Dear Diary: A New Adventure

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I just spent an hour on the train writing this post and read it back and was like man this makes me sound like a boring dickhead who can’t form sentences. So huh, here I am having a go again.

I’m heavily distracted by the fact that a) I’m not wearing a bra with my dress and am worried everyone in the world is staring at my saggy melons and b) this guy diagonal to me who thinks he’s a massive lad, talking loudly to his granddad about how he isn’t going with the boys to Amsterdam this summer.

Cool story bro. Pen that one in a memoir.

Anyway, I’M GOING TO THAILAND NEXT WEEK.

I think I mentioned this in a blog post a couple of months ago when I first got into the swing of just writing blog posts I actually enjoyed, rather than y’know, to try and fit in.

And before you click off, like FFS Hannah, you’re such a press trip bore. This one is in fact a family holiday, kind of.

My first foray out of ol’ Great Britain with my younger siblings since 2006.

Because last month they quit their graduate jobs and flew to Vietnam for a bit of an adventure. They plan to just travel about until their money runs out, which seems a pretty grand life plan to me.

I’m meeting them in Koh Samui which is an island to the east of Thailand before heading to Ko Pha Ngan for a few days.

The original plan had been for them to meet me in Bangkok and I’d booked myself a nice little direct flight with British Airways and was feeling all smug and OHHH but BA are the best and I’ll be so well looked after and it’ll be a breeze and then I’ll swan up at the airport and they’ll be holding a sign with my name on.

And then, at the beginning of the week, I got a Facebook message. HEY SISTER, they said, fancy jumping on an internal flight when you get to Bangkok and meeting us in Koh Sumai? ‘It has nice beaches’, was their selling point.

And so now, because I’m an obedient older sister, I am doing just that. I am ‘jumping’ on an internal flight, as though I was just ‘jumping’ on the Central Line down to Tottenham Court Road.

The reality is that I am fucking terrified.

I’ve traveled on my own before. I flew to New York aged 12 as an unaccompanied minor and was all full of sass and independence and COME AT ME WORLD. My mum used to call it ‘street-wise’.

But this just feels like it’s teetering on the edge of my comfort zone, which perhaps, is a stinkingly brilliant thing in itself.

Maybe I have become too comfortable with life. Too settled down and in a routine, and maybe a little bit of adventure (and ahem, staying in hostels) is just what I need to kinda shake my brain up and give me some perspective.

Also, I have, if I’m being too honest, kinda maybe possibly emptied my bank account a little bit for this trip.

I couldn’t really afford it after New York, but I knew I would live to regret the opportunity to just drink beer (Lol jk, do they have Argentine Malbec in Thailand?) and talk about life with the Gale clan whilst watching out over a tranquil blue ocean if I didn’t go and join them, if only for a week.

This will be the most time we’ve spent together since we were kids. Since the half terms where we’d lock ourselves away with Zelda: Ocarina of Time and a multi-pack of Disco crisps, and the summer holidays where we’d build sofa dens and watch 17 episodes of Sabrina The Teenage Witch in one day.

I’m excited to get to know them properly. The way we used to know each other as kids. I’m excited to know the adult Luke and Sam, to be the unbeatable little trio we used to be before life and growing up got in the way.

So, as terrified as I am for trying to negotiate flights in an alien airport (I have to get off the plane, go through customs, pick up my luggage and then re-check in, drop off my luggage, go through security and head straight for my gate all within what I fear is a much too small allotted amount of time), it is totally eclipsed by the excitement rumbling through my veins.

So yeah, it’s a lot of travel in a short space of time, and yes my body clock is going to be fuming with me – it’s only just about back on UK time – and maybe all these far flung trips aren’t exactly relatable, but they’re a one-off, I promise.

I will be back to sit at home in Harry Potter pants and order Dominos Hannah before you know it. But until then, I hope you’re ready for some serious Thailand spam.

Soz not soz.

All recommendations and tips, please throw them my way, you babe-eroos.

  • Don’t worry too much about the Airports in Bangkok, I went to both of them while I was there and they were both a breeze (especially compared to my arrival back home at Heathrow).

    Thailand is easily one of the best places I’ve been you will have an amazing time. Such a good place to relax too.

    Enjoy 🙂

  • My little sister just got back from five months in Thailand and she had an absolute ball. Her and my brother are already planning a Vietnam trip for next year, and even though I’m not really a backpacking and hostel type of gal, I’m making myself go because I wouldn’t miss a trip with my siblings for the world (and I would have major fomo at the thought of them bonding over travels while I sat at home with all my home comforts, like indoor plumbing and air con).

    Apparently the airport in Bangkok is ridiculously well organised, you’ll be fine! 🙂

  • Thailand is lovely! When I was there we had an internal flight down to the islands too but we had to go from the domestic airport which was stressful!

    Have a lovely time, I’d advise avoiding Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui as it slightly resembles Magaluf! Or at least it did when I was there a few years ago!

    Oh and if you get chance to go to the full moon party on Koh Phangnan it’s seriously with it!

    X

    • I literally just remembered the best place for food in Haad Rin on Koh Phangnan. It’s a place called Mama Schnitzels and I would definitely recommend it!

  • Oh wow – this sounds so exciting hun, I cannot wait to see your Thailand spam.

    I think I’m about to come down with a bout of wanderlustitus!

    Emma | HarmonyBlaze.co.uk

  • This sounds amazing Hannah!
    I am a new subscriber to your blog and I just wanted to let you know that I love your style of writing and post topics. You’ve inspired me to start my own lifestyle blog which I’m currently writing post for.
    Enjoy your holiday!

  • Sometimes it is so great to get out of your comfort zone.

    Enjoy some family time and I am looking forward to reading all about it.

    Harrie xx

  • Lou

    I’ve just got back and already know il be stalking you everyday to relive it 😫
    Jungle club in Koh Samui is a must at sunset!! Library hotel, silver beach & Arc Bar for cocktails.
    Koh Phangan= Magaluf circa 2005 ..go onto Koh Tao instead..way more dreamy 😻

    • Oooh ok, have saved all of these recs! Ahhh the other two are going on to Koh Tao instead but it just so happens my visit is over the Full Moon Party so I’ll be with the in Koh Phangan (mildly terrified but I’m just going to embrace it and pretend I’m 18…). x

  • I am so ready! You’re going to have an amazing time and I can’t wait to live vicariously via your pretty instagram and blog posts.

    I have the same kind of fear of travel (not the actual flying but the fact that I can’t control absolutely every variable) so I totally feel you. But time and time again traveling has proven to me that such a fear is irrational and it’s usually always fine.

    Have a fab time!

    Bethany | Curly and Wordy

    • YES, it’s the out of control thing isn’t it. Because SO many things could delay me but then at the same time, it’s likely they won’t. Fingers crossed it goes to plan! x

  • Hope you have an amazing time! So many of my friends are travelling there at the moment and it sounds incredible- I’m so jealous.

    I’m travelling to Peru this summer on my own so I get the whole anxiety about plane hopping- I have three changes to get to my final destination *insert cry face emoji*. Any tips you have for easy travelling send them our way!

    Love your blog, yours is probably the only one where I’ll click on everything you post.

    Honor xxx | http://studentviewoflondon.blogspot.co.uk

    • Oh wow that will be insane and such an incredible experience. I know it’s easy for me to say you’ll be fine, but I’m sure you will be, no matter how anxious it makes you feel inside! x

  • You’re going to be ok, know how brave you are for pushing yourself to teeter on the edge of your comfort zone. Thailand is amazing and its people so friendly so if you need help just ask somebody xx

  • Sarah

    Check out the Friendly Frog in the fisherman’s village on koh samui. Best thai food I’ve ever tasted and amazing friendly staff/owners!

  • Oooh I’ve only been to Bangkok and am yet to explore the rest of Thailand (quite unusual for someone who supposedly calls themselves a travel blogger!).

    Have an amazing time, I can’t wait to see what you get up to!

    Hayley | http://www.quirkylittleplanet.com

  • Sam

    Honestly Hannah, you’ll be fine! I’ve been to Thailand and flown internally from Bangkok and it’s SO easy. The airport is well signposted, and the internal area isn’t all that big. I know it’s easy for me to say, but I was also terrified when I did it alone but I promise it’ll be worth and afterwards, you’ll be like ‘what was the fuss?!’ xxx

    Sam // What I Know Now

    • This has made me feel so at ease, thank you <3

  • han
  • B

    I’ve done an internal flight from Bangkok airport and it’s easy – well signposted airport and the Thais are the nicest people going so if you do need help just find a customer service desk. Have the most amazing time Thailand stole my heart hence why we will be making our third trip back in 18months this Christmas!! Just avoid chicken from the street food stalls and you will avoid a dodgy tummy!!

    • Eeek thanks for the tips! Would love to return with Chris next time and stay somewhere a bit sassier and a little less touristy! Super excited. x

  • Jo

    Depends what you want from Thailand but honestly, I think the full moon party is hell on earth. Think gap yah students drinking cheap booze and getting disgusting. Not fun. Super cliché.

    Koh samui is extremely touristy…. it’s a shame you’re not going to other islands as the two you’re going to are so well trodden and basic. But there we go.

    Aren’t you a little old to be doing the backpacker thing? I think you’ll hate it…

    • I mean, I would hardly say 26 is too old for an adventure. And yes, it’s a shame I couldn’t travel to some of the more ‘real’ islands, but it’s not my trip to plan. I’m just going where i’m told and getting involved and embracing it. It might not be my idea of a dream holiday in terms of cheap accommodation and cheap booze, but it is my idea of a dream holiday in that i get to spend time with people I love that I hardly get to see. So I’m going to take it in my stride and make the most of it, because what’s the point in nit-picking all the negatives?

      • Sophie

        26 year old who just returned from a 6 month solo trip ‘doing the backpacker thing’ through south east asia here (and had the time of her life)! Didn’t go to the full moon party or Koh Samui, but there’s no right way to travel – enjoy yourself Hannah 🙂

      • Hope

        That’s awesome, I’ve never been to Thailand but I’m doing something like that in 2 weeks time- I’m about to start training as a solicitor and was going to stay and carry on working.then I decided life was far too short to stay in the office for another couple of months so now I’m going to fly to Dubai, Perth and then Bali to see my best friend who emigrated last year who I’ve missed so much 😍 And I despise flying and have a tendency to get carried away with my kindle and leave it too late and run to the gate! Have a fab time! If anyone has any recommendations for those places I would be v grateful!

      • Hope

        And 26 too old?! I don’t think it’s ever too old to go explore and make amazing memories, even if I was 100 and a great granny with a backpack!

  • Hannah don’t even worry, BK Airport is a modern, clean place where everyone speaks English. It takes no time to get through at all. Thailand is just about the most tourist-orientated country I’ve been to, you won’t get lost. Though the comment above is a little rude I agree to an extent, Koh Tao is nearby and is much nicer than the other two islands you mentioned. Also Thai hostels suck in terms of money value and cleanliness, and you’d be surrounded by 18 year olds who’ve never been abroad before and act like it – you can get a nice guest house for the same price if you’re splitting between three.
    Make sure to try out all the fruit shakes and banana pancake stands, they’re delicious!
    Georgia X

    • Hi Georgia, thanks for all the advice! My brothers are going on to Koh Tao afterwards but I booked my flights to Bangkok a while back and always said I would just join them wherever they were, I didn’t want them to start re-arranging their itinerary around where I fancied. Hence why I’m on the other two islands. But hey I’ll make the most of it 🙂 All about those pancakes! x

  • Emily

    You’ll have so much fun! Dont worry about it you’ll be fine! X

    http://www.emilyy.co.uk

  • Wendy

    You’ll have the best time, thailand is one of my fave countries. The people are so warm and the food is incredible.

    In terms of transferring your flight, Bangkok is a really busy but very efficient airport and the staff are really helpful. Also last time I flew Bangkok to phuket the air plane actually waited for the passengers to arrive before taking off which meant we were 40 mins behind schedule and if you miss it, they will definitely put you on the next flight. Don’t worry!

    If you find yourself in Bangkok for any amount of time, definitely go to a restaurant called Once upon a Time, best thai food I’ve ever eaten.

    Enjoy and can’t wait to read all about it xx

  • Never say sorry; it sounds amazing!!! Go for every opportunity you can. I can’t wait to see the pics!

    K.

  • Jasmin

    I’ve never been to Thailand but my mum and dad went last year (lol my parents party harder than I do) and I remember them saying that the internal flight they took (phuket to bangkok I think) was so lovely, loads of leg room and staff couldn’t have been more helpful. Oh and endless amounts of dim sum. So it’s probably worth taking the flight just for that tbh. Have an amazing time! (also Magaluf is the best, so if there’s a place in Thailand remotely like it then it can only be amazing!) xx

  • Lauren

    Hannah you will love it! Don’t worry. The airports are fine, all sign posted and the staff will all be able to speak English if you did get stuck.

    Bangkok airport can be quite hectic but just embrace it, it will be a great!

    I absolutely love Thailand, yes the places you are going are a bit touristy but who cares – they are still beautiful. And it will just make you want to go back and visit more places!

    Backpacking is a great experience too, it will really make you appreciate the finer things but also make you realize you don’t always need them, I think much more experiences happen, better stories made and more people met when backpacking!

    Well Jealous! Enjoy!! Xxx

  • Bee

    Said it on Twitter, but I’ll say it here too, ‘cos I’m just a nice kinda gal you see. Have a super time, grab this trip by the balls whilst I live vicariously through you. Ta very much!
    Bee | QueenBeady.com

  • Grace

    My boyfriend and I went to Koh Samui for 2 weeks and it was literally the best holiday I’ve ever had! (New York coming in at a very close second…)

    Food wise there is so many amazing places for literally pennies! My favourites in Chaweng;
    – Khaw Glong Thai Restaurant – Best Thai food I’ve ever tasted
    – Stacked Samui for some AMAZING burgers
    – Ninja Crepes – No joke, a beer and dinner cost us about £2.50 and it was incredible.

    Try and get to the W Hotel in Koh Samui for cocktails because it is just amazing! Also, we definitely miiight have just walked in to some lush 5* hotels to try their bars/use their pool/sample their food.. Oopsy.

    Also, if you’re internal flight is with Bangkok Air then they are literally a dream and put our budget airlines to shame! There’s a buffet in the lounge at the gate AND we got a Thai Curry on the plane.. Winning.

    Have the best time!

  • Aw babe I’m in Koh Phangan ob the 19th for 3 nights, and then Koh Samui from the 22nd June! x

  • Abbi

    YESSS so happy about the fact you’re going. I’m booked to fly to Koh Samui in September and now I can’t bloody wait to read all of your posts/stalk the life out of your insta pics when you’re home. Top of my list are:

    Arc Bar – for the fire shows and cocktails.
    W Bar
    Choeng Mon Beach (apparently Chaweng is so busy it’s horrific, whereas Choeng Mon is a lil slice of heaven)
    Ang Thong National Marine Park day trip
    Eating ALL watermelon and sipping ALL the coconuts

    Enjoy xx

  • Oh my god! I’m so jel, I’d love to go to Thailand one day! I’m sure the journey will be fine! Have a safe trip and I can’t wait to see the photos!
    Maisie xxx
    Blog: moolifestyle.com | Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/moo-lifestyle-14749053

  • Alicia

    How exciting! I know what you mean about the stressful flight change, how long do you have between flights to get your luggage and re-check in?

  • Théa

    Hiya, I’ve been to Thailand loads through my travels and my honeymoon don’t stress you will be fine. If you are flying with B.A to Samui (don’t think you can) there’s a connecting bit which is really hard to miss so you’ll be fine.

    If not, you will go down the longest straight walkway before immigration (so long, it’s almost 1k if you arrive super far at the end gate) with lots of clear signs in English, go through immigration, get your case and their check-in the other side is also SO easy.

    The airport is new so fairly modern, nice and big but not big enough to get lost. Lots of places for Asian and European food and as long as you’ve left enough time between flights you will be fine.

    Tay x

  • What a great opportunity! I hope you have a great time but by the sounds of it you really will! I am very jealous as I have wanted to go to Thailand for a long time! Sophie x

    https://stylestarsandsparkle.blogspot.co.uk

  • Fiona

    Hey
    Long time listener, first time caller.
    Just got back from Samui and the surrounding islands 2 weeks ago on my second trip:

    1. Koh Samui has ok beaches. The best beaches are on Koh Tao.
    Koh Toa is a dream location for snorkeling, beaching, exploring the island, relaxing and diving. You get the boat from Samui to Phangan then it continues on to Tao. Do all 3 if you have time.
    2.Stay here on koh tao! http://www.kohtaocabana.com/ Proper island hunt set up. Pool villas are insane!
    3.As long as you have 1.5hrs between flights, you’ll be fine.
    4. When you get to Samui, don’t get the airport taxis with a set price (group share and solo taxis and crazy expensive. Continue walking out of the airport and you will find the metered taxis.
    5. Get a window seat on the BKK-Samui flight! Have your camera ready.
    6.Rent scooters on Samui and explore.
    7.Do your research on elephant ‘sanctuary’s’, monkey shows etc.
    8.Aftersun.
    9.Although i have never had problems with extreme boat delays (1hr max), make sure your return flight to BKK leaves you with a decent amount of time.
    10.Stop in BKK for at least a night. It’s an amazing city and changing rapidly. Tenface hotel (tablet hotels) is great and there are free tuktuk rides to the tube stop.

    ENJOY!

  • Aww that sounds so lovely, I’m sure you’ll have a brilliant time catching up with them xxx

  • Soph

    Ah your trip sounds amazing – Koh Samui is stunning, where are you staying?? Please don’t stress about the flights – I’m a Thailand specialist at a travel company, and send clients there regularly (as well as having been a few times myself!)

    Bangkok is SO easy to navigate! It’s worth asking at BA checking if they’ll check your bags all the way through for your PG or TG to Samui – there’s no guarantee, but they often will. If they don’t, Bangkok is one of the easiest airports that I’ve been too – tons of English signs and the staff are super friendly – it is the ‘Land of Smiles’ after all 🙂

    Let me know if I can help at all – I know Bangkok and Samui well 🙂 Koh Phangan not so much, but I have stayed there briefly.

    I’m sure your siblings will have nailed this already, but Bophut beach and the Fisherman’s Village is a nice, quieter alternative to Chaweng but the whole island is super easy to get around. The quieter beaches on the south are also worth a visit if you get chance.

    Sawasadee ka!

  • Alicia

    Koh samui is amazing! I had my honeymoon there and it was perfect! Bangkok airport is really nice and modern inside but outside can be overwhelming. My recommendations are make sure you have some American cash on you to pay for anything you need as well as Baht as I have found across Asia they always take American dollars. You also may need to walk outside of the airport and back in another door, we had to do the same this spring when we had an internal flight booked separate. Intimidating yes, but airport staff are really helpful just make sure you keep hold of all your stuff. Southeast Asia is an amazing place, have an awesome time!!! Looking forward to reading the posts and seeing the pics!

  • Hope

    That’s awesome, I’ve never been to Thailand but I’m doing something like that in 2 weeks time- I’m about to start training as a solicitor and was going to stay and carry on working.then I decided life was far too short to stay in the office for another couple of months so now I’m going to fly to Dubai, Perth and then Bali to see my best friend who emigrated last year who I’ve missed so much 😍 And I despise flying and have a tendency to get carried away with my kindle and leave it too late and run to the gate! Have a fab time! If anyone has any recommendations for those places I would be v grateful!

  • You will have such a wonderful time (not bcos it’s Thailand and obvs that is WKD) but seeing your family and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will make you feel like queen of the world. Can’t wait to read your dear diary afterwards boo xxxx
    http://www.fashionnomads.com

  • “it’s teetering on the edge of my comfort zone, which perhaps, is a stinkingly brilliant thing in itself.” LOVE IT. Have an amaze time in Thailand, so exciting.

  • Ooh you lucky thing! Hope you have a fab time! 😀

  • Hana

    Hey Hannah!

    Your trip sounds amazing, Thailand is such a beautiful place. Ignore the rude comments, I hate when people think they’re too good to go to somewhere just because it’s touristy! Just embrace it all as it comes and you’ll love it.

    Just a bit of advice if you’re gonna do a day trip to Ang Thong marine park while you’re in koh Samui please please think twice and avoid taking a speed boat. I had one of the worst experiences of my life that day and you might have seen in the news recently about one of those boats capsizing and a British tourist dying as a result.

    Soz if thats sounds super scary and dramatic haha

    Hana x

  • Dying to take a trip to Thailand sometime soon! I’ve heard wonderful things! Enjoy your family and have a lovely trip!

    xoxo,
    Cortney
    A Whimsy Wonderland
    http://www.awhimsywonderland.com

  • Jessica

    Hi Hannah

    My boyfriend and I got back from our trip to Thailand last night and after a super long sleep just got my phone out to catch up on your blog, excited to read you’re going to Thailand!

    We spent 3 days each in Koh Samui and Ko Phangan then 3 days in Koh Tao and I DEFINITELY recommend you go to Koh Tao as it was our fave. We hired one of the local longtail boats (see signs for taxi boats) super cheap and they took us out for the day to tour the island and snorkel in the best spots. Both islands you’re going to are beautiful though and I’d recommend going to the Fisherman village in Koh Samui (especially on Friday night when there’s a great market) and Fishermans restaurant in Ko Phanhan. Lots of fish related recommendations….you will love it – we did! Have a great time can’t want to read about it xxx


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