The question I ask myself every day; How will I prepare myself for travelling solo? After reading “How not to travel the world” By Lauren Juliff it took me back to my own unfortunate travel experiences.
I’d like to shed some light on my very first overseas trip. At the ripe age of 19 I ventured off to Thailand with a group of friends. We started off at Koh Samui which I thought was absolutely beautiful but being New Year’s Eve we decided to take on the Full Moon party. We hopped on the ferry to head across to the island. The ferry was packed to the brim with partygoers. It was way over capacity, no life jackets in sight and the wind was throwing the boat from side to side. Roughly 15 minutes into the trip and a couple of kms from the Island we noticed another ferry heading straight towards us, everyone looking around at each other wondering what was going to happen next. For someone who can’t swim I felt absolutely terrified. I kept telling myself that surely they do this every day. Maybe they are just as crazy on the water as they are on the roads and I was just being a silly tourist panicking for no reason. The ferry kept on coming straight towards us and now everyone seemed to be looking a little panicked which only heightened my anxiety. I sat there watching the light grow brighter as it was coming closer and closer, surely if something was wrong the Thai staff on board would look panicked. Then I look for the Thai staff, where were they?
Soon enough everyone on board was watching on anxiously, I could hear people on board discussing their escape plan and then it happened. The ferry smashed straight into the side of us.
Without even a second thought everyone ran to the opposite side of the ferry which then threw the ferry off balance. The Thai crew were running around frantically to ensure that everyone would balance the boat back out so we could make it to Koh Pha Ngan without having to swim there.
Thankfully we made it to the Island in one piece. This was only the beginning. Upon arriving to the hotel room everyone was still in shock from what had happened on the ferry. The hotel room in comparison to the ferry ride was equally as bad. The bed had Dirty sheets, a bathroom crawling with hand size cockroaches and a safe that was unlockable, quite the irony. In an attempt to lighten the mood we headed to dinner and before we knew it we were walking onto the beach for the Full Moon party. It was exactly like I had pictured. There were countless people running around wearing colourful clothes, people jumping through fire ropes, massive alcohol buckets and having to pay 20c to use the bathroom. We were walking along the beach admiring all of the different things going on around us; everyone was starting to feel brighter. Fireworks were going off left right and centre. I was minding my own business walking along the beach when I felt a massive push in the back as I was falling I felt the brush of a firework go straight past my face. I fell into the sand and yelled out to my friend what the hell happened. “Em, that firework almost blew up in your face”
One of the party goers had lit the firework it had fallen sideways and came centimetres from burning my face. It’s fair to say that at that moment I gave up all hope on the Full Moon party and was in bed before 12am on New Year’s Eve. To be honest with everything we had been through I was more than happy to be ringing in the new year in the safety of my cockroach ridden room. Despite booking the hotel in Kho Pha Ngan for two nights none of us wanted to stay the extra night, so we left the cockroaches and headed onto our next destination: Patong….