Koh Samui

Thailand…Two Years Ago

Today’s post is a little different. It’s a flashback to a trip I took 2 years ago to Thailand. I went to the islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Lanta and Koh Phangan.

 

Although I’ve always loved travel, I would say this is the trip that really solidified my love as an adult. I’d just gotten out of a significant relationship and decided fairly last minute to get out of town to clear my head.

Vancouver International Airport

Little liquid courage at the Vancouver Airport before heading out

I talked to a friend who was over there at the time, booked a Contiki tour for part of a trip, got a plane ticket, loaded up my passport and backpack and headed out. I did have a bit of anxiety about going, I’d never traveled anywhere solo before, I wasn’t sure what a group tour would be like and of course, long ass travel time.

To say that my mom was freaking out would be an understatement. I had just moved into an apartment alone for the first time, single for the first time since high school and now was heading to Asia?! I’m sure she thought I was having a mental break.

After a flight from Vancouver to Tokyo, Tokyo to Bangkok and finally Bangkok to Krabi…I had arrived! I quickly met up with my friend Shane who had already been in Thailand for a few weeks at this point.

Krabi, Thailand

First morning in Thailand

 

The first night we stayed at a small hotel right in Krabi and decided to move out the next day. We booked in at the Beyond Krabi Resort, which is gorgeous. You walk in the lobby and have an amazing view of the entire property and the sea. I was in heaven! This is exactly what I was picturing and just what I wanted.

 

Beyond Krabi Resort

Does it get much better than a mojito by the pool?

Beyond Krabi ResortBeyond Krabi Resort

 

We spent 3 nights here then headed out to Koh Lanta. We made reservations at another resort, Rawi Warin. You guys, this wasn’t a backpacking trip. I was easing my way into the traveling life I’d say.

Rawi Warin Rawi Warin

If you get a chance this resort is amazing. Huge beautiful grounds with creeks and ponds going through, infinity pool…basically everything you picture at a tropical island paradise. To be honest we spent most of our time there eating and drinking by the pool, hitting up the buffet and working on my tan. I think we barely left the resort…maybe once to hit up a 7/11?

Rawi Warin

Love a good infinity pool!

Rawi Warin

After a few days, this luxury part of the trip was over and it was time for Shane and I to split up (though we would meet up again soon!) and I hopped on a flight to the island of Koh Samui to start my Contiki trip.

Thailand Airport

Sweatin’ in the airport

Airplane food

Ah…the joys of airplane food, especially vegetarian airplane food

I had a lot of apprehension about starting this…what would the people be like, would I make friends, was I crazy for doing this? Needless to say, I shouldn’t have worried, I met some people on this trip I’ve traveled with again and am still very good friends with.

Koh Samui

The tour started in Koh Samui. We spent a day touring the island in jeeps which was SO FUN! We went up to Wat Phra Yai temple to see a massive golden Buddha, got blessed by a monk and toured through a jungly area.  We spent the nights in Koh Samui partying, it’s too bad I don’t remember the names of the clubs but they were great.

Koh Samui Koh Samui Koh Samui Koh Samui

One place I would recommend going to is Ark Bar. They have a hotel there and also a pool bar. A few of us spent an afternoon there, drinking and swimming and it was so much fun. I think they regularly have pool parties and DJ’s there, so definitely worth hitting up if you’re around.

Ark Bar Ark Bar

Koh Samui is a great place to do some wandering around and I felt super safe whilst there. I’d also recommend if you are wanting to pick up some souvenirs the market would be a great spot to do it.

Next up…time to get the ferry to Koh Tao! The ferries that go between the islands can be either fun or awful…I haven’t had much in between, to be honest. One ride, majority of the group was hungover and it was bumpy as hell (a suitcase even fell on top of someone!), so you can imagine how fun that was…

Koh Tao

Pretending I didn’t feel like I was going to fall off and die

Koh Tao Koh Tao Koh Tao Koh Tao

The next day we hopped on a boat with Goodtime Adventures for a snorkeling tour. Now if you know me, you know I’m not really an ocean person or a great swimmer for that matter. I spent most of the day bobbing around in a life jacket diaper with a beer while the group was checking out the fish.

Koh Tao

We all make it to Koh Tao in one piece, we landed in a bit of a rainstorm so the afternoon was spent for most people at the resort. We stayed in SUCH a cool place, I’m devo I can’t remember the name of it, but it was up the hill from the main town and the whole resort was super steep. (If you are looking to book send me photos and I’ll see if I can recognize it.)

Aman and I also decided to play a hilarious joke on the group when we found a water gun/chicken broth combo pack (seriously…only in Asia) at the convenience store before heading out on the boat. We were spraying people with it (disgusting) and the fish loved it. We were very popular, which I guess was good for the people snorkeling.

Koh Tao

Not sure how this combo was even a real item

After a big day on the boat, we wanted some fun and decided to go out for the night. Koh Tao is known as much for its scuba diving as it is for its partying and we wanted to get in on the action. We hit up a bar on the beach and spent the night with fire dancers and too many drinks. At one point Aman and I ended up in the ocean and that’s when we knew it was time to head home.

The 7:30 ferry the next morning was seriously painful, but we were en route to our final island, Koh Phangan. If you’ve heard of partying in Thailand, you’ve heard of the Full Moon Party and Koh Phangan. We were booked in at the Shiralea Backpacker’s Resort for 3 nights. Although I did really like the actual resort, it was quite far away from anything and we didn’t have transportation. I think that maybe have been on purpose, to keep us drinking and spending money at the place.

Shiralea Full Moon Party Shiralea Thai Ferry Koh Phangan Koh Phangan

We actually missed the Full Moon party by just a few days, but they compensated by throwing a party at Shiralea with lots of neon and I think it was probably just as fun. People who have actually gone to a Full Moon party may disagree, but I think being at one would probably just give me a ton of anxiety.

After a few days on Koh Phangan, it was time to head back to Koh Samui to catch my flight back to Canada. I thought maybe after being surrounded by people for 3 weeks straight I’d be happy to have some alone time, but the moment I checked into my first solo hotel room of the trip I was so lonely!

Wing View

To wrap it up I would say considering I made some lifelong friends and this was my first solo trip it was well worth it to do a group Contiki tour. If I were to go again (which I would love to get back to Thailand someday) I would certainly feel safe and know I could do it for a lot cheaper by myself. I think feeling this way has come from getting a lot of confidence by doing more traveling. At the time it was exactly what I needed, I came home tanned, happy, with a small (maybe large and disgusting would be a better description) coral wound on my knee (still got a scar to remember that night by) and had certainly caught the travel bug that would have me searching for my next trip ASAP.

If you made it this far thanks for reading through, I know it’s a bit longer than my usual posts! Also apologize for some of the poor picture quality, it was a lot of phone pictures. Have you been to Thailand or done a group tour like Contiki? What were your thoughts?

 

Just a Little Catch Up

It’s been a while since I just sat down to write a catch-up post, so I thought I’d do that today.

Although the weather in the month of May has been a bit shit (where is summer?!), I’ve been having a lot of fun.

At the end of April, I did another Makeshift craft night. This time it was making terrariums and I went with my sister Erica. It was a lot of fun and I love that they have everything set up and you basically just have to show up and make something. As much as I love being crafty, sometimes getting it all organized is the hard part. Check out my cute little plants!

Terrarium Terrarium Terrarium

Lucy and I have also been getting out and doing lots of hikes!

As much as I miss traveling I do feel super lucky to live in such a beautiful area. There are so many gorgeous places to check out, so close to home! Some of our favourite places to go are Kenna Cartwright Park and McConnell Lake. I can’t wait for the weather to get even better and start making some longer day trips.

Kamloops Hikes McConnell Lake Peterson Creek Kenna Cartwright Kenna Cartwright

I always love a good party and decided to throw one for Cinco de Mayo this year. Who doesn’t love an opportunity to eat chips and guac and drink a little (I mean a lot) of margaritas!

I was able to find a lot of decorations at the Dollar Store, so that was a score. I love decorating for parties. It may be cheesy and my friends don’t always use what I think are great photo set ups, but it’s so fun for me!

Having to clean up the next day after the party…not so fun. I may have succumbed to my hangover and let the mess wait until Sunday, whoops!

Got to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom yesterday. We went out for breakfast and then hit up Art Knapp’s where I got some more succulent plants. It’s either plants or adopt a kitten…although that being said I have been eyeing up some kittens at the SPCA.

Mother's Day

We had a nice big family dinner (which my mom cooked most of…awks) for Mother’s Day with my parents and my sister’s family. I’ve been teaching the kids about the joys of Boomerang, which is hilarious. Should probably bring my phone charger everywhere they are though, leads to a dead battery pretty quick.

Other than work that’s about all I’ve been up to the last little while. Praying that this rain takes a break and can maybe get out on the boat this weekend! Fingers crossed!

Don’t forget to share with your friends if you like what you read or jot down a little comment and let me know what you’ve been up to lately! 

 

Self Care Sunday

Self CareI think we can all agree that self care is important. When you’re a burnt out sad Sally you’re no good to anyone else, probably cranky and I doubt you’re any fun to hang around with. But! When you do take care of yourself and indulge in the things that make you feel happy and healthy, believe me it shows.

Everyone is busy and sometimes has too much going on, but lets decide, even once a week, to put ourselves first!

Today I’m going to share some of my favourite self care/indulgence ideas, with the hope you can bring them into your life and get some joy from them.

Self Care Fav 1

Spa Night!! This is a classic and you can’t go wrong. Find your favourite face mask (I’m loving this Arbonne one at the moment or Sephora sheet masks are great too!), run a bubble bath with your favourite scent, put on some relaxing tunes (super into the band Lord Huron or even some Bossanova) and just enjoy.

I love taking the time to do this. If I’m really feeling like indulging after I get out of the bath I’ll slather on my favourite moisturizer or even do some self tanner. Moisturize my face super well, put on some cozy clothes and cuddle into some blankets.

Self Care

Take the time to really set the mood of your space on an evening like this. Set out your favourite candles and dim the lights, turn your phone onto airplane mode to get rid any distractions or notifications and have a bottle of your fav wine or champagne chilled. By the time you’re done you’ll be so relaxed and feel great about yourself.

Self Care Fav 2

Exercise! This one for me is huge. I know when I have times that I’m feeling burnt out or struggling with some anxiety going out to exercise can be the last thing I want to do. However it’s always the biggest help! One of the things I love to do is to take Lucy out for a hike or even just a quick walk.

Kamloops Hike

Happy campers when we’re outside!

Kamloops Hike

Getting fresh air and moving your body is proven to help with such a wide variety of things. It can help clear your head, if you’re having a stressful day it can get solutions moving and bonus…burning calories!

Even if hiking isn’t your thing, find it! That’s the joy of exercise, there’s an unlimited amount of different activities to find. If you’re not a weightlifting gym rat, hit up a yoga class, join a softball team with some friends, walk around the mall window shopping…the opportunities are endless!

Self Care Fav 3

Setting goals and making lists! Anyone who knows me knows I am the queen of lists, cute stationary and goal setting. If I feel a bit overwhelmed or unsure about what I’m doing…time to make a list!

I’ve got lists for things I want to do around my  house, lists of ideal boyfriend traits, lists of what I need to do that day…you name it, it’s written down in a random notebook somewhere in my house. (FYI I def find the cutest notebooks at Chapters Indigo. Their summer ones are the bomb this year.)

Writing down your goals, and actually sitting down and looking towards the future is super important. Looking forward to what you want your life to be (and what obvi amazing things are going to happen) can make any little problems that you have at the moment seem pretty small. Perspective is a beautiful thing!

If you’re having trouble thinking of goals I would recommend thinking about the different areas of your life that could use improvement. The things I usually focus on are; business, health, financial and social. Some examples could be…how many new clients do I want a month and what can I do to achieve that? Learning a new healthy recipe a month? Paying extra onto my mortgage or into retirement funds.

Self Care Fav 4

Last but certainly not least on the list is have a Girl’s Night! I’m not sure if there are any scientific studies on it, but eating some junk food, sipping rose (if you can find it, this Monster sparkling Rose is for sure in my top 5) and catching up on all the latest gossip and trash TV has to be good for the soul.

If you’ve been crazy busy or down in the dumps you may not have been reaching out to your girlfriends. But we need that time!! Catching up is so important. Plus your friends know you, and usually have a good perspective on whatever is going on in your life (at least my awesome friends do).

Girls Night

For my girl’s nights I generally prefer to put on comfy clothes (oh haiii leggings and baggy shirts, byeeee getting dressed up), make sure that there are some shows on the PVR (bless the hot messes that are TLC reality shows, have you seen My 600-lb Life?!), and get the wine and snacks going. Bonus points if everything is within reach and I don’t need to get up to refill my wine glass.

It’s always nice (and helpful) to bounce ideas off of people you trust. Whether it’s about love life, home decor or business ideas, getting a second opinion can be great (especially if you’re as indecisive as I am).

So there you have it, my go to self care actives. And hey if you’re feeling real shit just do them all in 24 hours and you’ll be floating away from your anxieties!

What are your favourite things to do to perk yourself up?!