It's amazing how fast things change on the road. We were in Roatan, Honduras and finished our Divemaster Training and now are Certified PADI Divemasters. Dive Professionals if you will. One of our Instructors worked in Thailand before going to Roatan and worked as a Divemaster for Big Blue Dive Center on Koh Tao and she liked it. We loved Thailand and can't think of a better place than Koh Tao. So the plan is to go to Koh Tao and try to find work. Things don't work out as much as you would hoped and plans change in a day while on the road, sometimes and instant. We will see how things change when we get to Koh Tao.
Out Of Roatan On The Way To The USA
Roatan to The USA
We left Honduras for LAX to take care of somethings; bills, taxes, take Buddha to the vet and to see friends. We took a small puddle-jumper from Roatan to San Pedro Sula that was an interesting experience, but saves us loads of time and stay over in San Pedro Sula. We had to spend the night in the airport because our flight didn't leave until the next day. We were exhausted and got little sleep. There aren't even benches to sleep on and even people who work in the airport were sleeping in corners of the airport. We took some chairs from the Dunkin Donuts and fashioned a bench and got a few winks until they came in at 4am to make the donuts and kicked us off of them. We boarded the flight for Miami International Hell. Out of all ports of call and border checks we have encountered through the 1st 2nd and 3rd world countries, I would have to say Miami International is the worst! We made it to our posh hotel with a 42 inch big screen just in time to watch the disappointing finale of the Voice and order some pizza.
Sushi-N-Joy In Oceanside, CA
9 Days In California
We got to LA the next day and rented a car for the 9 day stay in California. We pre-booked a hotel on Hotels.com at the Hollywood Historic Hotel. A great place to stay for the history of the place. It was also the cheapest place capable of calling a hotel a few blocks from the Thai Embassy in LA. We wanted to be close to get there when they opened in case we ran into the ticket-taking lines that we had in Thai Embassy in Vientiane Laos. Quite the opposite experience. It was incredibly friendly, efficient and easy experience we could have asked for and left with a 3 month education visa stamped in our passports. We then spent the next 8 days in California taking care of everything we needed to do in the states before leaving again for another 6 months.
The Best Sushi In The World
We went down to Oceanside and stayed with our old friend Ben. He made us feel at ease and saved us a boatload of money by letting us stay in his decked-out motor home in his driveway. It was perfect!!! I cannot wait to do it again. It was great to spend time with them and feel at home. It's important to get the feeling when you can as so many places make it impossible to feel that way around the world. We also had a killer BBQ with more friends we haven't seen in a while. We also ate at our favorite places like Sushi and Joy. (We ate there twice actually) Amazing time in Oceanside with amazing friends!
We hopped a plane after taking care of Buddha's revised paperwork for his International Health Certificate, also in LA 9 days later. We were ready to get back on the road and travel some more.
Koh Samui Near Bo Phut Beach
Singapore Airlines Trans-Pacific Flight
We departed on Singapore Airlines for Tokyo Narita Airport and the dreaded anticipation of cramped quarters with Buddha below our feet, drifting in and out of sleep. Actually, this was the best flight we've had ever. Singapore Airlines is AMAZING! Their inflight service is great, the seats are great and the entertainment in the headrest of the person in-front of me was like a window to the universe. I didn't sleep the entire flight, and neither did Shelly. We watched our own movies, played texas hold-em against each other, saw television shows and documentaries.
We drank and ate until the point when I finally refused the last meal because I couldn't possibly have eaten more. The bathrooms came equipped with toothbrushes, paste, and mouthwash. Warm towels passed when you need them. It was an amazing coach flight. We then spent 5 hours in the gorgeous Singapore Airport and hopped our next plane to Koh Samui, Thailand. There was a small problem with Buddha, but once we showed his paperwork and Silk Airline's pet policy to the airline manager on duty, we were allowed to board with Buddha and overall one of our best Trans-Pacific travel experience.
Koh Samui was nice. We got a place at the Carpe Diem Hotel in Fisherman's Village, Bo Phut Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand. The addresses here are long! Egg, was the name of the man who worked at the front desk. We loved Egg. Great guy, awesome concierge, speaks great English and spent time teaching me things in Thai like; "Mai Tong, Tam Quam Sa at Hong". Which means do not clean my room, and "Pom Chet Bai", which means I am going. I use that one all the time now. All the numbers are coming back to us and our Thai is getting surprisingly decent. We try to learn a phrase per day.
Going to Koh Tao
We got in touch with our friends Danny and Tasha. We met them back in Vientiane Laos a the Thai Embassy, and they were recently traveling in India and hated it and came back to Thailand. They were in Koh Tao which was where we were planning on going to begin our Divemaster job hunt. We hopped on the Ferry over to Koh Tao for about 15 dollars each and met a great girl name Jennifer from Sweden who we met up with the next night when we all went out.
The Koh Tao Pub Crawl
We had booked a bungalow at a hotel on Sairee Beach with a pool. They had a bunch of bungalows and Danny and Tasha were already staying there. We met up with them and they had met some other travelers staying at the hotel too. Our new friends, Natalia and her Sister Ellie from London, Stephen and Rachel from the States, and Victoria from London were great people and we hit it off immediately. We went out to eat that night and did the Koh Tao Pub Crawl together. If you don't know about the Koh Tao Pub Crawl, it's an organized event where everyone gets a t-shirt and we go from party to party, bar to bar, where nitrous balloons and booze flow all to the backdrop of trance and house playing djs. Basically a roving rave. At one point we even went to some transvestite-ladyboy cabaret club. The whole night was tons of fun and we highly recommend it to all you party freaks out there. It was a crazy evening that ended up back at our resort in the pool until all hours of the night, people getting topless and naked and skinny dipping. It was out of control really.
The Rest of The Time In Koh Tao
The rest of our time in Koh Tao, we sat around the pool when it wasn't raining and sometimes when it was. We ate incredible curries on the beach and hung out with friends. We stopped by a couple of dive shops and spoke with some Divemasters and Instructors who didn't give us a lot of hope for getting jobs here. It was great to see Danny and Tasha again and we love those two Brits. After a few days in Koh Tao we decided to leave and head for some relaxation in Koh Lanta. Danny and Tasha loved it in January and we booked trip to the Southern Andaman Sea islands. Even though we liked Koh Tao and possibly wanted to spend some more time here, we weren't feeling as if work was a possibility and wanted to spend more time with Danny and Tasha.
Koh Samui to Koh Tao Ferry
Change In Perspective
Be open for change. It would be easy to get discouraged about our current situation. We just spent thousands of dollars and 3 months becoming Divemasters and then we came to Thailand to work. It's not looking good, and our money is dwindling. Sometimes you just need to relax and think about the next step instead of getting worried about the future. We are here in Thailand and trying to make it work on the road. We wanted to be out for a year, it's been nearly that give or take a few months, and if all else fails, we go home and work as nurses.
Worry never accomplishes anything. It only creates a state of stress that increases anxiety, which feed the stress even more. It all stems from trying to control our situation, which we can't in this instance. So relax and not control the uncontrollable, reduce stress and anxiety, and just hope for the best. This is how we try to live our life and it's worked out pretty good so far.