Natai Beach, Phang Nga, Thailand: This blog is born! This piece of paradise on Thailand’s Andaman coast is an ideal place to launch a new blog and plot my post-corporate rebirth.
Taking advantage of my son’s spring break, it’s been a whirlwind at my residence in Phang Nga as I prepare for next week’s departure from my employer of nearly 17 years. And in between many emails I have had a chance to build sand fortresses which my son calls the “Power of Awesomeness,” to ride waves on the boogey board, play tennis and socialize with the neighbors. I have been visiting Phang Nga frequently for about eight years, and this area never fails to put me in the right frame of mind. This trip has certainly been no exception.
On Monday we visited Yaowawit, the School in Kapong (about a 90 minute drive from my home in Phang Nga) which I will support during my forthcoming pan-European cycling expedition. While the School is out of session and many of the children are visiting with their families (this is the traditional Thai “summer break”) I had the chance to meet several Yaowawit kids on Monday. The Thai staff and some Thai and international volunteers also spent hours with us, showing us around and briefing us on the mission and the needs of the School. I am very impressed by Yaowawit, by the kids, and by the volunteer team working hard to provide these children with a path for a better life. Sign me up. This is a cause I am very excited to go the distance for.
Last night my friend Rob Lilwall came up for a swim and a meal. Rob relocated to Hong Kong with his wife in November and I have only known him for a few months, but I immensely enjoy every interaction with him. He spent three years cycling home to the UK from Siberia. He chose to cycle home the long way, via Australia, southeast Asia, Tibet and Afghanistan, among other interesting places. His book, Cycling Home from Siberia, is a delightful and inspiring read. I really enjoyed chatting with Rob about my upcoming European cycling plans and his next expedition in China. When Rob is not busy with some extraordinary expedition, or speaking to a corporate group, he and his wife Christine are devoting themselves to charity in Asia.
We also witnessed one of the legendary Phang Nga sunsets:-