Anyone that has spoken to me over the last couple of weeks is pretty aware that my travel plans have been all over the shot and to be honest I’ve not really had a clear idea of where I wanted to be, or what I wanted to do with the remainder of the year.
It’s a case of having too much time, too many opportunities, too much flexibility and just enough cash!
That may sound like an ideal position to be in but with my levels of indecisiveness it can prove to be a complete mind f*ck and leave you a little bit stressed!
We stayed overnight at a hotel in Chiang Mai before waking up and taking a slow boat over to Laos …where I met some really crazy Englishmen! Gotta admit, getting drunk on the slow boat with everyone, hearing everyone’s life stories and travel adventures was awesome and it gave me so many ideas to consider!
But after tossing around ideas like bailing to Oz in 3 weeks, doing my divemaster course on Koh Tao, heading to Japan, exploring the Philippines, bouncing back to Bali or simply sticking to the original plan and heading to NZ to work I finally came to a decision.
And yes it was pretty last minute…
See the original plan for my RTW trip was to hit up northern Thailand, Laos and the Thai Islands before heading into Malaysia. From there I was meant to fly to Oz, spend a couple weeks in Byron Bay and then land in NZ ready to get some work…all in the space between May and September.
But since then Bali came into play, they blogging took off and I found myself with a bit more dollar and time on my hands!
Still, the main things playing on my mind whilst sorting this new plan of attack are the same any traveller has to deal with before hitting the road;
Visas, budgets, future plans, opportunities and time.
And if you’re on the road now, or planning a RTW trip I suggest you pay heaps of attention to all of them, because mucking any one of those up can come back to bite you in the arse pretty quickly!
In the end I’ve opted for the Divemaster route – something I’d previously decided on earlier in the year!
For me it provides the best opportunities to work and travel, as well as being the easiest option in regards to visas and money.
However there has been one major alteration – I’m now basing myself on Phi Phi for it!
Yup – you might have guessed it but savy saleswoman @Ally_Toullec convinced me to change coasts and come dive with her and Barakuda Scuba on Phi Phiinstead…although I’m sure money had something to do with her pitch!
In the long run Phi Phi (although more expensive than my original Tao plan) looks set to be better for me.
Dive wise the sites on the island are epic as I found out during the last few weeks of fun diving here. There’s a larger variety and heaps more marine life to discover.
Lifestyle wise I find Phi Phi less of a party vibe than on Koh Tao. Don’t get me wrong I like to party and there is plenty of opportunity to get drunk and make some bad decision on this island (which can happen heaps wherever you are if you’re living in Thailand!), but it’s no way as enticing as Tao.
…and after 8 months of chaos around the globe I’m ready to take a bit of time out from ruining my liver and chill a bit!
Like one of the dive shops on Phi Phi says;
“did you really travel all this way simply to go drinking”?!
And one of the biggest deciding factors was the fact Phi Phi provides a better chance of a bit of work too – either promo for the bars or being a dive guide – which will help keep costs down and prolong my travels before needing a proper job to boost the funds again!
Jumping in With 2 Feet
So after convincing one of my travel buddies to join me I’m now settling in to Phi Phi life.
We’ve sorted a pimping pad next to the ocean for the next two months, slammed down some serious cash on dive equipment (ouch!) and been taken under the wing of Miss Toullec as she guides us towards becoming qualified divemasters.
I’m pretty stoked to see how the next few months pan out, and already I’ve had some amazing fun dives whilst my buddy Harriet ploughs through her Advanced Open Water – mingling with beautiful Leopard Sharks, Barakuda, Lion Fish and plenty of Nemos!
It’s been a great start to a great adventure which will hopefully help me end 2012 in a sunny paradise and provide an opportunity for a new career path.
It’s a big investment but I’m hoping that the risk will pay off!
I shall also be putting together a dive feature for you guys too – talking through each stage of the qualification, giving you the low down on places to dive around the world, what costs and equipment you might need and generally inspiring you to make some bubbles and explore the ocean!
And if you’re in Asia why not drop me an email and come dive with me and the Barakuda crew on Phi Phi?!