It’s our last night on Koh Tao, where we’ve been for a week over New Year. We visited 13 years ago in our ‘youth’; the island’s much busier and built up now, it’s gone from ‘backpacker’ to ‘flashpacker’ with budget accommodation very hard to come by. Yet the natural beauty is largely intact, the waters are still crystal clear and turquoise, and we’ve had a great time. It feels a bit like we’ve had a package holiday away from our backpacking lifestyle!
For the most part, this visit has been a very different experience to last time around. Up early, out on the beach trying to catch children and apply sun cream before they get in the sea, blowing up lilos, fetching various goggles, snorkels and other swimming paraphernalia to and from our beach bungalow, sweeping endless sand out of said beach bungalow (I don’t remember that every being a problem pre-children) and playing hours and hours of swimming games and card games to keep everyone happy.
It’s a stark contrast to the lie-ins, the afternoon sleeps on the sand, and the bar-hopping and late night drinking of last time around. Actually, now I come to think about it, I’m not sure what we did all day without children. But that applies to life both at home, too.
We had a nice opportunity to reminisce last night after Fergus finished his PADI diving course. It’s been 3 full days of him off diving and me entertaining the troops, so to celebrate his new status as a qualified scuba diver we stayed up late, sitting on our verandah, and drank a Thai classic cocktail from back in the day – Sang Som rum, M150 and Coke. It felt good to have come full circle.