People thought I was crazy to leave. I had been living in a small apartment over the road from a lovely beach on the island of Koh Samui. Every day I witnessed a gorgeous sunrise or sunset, drank delicious fruit shakes, ate cheap but tasty food and only needed to work around 10 days a month. I lazed in the sun, read under palm trees, hopped on my scooter and travelled around the island, or just snoozed lazily at home. It was a blissful life…
Would you believe me if I told you I wasn’t happy. It might sound deep, but happiness most certainly does not come from outside factors. Here I was surrounded by breathtaking beauty, had a very easy life, earned enough money to be very comfortable and yet, inside, something just wasn’t quite right.
I had been in Thailand for 2 years and had been travelling for a year before that. Thailand had presented a multitude of challenges when I first arrived, in the form of: undrinkable tap water; stifling, humid weather; torrential rain and flooding; cleanliness; creatures and critters; discrimination against foreigners; and much more. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying my time in Thailand was tainted by these things – the positive things FAR outweighed the negative. All I am saying is that these were the things that I had to adjust to while living in Thailand. Even though the beaches and scenery were beautiful, I just felt I needed to return to a western life.
It was huge decision. Many of you that have been following my blog for a while, know that I resigned from my corporate job back in April 2011 to go travelling and search for a more peaceful, positive and meaningful life. Looking back over the last few years, I certainly did find all those things. I spent a lot of time studying yoga and meditation in Thailand and I learnt to tap into an inner peace which I’d discovered over time that I possessed; I have always kept my positivity ever since my first blog posts about always looking for the positive side in any situation; and lastly, after teaching in Thailand, I certainly discovered what it was like to do something truly meaningful. But would I be able to maintain this mindset when I returned to England?
There wasn’t one specific thing that made me decide to return. I missed family and friends, I missed supermarkets where I could read all the labels, I missed being able to put toilet paper in the toilet (sad, but true!), I missed simple western foods, I missed being able to walk on a proper pavement without fear of my life, and many other seemingly odd things. Most of all though, I missed having someone to share it with.
Throughout all my travelling, and the 4 years previous to that, I had been on my own. Not counting a brief 6 month relationship, I had been single for 6 years. After a failed 8 year marriage/10 year relationship, it was exciting and liberating at first, but after a while, surrounded by endless beauty and having seen so much of the world, I started to become aware of how badly I wanted someone next to me to share it all with. It became quite an issue for me and along with some other bits and pieces that had been bugging me, I decided in February of this year to return to England.
I felt better once I had made the decision and started the same process that I had gone through in 2011 – I started to sell all my stuff and get ready to leave the country. Something I have now done 4 times!!
Then something very strange happened… Around the middle of March, I noticed an ex-work colleague come online on Facebook. We hadn’t seen each other for over 13 years and I remembered when we’d worked together, we’d had some wonderfully deep conversations. We’d stayed in touch occasionally and had little catch ups at Christmas and I had always been fond of him. So…I sent him a message on Facebook to say hi. Over the next month, the conversations turned deeper, grew longer and slowly we both realised that something special was happening. I’ll cut the story short since this is a ‘travel/writing’ blog not a ‘love blog’ and just say that strangely enough, at a time when I most needed/wanted it, fate simply placed my soul mate in my path.
Now I had more than one reason to return to England. I flew back on the 29th May and started a new life on 30th May and haven’t looked back.
Now I live with my wonderful man in a little ivy-covered bungalow on the edge of the town of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. I am working as a private PA for an ex-boss of mine and even though I don’t have palm trees, beaches, fruit shakes and Thai food around me, I am happier than I’ve been in a very long time. I am hugely grateful for what I have and what I have experienced, and am truly content with my life. I am at peace and it feels marvellous.
So what happens with this blog? Well, I still have a few blog posts to do to finish off telling you about Koh Samui, but then I am going to concentrate on telling you about the county that I am living in now. England, and indeed Cambridgeshire, is so rich in history and each and every day, I am discovering more and more about my local area that both shocks and surprises me.
So the tales won’t stop and the tips won’t stop. There’s still plenty wonderful stuff to share…