[Note: I wrote this post last month for mypostcardfrom.com, where it was recently excerpted. Here it is in its entirety:]
Oh hayyy. Apologies for the gratuitous ocean/palm tree/bikini/sunshine picture (of which I have about four hundred…and seventeen). I’m currently on my honeymoon and that’s what people do on romantic vacations—lounge around, take pictures of themselves, dine by candlelight. Except I’m single. And traveling solo. And kinda sorta not a believer in marriage. But I digress.
I’ve spent the past five months backpacking off the beaten path in India, Nepal and Myanmar. Now in Thailand, I’ve taken the road more traveled: Drinking Changs on Bangkok’s Khao San road, passing the requisite scuba classes in Koh Tao and pulling an all-nighter at the full moon party in Koh Phagnan.
So dive certified and still slightly hungover, I ferried over to Koh Samui, the honeymoon capital of Thailand. (If you’ve seen Meet the Parents, you may remember Operation Koh Samui as the name of Robert DeNiro’s covert honeymoon surprise gift…If you haven’t seen it, you totallllly should, it’s funny!)
Lucky for me, I happen to know a guy who manages one of the swankier love nests on the island, Nikki Beach. I bypassed the hostels in the Chaweng district (which would have, under normal circumstances, been my go-to) and instead checked in to one of the resort’s 16 private bungalows, each complete with a California King sized bed and spacious shower. A staff to cater to my every whim. Not to mention the long stretch of private beach to stroll.
The island is full of of top tier resorts all clamoring for a piece of the honeymoon action. There’s a Four Seasons as well as a W, InterContinental, Conrad and Banyan Tree, not to mention the hundreds of boutique hotels.
No matter which one you choose, going on a “couple’s” vacation solo can feel alienating/awkward/depressing (take your pick). I lied on my lounge chair with my “date”, John Steinbeck’s East of Eden while people all around me made out in the pool, cuddled on chaises and strolled hand in hand through the sand. But when you get over the whole kinda, sorta a little bit lonely part, it’s also awesome: The hotel serves a Saturday night buffet on the beach with only tiki torches and the stars for light. Seconds and thirds? OBVIOUSLY, since no one’s paying attention to me in a bikini. Sleeping in a giant bed every night means more sprawl room and when it comes to watching the sunset, it’s stunning, with or without anyone next to you.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish I had someone to share certain moments with. But I’d also be lying if I said that a romantic style getaway—where reading, relaxing and room service are encouraged—wasn’t exactly what I needed after months of 20 hour bus rides, cold showers and bunkbed hostels.
And now that I’ve already been on a romantic honeymoon, my actual one can be something a little more up my alley, like say skydiving in New Zealand? That is, if I ever get married.