Moving on….

Posted on November 10, 2019


It was very hard to leave Koh Tao. By the end of my eight month stint I had found my tribe and established a routine.

I love the food, culture and general vibe in Thailand. It’s a beautiful country and I’ve fallen in love with different disciplines of yoga ( Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga) thanks to the various teachers I met and the classes I attended around the country especially in the north, in Chiang Mai and Pai. Strong practise with great focus, discipline and alignment.

As my exit date drew near I was weighing up my options. If you’re a “Farang” (foreigner) in Thailand you have to keep doing visa runs. It’s a way the government can keep earning from ex pats. Not only is this inconvenient and expensive long-term, but you run the risk of one day immigration turning around and saying “no, actually you can’t come back in,”…..then what?

That’s a risk I’m not prepared to take. Especially at this age. I’m desperate to find a home close to water where I can dive and practise yoga daily and maintain my health in a warm climate.

Next week will mark the second anniversary of my blood cancer diagnosis. Everyday I wake up I make a conscious effort about exercising and deciding what I put into my body. The toxins I have are staying stable and I need to keep it that way if I want to keep chemo at bay.

So after hugging my friends goodbye and shedding a few tears, I packed up and headed first to Palau in Micronesia for a mini dive break.

I booked a week of unlimited diving on The Aggressor liveaboard after seeing a half price sale four months earlier. I ticked off my bucketlist dream of snorkelling and duck diving in Jellyfish Lake.

It has to be one of my favourite places in the world. These beautiful creatures have evolved with non aggressive stingers. They bounce and glide hypnotically through the lake. They feel like soft, squidgy pieces of jelly when they gentle bump and brush against your skin. It’s delicious.

At first you flinch, before switching your mind off and relax into the experience. What a magical morning. I could have spent all day in there.

There were just five single people including me who booked the boat. What are the chances? And what a treat. We each got a cabin to ourselves and the number of crew outnumbered us. We saw pelagic Mantas, hump-headed wrasse, sharks, turtles, baby eagle rays, squid and cuttlefish and lots and lots of fish.

It was a pretty fantastic week before my next move. I’d accepted a job in The Philippines as an assistant dive manager at a dive resort on the island of Bohol with a potential work permit after a three month probation period.

This is gold dust. A permit paid for and no more immigration runs. I felt like my prayers had been answered.