Thursday, May 29, 2014

To Nirvana and back

With butterflies fluttering inside my stomach I got onto the tiny tail-boat. It's not that I was afraid of boats, nor the sea. This was simply the first time I flew out of my country without a guardian. Just me and my girlfriends. I was just drinking in the grandness of it all. The stretch of the beach that we left behind, the boundless horizon further ahead and the gigantic rocks in the middle of nowhere. Tentatively, I got down onto Railay island. At first, it looked like any other beach with people strolling away, sipping beers at the shacks and some soaking in the Sun. But as I got into a panorama mode, I realized there are two snug islands nicely connected to this one. One of those islands was just a bunch of rocks away. It seemed like a nice caved path to the tiny island. 
Being adventurers by heart and soul, we decided to cross the caves and rocks onto the other island. I reached Tonsai island, all bruised and breathless from the ups and downs, the sharp rocks and the spikey corals. A place with hardly any tourists (probably because of the late afternoon), Tonsai only had two shacks both of which looked like Rasta temples. There were pictures and flags in green-yellow-red all around, most of which had Bob Marley's face on them. I think I also spotted some brothers and sisters of his. It felt like a fraction of a second when two hours later, I finally got up to head back. Looking at the rocky path we came from, I realized half of it was submerged. Determined to reach the boat on time, we set out to hitch-hike once again, gathering more courage this time. We crawled, climbed, slipped, tip-toed and got bruised some more. Towards the very end of the path, one huge tide caught me off guard and I went floating into the sea. Somehow, I stepped back on to Railay beach and that's when it struck me. My phone was in my bag, which also decided to go for a swim. I could hear my heartbeats do the drum-roll. For the first couple of hours I was heartbroken because I had no way to share my experiences on Instagram or Facebook or even check-in at a place. After those first few hours, I felt free as a bird. There was nobody I needed to please. No one to give my hourly account to. Those five phoneless days were the best days that I spent in Thailand. I didn't have to check for any pings or updates and my eyes were doing the clicking for me. Sitting at my office, new phone in hand, I wonder if that was the best way to explore a new place and whether I'll do it again.

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