I've been afraid to jinx it by saying it was actually happening until now, but with only ten days to go, I guess I can finally shout out that I'm leaving for THAILAND! Despite the odds and numerous obstacles, from bank-draining student loan bills, to getting cheated out of a considerable security deposit refund, I've found a way (with the generous help of my wonderful family and friends) to do the thing I swore I'd do when I left Honduras: go to Thailand.

The original plan was to move there and find a job, but given my current financial state, I've had to scale back to just visiting for a month. Scuba jobs may pay enough for room and board but they sure don't pay enough to cover student loan bills. Someday.

So what will I do for one whole glorious month in thailand? That's the beauty of it. I don't know and I don't care to know until I get there. I might find a job for a month, I might get my MSDT, I might just be a beach bum. The plan is to fly into Bangkok, spend a day, and make our way to Koh Tao. That is my entire itinerary for a month. Isn't is beautiful?

So with ten days to go, here are ten things that have been getting me stoked for Thailand:

1. The Beach. Both the book by Alex Garland, and the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. Granted the movie has nothing on the book, but who doesn't love watching anything that Leonardo DiCaprio is in? It's about a young backpacker who realizes that everyone travels to do something different, but in the end just ends up doing the same thing, and so in an attempt to really get off the beaten track, he follows a map given to him that leads to a secret beach.

2. This guide to Bangkok street food stalls: http://matadornetwork.com/nights/guide-to-bangkok-street-food-stalls/ . If you read even one of my blog posts from Semester at Sea, you know that I am obsessed with street food. 

3. Pictures like this:

4. The thought of scuba diving in the ocean again. Where it's 80 degrees, and 100 foot visibility, and there's life aside from crawdads. 

5. The promise of epic beach parties: http://matadornetwork.com/nights/full-moon-raves/

6. The language. It sounds ridiculous. And it's tonal meaning the same word has different meanings depending on the intonation you use with your voice. And I still can't figure out the alphabet (coming from someone who majored in how to figure these things out). BUT... I have taught myself how to say the most important phrase: cheway ney nam ran ahan teoteo nee noy? Can you reccomend a good restaurant nearby? 

7. All the new marine life (along with some old familiar friends): http://www.simplelifedivers.com/gulf-of-thailand/marine-life-guide.html

8. Just the thought of the plane ride out there. Twelve or however many hours direct to Tokyo. No cell phone buzzing with people asking me to pick up shifts. the thought of a month of freedom on the horizon. Time to just sit and veg and leave everything behind. 

9. New scuba gear! It's taken me five years, but I finally have all my own gear! I've had to save up and buy one piece at a time, but my last purchase the other day was my regulators. MK 25 / S600 Black Tech with Air2 and my wireless transmitter. Oh it is beautiful! I tested it out at the reservoir on Wednesday but it was 59 degrees so I couldn't even think about anything besides the cold. Can't wait to dive my lovely new gear for real! 

10. Oh damn, I forgot I was limiting myself to ten. #10 will be the James Bond movie, The Man With the Golden Gun. I haven't seen it in a very long time, and hence don't remember it at all, but it was filmed in Thailand so I am about to watch it on Netflix. 

(All pictures in this post found on Google)