Maybe it was the rock formations that cradled the island; the energy that seeped out of those beautiful majestic rocks. For my entire heart and soul became open in Railay. I fell in love with life, with myself. Madly and deeply.
It was as if my eyes were experiencing the world for the first time. As if my ears were hearing words for the first time.
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson
My first day, I walked 25 miles. I walked what I thought was every corner of that majestic island. I climbed up the most surreal steep rock formation, through mud and fire ants to find the magical viewpoint of the island.
Just when I thought there was nothing left to see, I’d stumble upon another hidden trail.
Into the jungle I went, to secret beaches I stumbled. It was absolutely surreal.
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
I spent a great deal of time just sitting with my emotions those two days. I’d sit at this beautiful little restaurant facing the ocean while drinking fresh watermelon shakes and listening to my favorite playlist and just truly feel for hours; all the emotions found around happiness, all the emotions in discomfort.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown
It was there I realized a big part of this trip stemmed from me running. Running from the person I had become, and running from this situation I was truly drowning in. I had become painfully swept up in this guy the previous months, and was truly drowning in not being able to sort out my head. It had caused such a hidden turmoil in my relationship, and such an internal turmoil once I finally saw it through. It brought me the highest of highs, and the messiest of lows. I realized in Railay, it didn’t matter if you are on the other side of the world or in the same town, running away does not make those feeling disperse. You must sit with them and sort them, no matter the confusion and mucky water it creates. I am still plagued some days with the mess I have caused in my own head from swallowing it down for so long, but I work through it when I feel it now, instead of swallowing it down. That’s another beautiful lesson I hope you can take from me. Swallowing down discomfort doesn’t make it disappear.
I met the most BEAUTIFUL people that live on this planet in Railay. Thailand is a poor country, and I truly mean poor. These people worked 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, and they made in a month probably the equivalence of what we make in a week.
You would never see that written on their faces, or see a chip on their shoulder for the wealth we brought with us t their land. They are whole heartily beautiful, humble, and kind people. This island was a true definition of community. I would say hello to ever single person I walked past, one of my favorite things in this world is to share simple interactions with strangers. Saying hello, and getting a genuine greeting back was such a simple beautiful experience to me. I’ve struggled being home with how to best proceed with my passion as a Social Worker. Seeing a population who has been truly dealt a hand of lifetime misfortune, but can still positively create a rewarding life, makes me struggle working with the deep negativity back in the States.
I spent 48 hours in Railay, on this part of my trip. I stayed up to the early morning both days, dancing my life away with the most free spirited, and authentic people. The group of friends I made there will have a lifetime place in my heart. My soul triiiibe.
I stayed at the Anyavee Hotel, and gosh was it luxury! For a little under 20 dollars a night, I had this massive suite, with the most comfy bed and views! I highly recommend staying here if you make your way to Railay.
One of the bars on the island hosted fire shows every
night and Thai Boxing every other night. Both were such great additions to the activities to indulge in there. I would have loved to stay there the rest of my two weeks, but I had it ingrained in my head that because I came all of this way, I had to experience as many island as possible. So I woke up, terribly hungover 48 hours after arriving and made my way by ferry to Koh Phi Phi. It was a mere $6.00 to get there, and a comfy 3 hour ferry ride. The locals I became close with in Railay really encouraged me to skip Phi Phi, but I had this idea in my head already that I HAD to see it, because it is one of the most well known places to visit in Thailand. Remember how I told you previously to not make too many plans? This is you learning from my mistake: just because you have this predetermined idea in your head, if it doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to see it through to just see it through.
Going to Koh Phi Phi wasn’t a good choice for me, but it made me realize once again how much listening to my gut was important.
“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
― Pascal Mercier,