Living Out of a Suitcase

Solo Travel

So you may ask: what is it like to be a nomad and live out of a suitcase while travelling around the world? Well, it has its downside but this is small compared to the benefits of a life of adventure.

It's not for everyone of course: travelling alone with just a camera, laptop, and suitcase is mostly a solitary existence, so you really do have to like and enjoy your own company, or living in hotel rooms would be an ordeal. But for those who don't want to live in any one place for long, hotels are like old friends, and travelling is an adventure where you never know what will turn up over the next horizon.

You don't have roots, those roots you start out with fall away after a time and you find there really isn't anything to go back to that calls you very much, and life is a living in the now where everything is a passing. You have to let go. If you hang on to anything it becomes a weight that pulls on you and slows you down; being attached can and usually does cause sorrow, so letting go of things when it is time to lets everything flow, and new things can come and be received with an open heart rather than one cluttered up with things that no longer serve and that should be left in the past.

I'm not a Buddhist or a spiritualist, or anything else. I don't want to become anything, but rather I want to un-become and just be, and so for me a life of travel is perfect.

And what do I do with a camera? I go in search of beauty wherever I can find it.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and have no idea where I am, and still don't even when I remember the name of the place I went to sleep in. For me, this is a good time to go inside and meditate.

This is when I can find my real home, and then the outside becomes a garden or playground to play in.

Authorities don't care for this sort of thing. In their eyes it is not playing the game, and it's suspicious. Such an individual might give others ideas, and so they invariably move you on. But it is not too hard to disguise yourself as a tourist or a backpacker.

It is strange to find so much of the world owned, when it really belongs to all of us, and none of us: we're only here briefly, and from nothing we come and to nothing we go, and we take nothing with us when we leave, so how can anything belong to anyone if we all can't take it with us when we go? It's just a concept; someone has a piece of paper that says: this is mine, and everyone agrees that that is so, and so it becomes so. Everyone agrees that money has a value, and so it is so; paper concepts that everyone agrees to follow.

You may ask: is there a home in a house? Is there a house in a home? There is one home that is not a house of bricks and money can't buy it.

Scuba Diving in Thailand

Thailand is a great place for a holiday, and if you have a week to spare then learning to scuba dive is well worth the effort and expense. Koh Tao (Turtle Island) is a small island of about 13 square miles with over 50 dive schools in the south of Thailand on the right hand side. Most go by overnight bus from Bangkok and get dropped off early morning to wait for the boat crossing. It takes a few hours to travel to the island by boat and when the sun comes up it can burn even though you will feel cool in the breeze, so do put on cream to stop the sun burning your skin.

There are many schools to choose from so a bit of study beforehand will pay benefits as to your enjoyment level and excellence of tuition. Koh Tao is a beautiful island with lots to see and do and the surrounding smaller islands are amazing. There really are some wonderful dive sites not far from this island.

There are two main types of instruction; Padi and SSI. Padi is around 9000 baht and SSI is a bit cheaper than that, but they are both about the same level of tuition. The price includes accommodation with most of the schools being on or very near to the beach.

It usually takes three days to get your certificate to dive up to 18 meters.

Day one is about learning the basics, a written test after reading the book, and some basic skills test in the shallows.

Day two is finishing up tests and then out to do underwater skills. This usually means being underwater for an hour or so sitting in a circle doing hand signals and taking off masks and putting them back on again, general easy tests.

Day three is finishing the harder tests and the final exam. Then off for a good dive in deeper waters.

If you keep well hydrated then it should all go smoothly and be done in three days. You do need to be fairly fit for diving. Some of the bottled water is not that good and it won't do any harm to take a glass of re-hydration salts to make sure you stay hydrated.

Evenings are spent relaxing on the beach watching the sun go down.

When you have your certificate you will be able to dive anywhere in the world.

Thailand is one of the cheapest places to learn to dive, and you could even stay on and teach others; not a bad place to live and work.

solo travel
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Dean Moriarty

writer, artist, musician and photographer

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