Three days after returning back home from Peru, my girlfriend Lisa and I promptly left for the south beaches of Thailand. This was a trip of leisure. There was no shivering in barns in tiny pueblos in the Andes or 18-mile hikes through the Andes. Instead, we went to the south islands of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan and Railey Beach (near Krabi) to swim, eat, read books, and swing from hammocks.
We stayed at places such as The Sanctuary on Ko Phangan, a somewhat New Age series of cottages near the infamous Hat Rin, home of the Full Moon Parties. However, the Sanctuary was a quiet location, where one could enjoy a massage, take yoga classes, borrow books from their library, or eat at their delicious vegetarian restaurant.
Bangkok served as a halfway point between the beautiful, relaxing islands and our inevitable return to the grind of Los Angeles. Only two weeks later, life would change for us, as with anyone living in the United States, with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon on 11 September.