Though I thought of checking out yet another island before my flight out of Phuket, I decided, in retrospect wisely, to give myself a couple of days of lazy rest before I begin a 4-day trip back. Securing a 5* hotel on one of the quieter beaches, near the airport, for $75/night sealed the deal. My first full day here, I realized that the weakness I have been experiencing, accompanied by cough, has a name -- a cold. Fortunately, a day of rest with plenty of hot tea took care of that, and I was firmly on my feet today.
Nai Yang beach, just a 5 minute ride from the Phuket airport, is a delightful secluded beach that's still rimmed by old pine trees rather than grotesque hotel towers. I spent today, my last day in Thailand, doing absolutely nothing but bathing myself in warm rays of the sun and slightly cooler waters of the Andaman sea. My last day here was no longer travel, it was a vacation.
I went for dinner on the beach, a short walk from my hotel. While waiting for my food to arrive, I did something I haven't done in quite a while -- I pulled out my phone, and started looking at pictures I have stored there. Seeing images of home -- taken both outdoors as well as in my apartment -- put a big smile on my face. As much as I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to explore the world over the past 3 months, I'm ready to go home.
After dinner, I walked back along the dark beach, with my handy little flashlight wreaking havoc in the life of confused crabs. I stopped to listen to the sounds of the waves crashing, gazing at stars shining brightly above. This was the moment to harmonize the experience. I suppose this is also the moment that many in my shoes would have attempted to capture in memory for the duration of the cold winter ahead of them, the mental escape of sorts. Lucky for me, I know exactly how long it will be until I experience the warm ocean waters again -- it will be exactly 5 days until I return to Miami, and 6 days, at the most, until I strip down to my bathing suit under my neighborhood palm trees for one of my open water swims.