The best thing we could have done for ourselves and our traveling friends was to split the costs of renting a home on Phuket. It was so good for all of us to slow down our travels and take a breather. Our days were filled with both relaxing and exploring (and also a very stressful time which I will write about at a later date). We self catered for most of our meals and instead of being a chore, cooking was a beautiful communal effort amongst the adults with a little help from the kids. We lounged poolside, the kids played to their hearts content, and each day we chose a different beach to explore.
Out of all the things I was looking forward to on our trip, traveling with our friends from back home topped out the list. I pictured amazing explorations, sharing our knowledge of Thailand, discovering great places, and connecting with our friends on a deeper level than we could ever expect in our lives back at home. I was not disappointed.
Of course traveling as a large group is not always easy. It was hard to do too much in a day, hard to make decisions, and hard for the kids to get down time. As a group we witnessed each others struggles, sometimes with spouses and most of the times with children. We REALLY saw how we parented as opposed to when we would meet up back at home and be at our parenting best (you know what I mean right?). We discussed our struggles with our children, our worries, our fears, and were able to sometimes give suggestions but most of the time just commiserate in our shared struggles as parents.
It was with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to the B family, the first of us to leave for the winter weather back home. We drove our rental van (aka Big Bumpy Bus) on the B’s last day from Phuket to Krabi town where they boarded a plane for Bangkok. We returned the van and we and the W family continued on our adventure down to Koh Lanta.
Goodbyes are never easy and I would be lying if I said I did not shed a tear on our farewell. We have had one heck of an epic adventure. While we and the W family are still carrying on with our travels for another month I am still saddened that this part at least is now over.