Traveling from Koh Samui to Koh Tao was quite the venture. We were greeted with a downpour that we were unable to avoid. Lugging a backpack, rolling suitcase, and another bag around my shoulder, I ran as fast as I could through strong wind and sideways rain down the pier to the ferry. In the moment it was slightly annoying, but after we entered the ferry all we could do was laugh at being soaking wet for the next couple of hours on the cold, air conditioned boat. Thankfully the rain stayed away for the next few days while we were in the island. I stayed at Lotus Paradise Resort and upon check in received $660 in baht vouchers to spend at their restaurant, beachside bar, spa, or gift shop. Free massages and booze!! A short walk to the beach, I watched the colorful sunset every night. Part of the fee I paid for this trip was a donation to New Haven Dive School’s Headstart Program for baby sea turtles. They take great care of baby sea turtles until they reach a certain size before releasing them into the wild. This gives the turtles a 1 in 100 chance of surviving until sexual maturation instead of a 1 in 1000 chance they would face as vulnerable, brand new babies. We sat through an educational seminar where they taught us about the breakthrough underwater technology they are using to create and maintain underwater gardens and coral reefs. We cruised around the island by truck and boat, and hiked the mountains to reach several 360 viewpoints of the island. We went beach hopping and snorkeling after our hikes to cool down and relax. One afternoon we took a water taxi to the island of Koh Nangyaun for more swimming and snorkeling. The island is three bodies of land, each connected by a walkable sandbar. It’s was soo gorgeous! This day, I spent some time collecting trash from the beach, doing my part to take care of the beautiful beaches I felt so grateful to be seeing with my own eyes. Koh Tao is wonderful! Colorful lights line the busy streets; exciting nightlife with live bands and fire throwers, beautiful beaches and relaxing beach bumming. On our last night we ate dinner on top of a mountain, watching the sun set. I would like to stay, but Bangkok is next!