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Bucket vendors in Koh Phangan, Thailand

On expectations.

Expectations, relationships, and Koh Phangan, Thailand.

I expected Koh Phangan to be a party town. One where I’d spend my days relaxing on the beach and my nights drinking buckets until I passed out. In five nights there, though, I mostly sipped beer, nary finished a bucket, hardly even made it to inebriated.

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

I expected to leave my hostel after one night. It was cheap but I didn’t even have a mattress, just a thin mat on a bamboo frame. I woke up every morning with my back aching. But it ended up the kind of place where every person staying became fast friends. And so I had no desire to leave.

I expected that the too cute Aussie with curly hair and amazing eyes who walked right by me several times at the hostel would never actually have a conversation with me.

So when, at a pool party on my second night in town, he kissed me, I didn’t expect it to be any more than a one night stand.

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Pool party in Koh Phangan, Thailand

But then we hung out the next day. And night. And the next. And we ate every meal together. We went out at night together. We celebrated a new friend’s birthday. We went for private walks on the beach. We stood in the water and watched the stars and the waves. We made creations in the sand.

I didn’t expect him to be so sweet, so smart, so patient and caring.

And I certainly didn’t expect to like him as much as I did.

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

I expected that by now I’d have learned that I don’t have to do what I think I should do. That I make myself miserable sticking to nonexistent plans rather than following my heart. But instead of leaving with him I made too many excuses not to. He’s too young for me. He never actually asked me to come with. He should be spending time with his friends.

I didn’t expect it to be so hard to hold him and kiss him goodbye. To watch him walk away. To let him go. To stay behind.

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

Koh Phangan, Thailand

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