Finding Paradise in Koh Lanta, Thailand


Finding paradise in Koh Lanta, Thailand.

Again came just five days later. Gabriel and I arranged to meet in Koh Lanta, a nearby Thai island, where we rented a bungalow for three nights on a quiet beach. It rained. A lot. But there was just enough sun for swimming, for lying in the sand, for watching half a sunset. And the storms were just an excuse for enjoying nights on our porch, drinking whiskey and soda, listening to music, dancing. Our own little paradise.

In Paradise: Koh Lanta, Thailand

Our bungalow in paradise: Koh Lanta, Thailand

Our bungalow in paradise: Koh Lanta, Thailand

Our bungalow in paradise: Koh Lanta, Thailand

Relaxing on a hammock in Koh Lanta, Thailand

A beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Returning from a swim in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Relaxing on the beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Taking photos in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Relaxing on the beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Relaxing on the beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Beachy cocktails on Koh Lanta, Thailand

Romantic day with Gabriel on Koh Lanta, Thailand

Sunset in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Spongebob sheets from our bungalow on Koh Lanta, Thailand

On the sand in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Pouring drinks in Koh Lanta, Thailand

A lizard ont he wall in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Saying goodbye was harder this time. There’s the vagueness of possibility that we could meet again. Maybe in Cambodia or Vietnam or India. Maybe in Barcelona or Venezuela or Chicago. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

And, while I hope that we do, I guess I can’t hold my breath. I know I have to keep traveling, keep moving. We both have our destinations. And we both have our own stories to finish. And whether those stories will include each other, I guess, is now up to fate.

Or, at least, that is what I keep having to tell myself.

I did cry, a little, after he kissed me good bye, after boarding my bus, as it drove away and I watched everything get smaller in the distance. But this little gringa is trying not to be sad to have left him, but to be happy for the time we had together. And trying to just be hopeful. Because, no matter what may come, we had three amazing days in our own little paradise.

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Amber, theAmberShow
    November 27, 2011at10:14 pm

    The photos of him make it clear you like him a lot. *sigh* so romantic.

  • Adventurous Kate
    November 28, 2011at4:46 am

    New reader here. And just wanted to say…wow, that is one handsome man!! Nice job.

    Lanta is one of my favorite places in the world. I was there around this time last year.

    I hope you two are able to find each other somewhere around the world. <3

  • Jaime
    November 28, 2011at10:00 am

    Awww love it. I’m proud of you for writing what you wrote… not about the story but the ending about finishing your story and letting fate handle the rest. I know it’s hard, but you are doing the right thing. Love ya Val.

  • Chris
    November 28, 2011at2:07 pm

    Awwww. This reminded me of my travel romance in Cambodia and Vietnam. We rented a bungalow for a few nights on Koh Tunsay off Kep in Cambodia, it felt like a honeymoon. Awesome memories though; you’ll remember them forever.

  • Judie
    November 28, 2011at7:29 pm

    Love this post, Val. Travel romances are so fantastic … heck, I keep a couple of my own in my memory bank, and oh, the fondness it brings back sometimes. But maybe, just maybe … and hopefully … you’ll be with your Gabriel again someday soon. Btw, you look absolutely radiant, peaceful, and content in your photos. Thanks for sharing. Always wishing you safe travels too.

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