On a recent drive back from Napa, in a convertible, top down, friend turns to me and asks: “when have you felt the most free?”
I didn’t hesitate to answer because to this day its still my most memorable moment. My friends and I finally arrive at our villa in Phucket. The first couple of days backpacking through Bangkok and taking a morning flight to Phucket really drained us and we immediately had to crash. We didn’t have much planned for the day figuring that it would mostly be traveling and settling ourselves in. Our host, this super rad Australian man who decided to move fulltime to Thailand on a whim, left us four bikes we could use to get around the southern part of the island. We didn’t know where we were going, but since we had nothing planned we decided to ride out to wherever we would find ourselves in. We took the main road south and hit a beach that was completely empty. A signed that we missed, because 10 minutes later after it started raining. In Thailand, when it rains it pours.
We made our choice and stayed, we got this far so what point would it make to bike back home? We would be equally as drenched. We left our stuff on the shore and ran straight into the water. It had to be something out of a movie. The background was cloudy and filled with haze while two island mounds created an ethereal, picturesque backdrop. The feeling was surreal and I can never find the proper words to describe that moment. It felt as if we had discovered an uncharted island and we were left to our own devices. Maybe something similar to what freedom feels like?
The rain didn’t die down but the whole time we were out swimming I couldn’t help myself but scream out into the distance. Then everyone else joined in and we howled, yelled, laughed and it felt fucking awesome. As the rain died down we swam back to the shore and just looked out into the ocean. Still dark cloudy and full of mystery. Where am I? I mean yes this is Phuket but for a second I felt that this place had no name and that liberated me.
It was time to turn back. My friends were ahead of me but I had to stay for just one more second because I knew that that moment was over. I needed to look out once more and remember this place because it was the one time I felt the most free. And maybe I should be doing more of that…