Free the Nipple

After the week of silent meditation showering with frog poo and bathing in my own sweat, I threw up my mudra hands and said “treat yo self!” – so I popped a few Dramamines and hopped on a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan.  When we docked, the waves were too choppy for the taxi boats so we had to take the “road.” I held on for dear life in the back of a pickup truck as we scaled the rocky hills á la Indiana Jones to The Sanctuary at Haad Tien.   For the next seven days, I hung on the beach with a bunch of Burning Man vets and topless Europeans. I did yoga and got a massage almost everyday. One day I traversed a bunch of branches nailed together (pretending to be a bridge) to the neighboring beach, Haad Yuan.  As you’d expect from a hippie haven, the menu was a dream. Y’all know how I eat, and I honestly couldn’t have curated a better menu. For the whole week I fueled up on bomb-ass vegan meals like this granola breakfast with cashew milk:

This coconut zucchini-noodle “pad thai”: And this green papaya salad: 

Over the week, I got a bunch of great treatments at the spa but on the last day I tried Tok Sen tapping. For 90 minutes, a woman used the instruments below to knock the tension out of my body and I’ve never felt more relaxed and abused.  The Sanctuary housed a specific breed of hippie where men prefer open leather vests, bikini tops are crocheted (or nonexistent) and body glitter is advised. In this circle, group hugs are long, hula hooping is sport and hair feathers are popular accessories. I took a drawing class where a live model wore a mermaid tail that matched her sparkly pink hair. It was a quite a scene, so I ended up spending a lot of time on my balcony with this view:

But everyone was so nice and as I soon found out, quite talented. I was lucky to befriend another traveler taking in the scene (Hi Amanda!) and together one night we headed to the weekly open mic event. That night, we witnessed a man wearing a Ramones t-shirt and a leather cap/vest/whip combo sing Easy (Like Sunday Morning) and White Horses. Before him, a man with a Hare Krishna haircut belted out 90s classics with a grungy Eddie Vedder timbre. The whole crowd was singing along. Classic don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover, folks. After I had my fill of vegan desserts and steam room time, I got one last treatment at the spa where they massaged my scalp and hair with coconut oil and braided it as such:

…Because the hair braid is the proverbial tramp stamp of an island vacation, and I had yet to be officially branded. Then I hopped on the next taxi boat (sans Dramamine!) and headed north. Now, my views are as such: The warm water is barely knee-deep for miles and the beaches are nearly desolate, so you’re free to roam the coast as you please. It’s a fucking dream. Really, this whole experience has been variations of storybook dreamlands and WTF-moments.  That’s it for now! Excited to meet up with a few friends over the next week – will post again soon! Xo

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