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Hello and welcome to my blog formerly called Gypsy-K. Please note that I am only updating this blog while I am walking from Rome to Jerusalem from September 2015. My online home and permanent blog is at You can also sign up for pilgrim postcards and newsletters here. Thank you for being here and supporting my journey. With love and courage, Kym xx

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Running For Stillness

When I left Melbourne back in April, I had no idea that I would end up spending so much time in Phuket. It definitely was not my intention. I came to Phuket to complete my divemaster, train in Muay thai and then move on. Move on I did, but I found myself drawn back in October to rest after a few months on the road and finish my Teaching English course before moving on to India.

Returning to India has always on my agenda. My short visit last year left me captivated, intimidated, shocked, over-awed and wanting more. I have planned most of my other travels and activities so I would be in India by November when the weather is generally better, not too hot or wet. When I arrived back in Phuket I purchased a new Lonely Planet India guide and I started researching and drawing inspiration for my trip.

At first I was flooded with ideas; Mumbai to catch up with a friend and attend a wedding, Goa for some chillout and beach time, Meditation at Oshodam, Yoga in Rishikesh, a very long trek around the south of India and diving on the Andaman Islands. The possibilities were endless and exciting, I was in the process of creating a magical journey. But before I knew it, the excitement gave way to tiredness, a craving for stillness and a cease to my manic movement, at least for a while.

India is big. Much bigger than it seems on paper and this trip was going to require movement, a lot of it. I wondered if I could just pick a couple of places and go for a shorter period of time, but that didn’t feel right either, almost like compromising the vision. I sat with my indecision and waited, knowing that it would sort itself out eventually. And it did, but not in a way I expected it to.

I was woken up one morning, out of a peaceful slumber, by a voice giving me very clear and firm instructions, that it is time to face some fears. No I haven’t gone crazy, but it was clear to me that my higher self was trying to help and give me some direction. In that moment, the decision was ultimately made. I was not going to India. I was not going anywhere. I am going to stay in Phuket.

Judge Phuket on the surface and you will find a large island that is a tourist mecca, crowded with resorts, too many tourists, cheap imitation goods, numerous bars mainly filled with working girls and a lot of sex tourism. But there is a beauty to this island and an ease of being that I have craved for a long time and that I have unexpectedly found here in this tourist metropolis.

Phuket abounds in beauty; divine sunsets over the Andaman sea, white sandy beaches, a warm and tropical sea whose embrace cleanses and purifies every time I am in its embrace. There is simplicity of being. A roof over my head, food on my plate, my needs are simple here. There is freedom; jump on a motorbike and go wherever my heart desires. There is fun and friendship; dinners, beer o’clock, mini-golf and too much fun. And there are personal challenges to face with much support around me.

So that’s how I now find myself running for stillness. I have just travelled 740 kilometres overnight in a mini-bus from Phuket to Kota Bharu in Malaysia so I can get a new tourist visa to stay another two months in Phuket. The journey was long, uncomfortable and sleep deprived. Humans were not meant to sleep sitting upright. But even with all the discomfort, I still found reason to be over-awed with life. I witnessed the fading of the full-moon in the pre-dawn sky as the sun began to rise over foggy fields of green, pearly pink streaks in the sky illuminating the grey puff clouds, the scene was reminiscent of country Victoria in an Autumn dawn. I watched as the sun became shrouded by thick grey clouds and as its fiery orange copper glow emerged through an oval gap in the clouds, fighting to be seen. I wanted to scream for the bus to stop, stop, please stop, be still so I could take all of this magic in. But this was not the time. I stayed silent, and the bus kept hurtling along.

The running was long. Almost 16 hours after leaving my home in Karon I was finally able to check into my hotel at 1.30pm where I soon fell into an exhausted sleep. Tomorrow morning I pick up my visa and repeat the epic journey back to Phuket. Running back to stillness, and to the simplicity of being.

Sunset over Karon Beach 16th October 2009