Phuket: When the Waves Come Crashing Down

FOUR DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN PHUKET meant utter relaxation punctuated with a trip to the city. Though my original plans were thwarted due to unfortunate circumstances, I focused on silver linings and enjoyed this quick weekend trip as best as I could.

From Friday to Saturday, I indulged myself in self-care rituals, brunch buffets, yoga and gym sessions, room service, Netflix binges, and solo strolls by the seaside. Sunday was spent outside the resort, where I ate at a vegetable-forward restaurant and dropped by a local weekend market. To add a pinch of comic relief, I was playing the White Lotus opening song in my head when I was at the resort.

Perhaps, the most memorable part of this weekend getaway was a random and very vulnerable moment on my last day. I was sitting out in the balcony and, suddenly, I burst into tears. I cried hard for a good hour — shaking, trembling, and without a care in the world. Have you ever experienced your body purge an insane amount of saline in the span of 60 minutes? Six months’ worth of trapped feelings, suddenly exploding like fireworks in the sky.

When my dog, Rocket, passed away in October of 2020, I thought, “how much worse can this pain get?” I thought 2020 was the Worst Year Ever, especially with the pandemic and my grandpa passing on Christmas of the same year, just two months after Rocket did. Funnily, I am writing this on Rocket’s birthday. He was supposed to be 12 today, but I digress.

2022 swept me off my feet with an insurmountable tidal wave of pain. During this trip to Phuket, I took early morning walks by the shore where I basked in the quiet and watched the waves crash. Those same waves, I could hear within distance as I wept in the balcony on my last day. In that corner of the world, I left behind parts of my pain. Parts of me were released, dissipated, and became one with the sea.

Lately, I have been learning how to deal with betrayal, disappointment, grief, loss, and pain without trying to escape. Contrary to the person I was a decade ago, I would have easily sought other ways to detach myself from these feelings and numb myself however I could. But, at this age, I am finally trying to be brave and deal with life differently. I am owning the pain that is mine to bear. Facing it can be tough, but when you find air and breathe out your biggest exhale, you’ll find yourself standing strong and tall after the waves crash down. It is terrifying, and, honestly, it was tempting to just hurl myself at the angry sea. But, eventually, the sea quiets down and the calm settles in. You survived.

JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Benihana, Jampa at The Community House in Tri Vananda, Phuket Sunday Walking Street Market, Photos by Mikka Wee

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