I did what every kid was supposed to do: I got good grades in school, got accepted into a high-ranking university, graduated with honors and landed an office job with one of the biggest corporations in America. I even almost married my college sweetheart. I had always heard of Thailand. People that went all came back ecstatic. It’s funny how no one ever comes back from Thailand saying, “Yes, it was okay”. Everyone raves about how amazing it was; I guess that’s why they call it, ‘Amazing Thailand’. Even though I knew I wanted to go one day, it seemed like something always came up: either the lack of time or money – usually both. However this time, I was destined to finally go but even destiny has its challengers.
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About a month before my first trip to Thailand a huge business opportunity came up and it would have been logical for me to cancel my trip. It was basically a promotion that would have came with more money and recognition within my industry. To be honest, if it wasn’t the fact that I had planned the trip months ago with my two cousins I would have canceled. It was just bad timing to go and if it was just friends and not family, I probably would have postponed the trip, maybe even indefinitely. Blood really is thicker than water in that sense. This blood carried me across the ocean where I finally made it to Thailand. We flew into Bangkok and proceeded to get a two hour massage, tipping way too much like typical Americans do.
I think that we ended up getting a total of 30 massages in 21 days while we were there – overkill, I know! After breakfast, in the mornings, we would be the first customers as they were opening and while walking around, if we were ever bored, we’d just pop in and get a foot massage to kill some time. It was a combination of mindless spending – knowing that we only had three weeks to enjoy ourselves before going back to reality – and the fact that everything was so damn cheap. For the cost of one massage in the U.S. we could get ten; so, why wouldn’t we get one every day? It was this mentality that made us try to pack in as many things we could into a short amount of time.
We flew down to Phuket to see firsthand the legendary white sand beaches and tropical blue water. At our hotel we were the only ones not on honeymoon! We then proceeded to sign up for every tour imaginable. The first day was a snorkeling trip to Koh Phi Phi, the island where Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie, ‘The Beach’, was filmed. We then signed up for a day’s worth of Elephant Trekking, followed by a Thai Cooking Class, Bungy Jumping and something called ‘Phuket Fantasy’, which was like a really strange Thai version of Disneyland. Eventually we ended up signing up for our ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ class. That was the beginning to everything. I’d always heard about scuba diving from my blogs, on TV – mainly Discovery Channel and BBC Wild – and in movies featuring James Bond. Also, I had absolutely no intention of doing it more than once. I even paid a guy 2,000 baht ($66US) to take pictures of me underwater so I could have proof that I was down there.
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