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I had just received some exciting news and, here I was in a dilemma.
The good news was that I was one of the three girls who won a trip to Thailand organized by Tourism Authority of Thailand as part of the Great Girly Getaway promotion campaign. And, evidently it was just a week away.
However, I was going to join a group of total strangers, travelling solo for the first time in my life. As much as I love meeting people from different walks of life, I was sceptical travelling on this occasion. This may turn out to be bitter and I was going to be bound for the duration of the travel.
I had learned the hard way that travel companions can make or break travel from past experiences. So, I was sceptical about it.
Great Girly Getaway in Thailand
Nonetheless, determined not to shy away from a learning experience, I put my apprehensions aside, braced myself for this trip, packed my bags and headed off to the catch the plane.
At the airport, a girl came up to me and said, “Hi, I am Sahana. I’m a UX designer by profession and also a fashion blogger.” She was wearing the white Adidas shoes, which was a popular fad then. “Do you want a chocolate?”, she asked. It was salty, dark chocolate with a hint of caramel. We talked about our shared love for travel, adventures, our trips to Singapore — a place we both love, and we instantly hit it off.
After what seemed like a lengthy journey, we were finally in Phuket. Me, for the second time in the year. But, this time on a mission to go off the beaten path in one of the most commercialized tourist locations in Thailand. Something told that it was going to be an epic adventure.
Additional Read: Offbeat Guide to Phuket
The other girl was waiting for us in the hotel lobby.
“Hi, I am Hesha. I’m a social media consultant, and a fashion and lifestyle blogger on the side”, she said. She was chirpy, enthusiastic and was always smiling. She claimed that, like me, it was her second time in Thailand that year, albeit, the first time in Phuket. And also, she was planning to come again to Thailand in October. “You should make me the brand ambassador of Thailand”, she cheerfully said to Rashna — who handles trade relations and marketing for TAT Mumbai and was going to accompany us for the rest of the trip.
Consequently, the brand ambassador of Thailand from India — Anusha Dandekar — an Indo-Australian MTV VJ, was also going to stopover in Thailand for a few days and join us in between her shoots. We parted ways and reached our hotel rooms for some leisure time.
Stay at Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach
Can you guess the first thing I did after reaching my hotel room? Let me give you a hint. They have a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the ocean. That’s right. I went for a quick swim. I was exhausted from the long flight, but how could I resist?!
Have a luxurious and indulgent stay at Marriot, Phuket, Nai Yong Beach. Meandering pools through the property, languorous breakfasts, and exclusive Quan spa – what’s not to like? Book your stay at Marriot, Nai Yong Beach now.
Blue Elephant cooking school, Phuket
The four of us, Hesha, Sahana, Rashna and I, took off together to Blue Elephant cooking school that evening, where we prepared some mouthwatering Thai dishes under the guidance of a friendly cook, somehow managing to not devour on the dishes (even when we were famished) meant for dinner (but only munching).
Even, Anusha joined us to gorge on the sumptuous meal. She expressed her views on being vegan — detailing how cows are tortured for milk their whole lives and the reason behind why she doesn’t have dairy anymore.
“One day, the animals are going to take their revenge on us”, Anusha added.
Banana Beach, Phuket
Immerse yourself in a day of kayaking, snorkelling and diving at Banana beach, Phuket.
I was eagerly looking forward to kayak and snorkel the next day but owing to choppy waters, that was not going to happen. “Isn’t it supposed to be hot, bright and sunny by the beach?”, Sahana exclaimed. “It doesn’t seem to be our lucky day”, I replied. “I’m shivering”, Hesha added. We all unanimously agreed on that. We were stuck on Banana beach for the whole day trembling in our beach clothes due to gloomy weather.
“It’s a lot of work being a fashion blogger.”, Sahana said when I asked about her life as a blogger. She explained that it’s an elaborate affair. Finding new outfits, scouting good locations for shooting, editing photos and then blogging about it. “It’s tough. But then, I want to have the best of both worlds”, she added about managing it with a full-time job.
“Yes, I totally agree. It’s something entirely your own. Kind of like your baby”, Hesha complied. We ended up chatting about our lives back home, our jobs, relationships, adventures, and travel. We laughed about our expectations from that day and how bleak it ended up being. The day didn’t start on a good note, but it sure ended up on a merry tone. Maybe, it just deepened our connection as travel companions.
Ziplining at Flying Hanuman
Flying Hanuman is an eco-adventure located in the dense forests of Phuket. Ziplining through the dense forests under the canopy of trees, assimilating the greenery all around and at the same time feeling like a miniature toy left me speechless.
Reserve at least half a day at Flying Hanuman.
3D Trick eye museum at Phuket
Unleash your inner child at the Trick eye museum. The 3D art installations let the viewers engage with the artwork closely, making the visitors connect and participate in the artwork as the art itself. Reserve a couple of hours in a 3D trick eye museum.
From zip lining in the jungles of Phuket on a rainy day to goofing around in the Interactive 3D museum to retail therapy in the streets of Bangkok, it was a total blast.
Additional Read: If you’d like to spend more time in Phuket, then check out Offbeat Phuket – Beyond the tourist trail.
Probably, it’s our shared love for travel and these adventures and misadventures, that strengthened our bond as great travel buddies, in what was otherwise a short span of time. After all, travel is more than ticking locations. Ultimately, it’s all about the people you come across and the experiences you share that makes it worthwhile.
It indeed was a Great Girly Getaway.
Sometimes, it turns into a lasting friendship when you have so much fun travelling with strangers. Also, at other times, travelling with close friends surprisingly may not be as much fun as you think! Have you ever experienced that? And, did you have similar apprehensions while travelling? How did it turn out to be? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.