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This is Not What I Thought I’d Be Doing

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Mae Haad Pier, Koh Tao, Thailand

This is not at all what I expected I would be doing when I left 3 weeks ago. I try to stay away from using cliches as much as possible – but this quote by Lennon is too good to pass up. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I think this is the first time that I really get that quote.

I had planned on traveling around Thailand for a month before my trip to Malaysia. The goal was to find a place that I wanted to stay for a 2-4 months to work and write and figure out next steps. Things were going as planned during my first two days in Bangkok – the city very quickly reassured me that it was not somewhere I wanted to stay for any length of time!

I was divided pretty evenly between the next 3 places I was going to go: Chiang Mai – a big but quiet(er) city in the North of Thailand, Ubon Ratchathani – a less-frequently touristed city on the far East side of Thailand, or Koh Tao – an Island known for diving in the Gulf of Thailand. I chose Koh Tao on a whim (I wanted to see the ocean…) and have been here for the past 3 weeks.

When I return from Malaysia and the Philippines in mid-October I’ll be starting my Dive Masters Training on Koh Tao and won’t be leaving until the beginning of December at the earliest.

To be honest – this both terrifies and excites me.

Here’s what’s exciting:

  • I’ll be learning something new in a medium I’ve loved for a large part of my life (water)
  • The people here are friendly and interesting
  • I love islands and have wanted to live on one for a long time
  • I’ll be diving twice a day, almost every single day

Here’s what’s terrifying:

  • I would have to run 2 laps around the perimeter of the island to complete a marathon. For reference, two typical college campuses would not be able to fit on this island. Not having options when it comes to where to go, what to eat, and what to do is frankly not something I’ve been exposed to for any length of time.
  • I’ll be spending a lot of my time doing something unplanned. This isn’t bad – in fact, experiences like this are what I’m doing this for – but it’s often a bit scary diving (ha) into something new
  • I’ll be diving twice a day, almost every single day (I sure hope I keep liking it!)

And yet, despite my concerns, I’m more than happy with where I am right now.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve seen how what I thought I wanted and what I actually wanted can differ greatly. Even though we all try to pretend that things don’t change and that the future is predictable – it just isn’t true. Not even a little bit. Think back 5 years ago and try to get inside the mind of who you were then. Try and recall where you thought you’d be and what you thought you’d be doing in 5 years. How’d you do?

Goals change, friendships and relationships come and go, industries are created and economies crash – the only constant is change and I’m trying my best to embrace it!

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2 Responses to “This is Not What I Thought I’d Be Doing”

  1. Yu-kai Chou says:

    Definitely sounds scary and exciting at the same time. Hope you find your happy place soon bro! One things for sure – you’ll be SUPER fit (not that you were ever unfit :P)
    Yu-kai Chou recently posted..The Playpump: How a Simple Gamification Concept can Save the (third) WorldMy Profile

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