So as a hapless backpacker who stumbled onto a little island in southern Thailand called Koh phi phi, after spending a night freezing our nuts off in the Siberian McDonald’s air con almost a year ago, I could not of known what an adventure it would be and adventures it would lead me to.
Phi Phi is like the lover you’d never want to introduce to your parents. The one that everyone warns you about, the one that probably rides a motorbike and has a criminal record, the one that can get you into kinds of trouble you never even knew existed before – and the one you just can’t stay away from. What was supposed to be a few days turned into ten months of dancing barefoot on beaches, falling barefoot off tables (thank you relax bar), falling barefoot down stairs, five stitches in my forehead, half a front tooth smashed out, gallons of alcohol, litres of body paint, more glitter then a party at tinkerbells’ and about 50 random tattoos. I’ve been in love and out of love, laughed till I cried and cried bitter tears until there wasn’t a single one left in me. I’ve seen the beautiful, the ugly and everything in between, the best and the worst – in others and in myself.
Spending nearly a year on a beautiful little island of sin where the only rule is that there are none will change a person. Seriously Phi Phi will bring out sides of you that you didn’t even know were there. I’ve done things that I look back on now and the only words that come to mind are “Jesus Christ!” (And then “please forgive me” as an afterthought occasionally) and I’ve had fellow beautiful partners in crime that I know will be compadres for life. But as in all walks of life the good and the bad thrive and I’ve had the experience of coming across those ugly souls that live on Phi Phi for all the wrong reasons. Living a life without limits is a double edged sword and Phi Phi opens the door for you to do things you know aren’t right that you probably wouldn’t do in other environments and also allows the inherently bad to get away with things that in any western country you’d do time for, things that leave scars on your soul and some of these things have made me hate the island as much as a love it at times.
That said, Phi Phi has given me the ride of my life and I know that it’s changed me, broadened, twisted, scrunched up, added a splash of colour and smoothed out many bits of who I was before. And I’m so glad to have had the chance to come now – despite being some hectic party place Phi Phi is still relatively undeveloped. And that’s how it should stay, I don’t think there was a workers heart that didn’t sink when we saw the sign for a Starbucks going up. As much as Lady Phi Phi is wild and has done things that have made me want to kick her in the face I am, we all are, fiercely in love with her too. She is wild, unpredictable and sometimes frankly dangerous, but for all the hair raising antics of the night, the next day the sun will wash away the dramas and with a short walk you can find yourself a quiet spot of beach and let the island hold you, heal you, and give you a cracking tan.
I felt many things as I sailed away on the yacht that will take me onto my next adventure… Alot of nausea as it was 7 in the morning and I’d spent the last night charging round the island with a bucket dressed as a dominatrix.. but also a sense of peace, almost a metaphorical smile and nod to an old friend that knows .I will miss all of the wonderful friends I’ve made from all over the world for however long or short a time they were in the crazy playing field, and I’d like to thank all of the extra special ones for helping me, loving me, making me smile. My doors are always open to all of you if ever, when ever you need it. Im not sad to be leaving Phi Phi I feel like my time there is done for now, and if and when I want to come back she’ll be there. But I did leave two more little bits of my heart there, one with Phi Phi herself, and one with someone who knows who he is.