In the Easter of 2001 I traveled alone to Thailand for the first time. I had been there the previous Christmas with a friend and I had tried diving for the first time then. When I went in the Easter I went for another dive class. My life in Norway wasn’t really working for me and I was heartbroken after a long relationship and ready to make some changes in my life. I had also recently recovered from my first mental breakdown which had led me into a suicidal path.
So during the Easter my dive instructor asked me if I could consider moving down and work for him. He felt I had some talent with customers and diving. I never hesitated. So when I got back to Norway I sold my apartment and bought a ticket to move down to Thailand.
My plan was to stay permanently. I loved the country, I loved the work and I loved the culture. But most of all I loved diving. I had never experienced peace like I did under water. It was a deep healing process for me.
So on 2nd of September 2001 I was on the airplane to Thailand. During the summer I had sold my apartment and the money I had earned on it was in my bank account and my stuff was in my dad’s basement. I had everything else that I needed in my backpack.
This was my second time traveling abroad alone. It was scary, but at the same time very exciting!
I rented a small place on the island of Koh Samui and I immediately started doing dive classes. My goal was to become a dive master. And I succeeded with that!
The first couple of months I did two dives almost every day. I lived for a short time on Koh Tao so I could get more dives and more experience before I started to work as a dive master in my friends shop.
The first year I blew a lot of money on my first ever Thai boyfriend. And of course he broke my heart and I learned a hard lesson that love is not always love. And that I was worth more than my bank account.
Every month I attended the full moon party at Koh Phangan. It was legendary. So much happened on those parties, it’s even hard to explain. The people I met, the friends I made, the crazy shit I did! Sometimes it just feels like a dream, but on the other hand I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.
During my first six months I stayed home a lot, but as my friend group grew the more I went out for drinks and dancing. It was really fun, but in the end it was hard to combined with diving. So after a year in the dive shop I started to work in a Swedish bar. It was a completely new experience, but that is a story for another time 😉
I was really lucky while living there for two years to have a couple of my friends from Norway visiting. I also met Norwegians living there that I created some true bonds with, friends I keep in touch with to this day.
And my Thai Friends! They have such a huge part of my heart and soul, and I truly believe I wouldn’t be who I am today without them in my life at that point. Many of them have moved abroad, but some are still there. I hope to be able to go back one day and hopefully meet up with some of them. Luckily I have many on them on FB so I am blessed to see how their lives are changing and how their families are growing. In that sense social media is a true blessing… ❤
My life as a diver and bartender is a truly cherished memory, most of all because of the people I met ❤