Six months ago I was pottering around Menorca with a gang of Monks wondering what the hell I should do next.
Four months ago I took a one-way flight to Chiang Mai with a few hundred quid in the bank and no idea where I would end up. Three months ago I was in charge of a Fair Trade brand, four volunteers, three pets and a live-in maid.
Two months ago I was backpacking my way through Myanmar. And almost one month ago I started a 10 day silent retreat in Mandalay before hopping over for a small sip of big Bangkok.
And now here I am in Koh Samui about to start three months at The Content Castle.
JOGGIN’ IN THE JUNGLE
Koh Samui really is paradise.
Just over two hundred square kilometres of jungle, villages and fields filled with green coconut trees. White sandy beaches lined with tiny wooden bungalows guarding the frothy white shoreline and cerulean seas.
It’s a kingdom of wild monkeys, slithering snakes, stray dogs, caged cockerels, cats and friendly buffalo.
There are shacks on the side of the road selling glass bottles of gasoline with homemade signs made out of cardboard. Fruit stalls selling avocados, pineapples, tiny green bananas and fresh sliced pomelo – my new favourite fruit. Every so often you’re blasted in the face with a billow of smoke rising up from a street cart selling skewers of meat.
Scooters whizz around the bends at breakneck speed and songthaews beep at you from all directions. The air is warm, the skies are blue and there seems to be a constant sea breeze whirling around, keeping everybody pleasantly cool.
Everywhere you look there are glittering golden Buddha statues creeping over the treetops and incredibly majestic temples hidden down tiny lanes.
Some parts of the island like Chaweng and the main street in Lamai are heaving with tacky tourist joints and heckling masseuses, but if you tootle along a little further you’re guaranteed to find your own little piece of heaven.
PARADISE IS A FEELING
For somebody wanting to focus on “doing good stuff to be a better me”, this could not be a better place to be.
My alarm clock is a few friendly crows from the local cockerels. The sun wakes up over the Thai Gulf and shines down on the mosaic-tiled terrace outside my window. I make myself a coffee, scribble down my morning pages and I meditate.
I get a blog post out of my system before heading out for a run. There’s a nice five kilometre route that takes me further out of Lamai and down towards a hidden temple, through one of the local villages and back along the coast. Everybody says hello, good morning and sawadee ka. Everybody smiles.
When I’m back it’s time for coffee numero due and to get to work on my writing for Content Castle.
I spend my day rocking back and forth on a white wicker rocking chair in the reading room surrounded by books and when the Content Castle work is done, I get to work on my various other Side Hustles that don’t technically hustle me any money (yet).
I’m surrounded by four fellow writers – a gang of Heroes, one from Singapore, another from the Dutch Caribbean, one from the US and another from New Zealand.
We split the day up with our lunches and dinners – our scheduled in socials. Everyone’s a storyteller, everyone’s a good listener and the conversation always ends up a perfect blend of cleverness and cackles.
Then, when I’m not typing out at the speed of light or telling tales at the table, there’s a whole island to explore. And it’s an island that happens to be full of 100% Vegans and other people who seem to be on a similar journey of goodness, usually seen donning some pastel-coloured lycra and carrying a yoga mat.
All of this goodness on the outside and I think I’ve found Nutrition Nirvana for my goodness on the inside too. Superfood cafés with smoothie bowls of local fruits and homemade granolas, freshly ground organic coffees and plates of forest-like deliciousness.
I don’t think it can possibly get any better than this.
You never know what you might find
When dreams come true
Dreams come true
Yes they do