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Adventures in “Where the Hell Am I?”

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The last two and a half months have been nothing short of a tornado of experiences flying through my life leaving me completely discombobulated. After the initial struggle of building a practice in a different culture, I was deported from the country I started to call home (a story all in itself.) This was only supposed to last a week. The next thing I know I am living out of small hotel in Singapore constantly getting teased about being able to come back only to have the exact opposite told to me a few days later. After this game of cat and mouse began to get boring; I began to think about the possibility of making Singapore my new home, at least I could start over new again (with almost all of my belongings being back in Indonesia.) Next thing you know, my company is committed to getting me back to Indonesia (yeah, but when?) I found myself covering a practice for a few weeks, however with the return of the primary doctor to his clinic, I had to step aside. Once again, leaving me more confused than when I first arrived in the Lion City two and half months ago.

With not much to do I decided to hop a cheap flight to the land where the sea is deep blue, the beaches are powder white, and the food packs more heat than the tropical weather–Thailand.

Having traveled the country before I decided to go island hopping in nothing short of paradise, the Andaman side of the country. Where else can you can swim in crystalline waters, follow it up with uniquely mouth watering food, and then finish it off with an extremely painful yet relaxing massage without burning a hole in your wallet? Reason enough for a short holiday? I seemed to think so.

Before long I was in the air and on a boat to the province of Krabi, where limestone cliffs jettison out of the impossibly blue Andaman sea. While I am in the country during monsoon season I have been blessed with incredible clear skies. On the boat ride into Krabi, jellyfish peppered the deep, clear water as the limestone karsts came into view, this is exactly what I was waiting for.

Within the next few days I found myself vertical on the limestone. Having been about a year and half since I was last rock climbing, to say I struggled is an understatement. Add that to the relentless sun and sweltering 40 degree heat (104 degrees F for my fellow Americans) and you could say I was nothing short of exhausted. The last run was a 35 meter (100 ft) climb up a craggy face close to sunset which I struggled to complete, but was rewarded by incredible panoramic views that stuffed the frame of my new camera. Too bad my forearms were burning so bad that hitting the shutter button was almost as difficult as the actual climb itself.

When I reached the ground I was hurting, everywhere. My face and arms were sun dried and burnt, my legs were cramping and let’s not even start to talk about my forearms. I was battered, beaten and bruised. I thought that I came to Thailand to escape all of this.

It took every last ounce of energy I had to take the five minute stroll to Phra Nang beach, reputably the best in Thailand. Phra Nang is incredible; white sands encapsulated by giant overhanging cliffs and limestone teeth shooting skyward offshore. I walked to the corner where I had the beach to myself and basically fell into the cerulean waters.

I bobbed back and forth in the water letting the waves take me as they wish while the sun set, laying soft light on the limestone cliffs. It was an incredibly tranquil experience. I tipped my head back and smiled. This was all too much like my experiences of the last few months. Who knows where I am going to end up at this point? Am I going to get back to Indonesia? Am I going to make Singapore my new home? Is this all too much work and frustration? Is more traveling in the cards?

Who knows? I guess I will just have to sit back, smile and ride the waves.


Dr Matthew Horkey
Dr Matthew Horkey
Author | Speaker | Wine Enthusiast

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