It's 530 PM, here in Thailand. Where specifically? The very tip top of Koh Yao Noi island, off the coast of Phuket. Nik and I are staying at the Paradise hotel. It's beautiful but very challenging to get to. We ate it yesterday on the moto-bike. Nik actually got the worst of it. I feel pretty horrible about it, her butt and leg are all scratched up.
She's upstairs in the room while I am doing research down in the lobby. There were two little German girls playing computer games but one of the staff kicked them off. I took over. It's raining. It's been raining a lot in the evening. It's welcome though as it brings a nice cool breeze into the air that tends to be sweat inducing as soon as you walk outdoors.
I'm enjoying my journey so far. I hope Nik is as well. I feel like I am horrible at traveling with others sometimes. I'm great at moving at my own speed but when anyone else is involved, I have a hard time finding their rhythm.
It was quite the journey to get here. Taxi to the airport. JFK to Shanghai. Shanghai to Bangkok. 4 hour taxi to the pier. 15 minute boat to Floathouse. We stayed there for 3 nights, which was just one night too much. There wasn't much to do and it was very expensive to get anywhere. Luckily, I found someone willing to rent us a moto-bike there. 1200 baht for one day, where as here in Koh Yao, I manged to get one for 900 baht for 4 days.
Something I've learned about Thailand is everyone wants to help you, everyone wants to make some money, so pretty much whatever you want is accessible to you if you ask the right people, with a big smile on your face. The highlight of Kanchanaburi was the Hellfire Pass. We wouldn't have been able to make it there without Somchay finding us a scooter. We hiked along the hewn stone path for 3 hours or so, in the sweltering heat. Thinking about all the men that died, and those that survived, while listening to their stories via headphones... it was a very moving experience, one I'll never forget. The jagged rocks were hard enough navigate with shoes... without them... with massive loads of stone and metal on your back...
Now, we are in the beach paradise land. Bird songs are all around me. Green. Water. Flowers and fruit. It's a beautiful place, but also a bit of a tourist trap. Nik and I travel in very different ways. Give me a hut, a cheap meal, and a scooter and I'm set. She's more interested in relaxation in luxury. Sometimes it's a challenge but I think we balance each other out quite well. I should back up to her soon.
Today I trained at KYN Muay Thai- my first Muay Thai experience since coming back to Thailand. I did one hour private session with a man named Phun. The class 600 baht, so about 18 bucks. I don't think I'll go back. Either my cardio is great or he was just lazy. 5 minutes of jumping rope to warm up. 10 minutes of stretching. Followed by shadowboxing, then different forms of padwork. It was the first time I got to spar, which was really fun. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on stance and movement.
Coban and Kongnapa emphasized a wider stance and keeping my hands close to my face. Phun told me to stand, feet much closer together, with my hands pretty far away from my face. I'd say about half of what came out of his mouth was in Thai, mocking me. It's all a practice. Training in a new place, with a new person. The reason I don't think I'll go back is because of this though. Spend your energy teaching me so I can get better, not dropping your guard and turning away from me to joke with another trainer. I understood it was just quick money for him hence the reason I won't be going back. I'll work on my conditioning and go shadow boxing on my own until I start training in Phuket.
I've found a lot of interesting gyms there. Sumalee is where Kongnapa suggested I train so I sent them an email. The owner got back to me right away some hopefully that will work out. From there, Eminent Air in Bangkok. Then somewhere in the northeast, hopefully Kiatmoo9. I say hopefully now but I'll probably be regretting it once training starts. I have to be conscious of money as well. I'm basically financing this trip with the last modeling job I had. Thank you Macy's and thank you Soul. Some might say I'm crazy for doing this whole trip- the book, the travel show, the Muay Thai, all of it. But I have to. It's my climb of Mount Must.
As I follow my passion, money will come. Everything I want, will come. As I was walking down through the garden earlier, lightning bolts were flashing off in my peripheral. I thought to myself that if I were to be shocked my lightning and die, right in that moment, I wouldn't be upset. The adventure is real, here and now. I'm present to the journey as it unfolds, not worrying about the destination. Much love to you all. Explore more. Follow your truth. Get outside. Be a human hero.