Andrew finally started feeling better today and was becoming his adventurous self again. I had booked a day of snorkeling for the two of us, but realized when I woke up that I had a job interview at noon, so he’d have to fly solo. And since we had heavy rains throughout the night, he wasn’t even sure if there would be visibility for snorkeling, so we walked to the dive shop together to find out.
As we sat chatting with the French snorkel instructor, the British married couple who ran the operations and an American dive instructor who recently landed in Cambodia after a tour in Thailand, we asked them how they ended up on Koh Rong Island and what life was like.
The Brits explained that they work in exchange for free housing and a food stipend, and that they’ve been doing gigs like this for the past 13 years. The stipend basically covers anything they need to live, save for smokes and beer, so it’s a simple, easy life. The American said that he looks for his next place to land by weighing its diving and its people. He likes Koh Rong because the people are laid back and friendly.
Wow. So simple.
After Andrew left for his snorkel session, I headed to my favorite restaurant on the island, Monkey Island, and grabbed a seat at the bar to charge my laptop for my interview and chat with the Australian girl who just became a bartender there. She loves the island life too, but because there are no deadlines, no pressing deliverables, no pressure.
Sounds nice enough, but as I look around this tiny island with 20 hotels and as many bars and restaurants, I think I’d go crazy. And as I explained this to Andrew when I saw him again, he said, “Different strokes.”
I’m so happy to have these experiences. To meet these people. To experience different ways of life. But I also yearn to get back to the action.