The most amazing feeling in the world

Koh Tao Travel Blog

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High tide. You have to be careful swimming with all the hard coral.

I think I'm in love. Or in danger of being addicted, or something like that.

Today I had my first open water dive off the shores of Koh Tao and from the first fish that swam past me I felt like I was in a magical world all my own. Ok, maybe not all my own-shared with millions of amazing marine life and several other divers, but either way it gave me a sensation I can't quite describe. For years I've been going to this huge aquarium store with my Dad, walking through the isles upon isles of tanks filled with aquatic fish, my eyes all lit up like I was a kid in a candy shop. I gave up owning a fish of my own as they all seem to die on me, whether it be due to my college roommate (male) thinking it funny to see my fish "sneeze" when he put pepper in the tank or blow bubbles when he put dish soap in it (the only time he ever bothered with the soap) or just bad luck.

On our way to the other side of the island. Most people don't make it this far (it's past the bars)

But now I'm here. In the water. Under water. And I can breathe. I feel weightless, giddy, free of any worry or responsibility other than to not damage the reef below my floating body.

'You can't leave the island yet,'

my fabulously tanned, fit, exotic-looking dive instructor tells me as we're putting together our equipment on the boat. 'I'll explain it to you later.' Our first dive was all the explaining I needed as I listened with excitement to his description of the advanced open water PADI course. As I smile in pure bliss at the pictures captured in my head of my first dive, I convince myself that I just have to do this second part of the course. Yeah, it'll cost me another $250 at least, but I'll have what's needed to dive almost any site in the world, and that excites me.

Poli, my dive instructor (caught mid-sentence)helping me figure out where to dive in Indonesia.
Heck, the confined 'let's learn the diving skills in a safe, controlled environment before heading out to sea,' part excited me. I think I want to dedicate the rest of my trip to water-diving, rafting, snorkeling-maybe climb a volcano or two...might as well since I'm here.

This island is amazing-the perfect blend of party, relaxation, and diving. Since I got here from my night boat three days ago (which I miraculously slept on), I can't stop thinking that this is paradise. The biggest stress in my life right now is trying to figure out what I'll do with my last precious five weeks of this trip. Five weeks. Waaayyy too short. Since I first got to Asia I keep thinking that I need months more. Six months. A year. I could wander around this continent white water rafting, diving, kayaking, eating new foods for an indefinite amount of time.

Not sure what these are, but they're everywhere!

Traveling is dangerous. Really dangerous. But not in the way that my parents are afraid for me about. They feared I'd be kidnapped, sold into the sex trade, break a bone, be murdered-pick from a list of things that happen in all those movies and random breaking news stories where a girl goes missing from a deserted beach at five in the morning. No, as long as you're not stupid, the real danger in traveling is the not wanting to come back part. The falling in love with a country, a culture, a community, a way of life.

And dreading counting down the days til you have to go home.

I'm trying to not count, I really am. But damn there's so much more I still want to see out there. So many cool people I haven't met yet. So many photographs I don't know if my camera will ever have the opportunity to capture. People ask why there's so few Americans out here traveling. 'We only get 10 days off a year,' I answer the question with a frown and in a frustrated voice every time. Which means that as soon as I start a career, getting time off for more than a vacation to the Rockies is almost out of the question.

I'll find a way though. I have to.

I will.

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High tide. You have to be careful …
High tide. You have to be careful…
On our way to the other side of th…
On our way to the other side of t…
Poli, my dive instructor (caught m…
Poli, my dive instructor (caught …
Not sure what these are, but they…
Not sure what these are, but they…
A common scene on the beach at low…
A common scene on the beach at lo…
How happy does HE look?
How happy does HE look?
Koh Tao Hotels & Accommodations review
I had the most amazing experience here. The first surprise was the stunning rooms they put you up in, at no extra cost, when you sign up for a dive co… read entire review
Koh Tao
photo by: RyanCorrea