I told myself 2017 was going to be a good year and things were going to be checked off my bucket list. 2 months in, on a whim on a 4-day span I was able to check something off. I was now going off of the continent and into another country!
When I got back to Seattle in early February I didn't have any plans lined up while there, so naturally, I was able to hang out with some good friends while back in town. I was then introduced to another one of their friends, who had quickly become my new friend Ben. He plays in a band called “The High Council" and they were going to Thailand to play 8 shows in 2 weeks and I was invited. They were leaving in 4 days, which was oddly a crazy enough thing to do. Buy my first plane ticket off of the continent. I was in luck when I bought the plane ticket because it was one of the last seats available online. The group consisted of the band, a handful of close friends, fans and partners that were to join the Thailand tour. Over the next 2 weeks, we all became a collective crew and tight tribe.
The High Council and crew had a group around 16 people meeting in Thailand, and 12 traveling together for over 24 hours. This path existed of 2 plane rides across the globe and into the future of time zones. It was the beginning of a beautiful adventure. 6 band members, a promoter, a photographer, a live painter, a few supportive friends and partners and eventually a family tribe.
Members of The High Council
The reason why this trip was at all possible is because of Pang, the master creator of this whole trip. Pang had been to Thailand many times before and has made good friends who own bars and venues in Tonsai and in Koh Lanta, the two main places we would be staying and playing at. Pang even made friends with the tuk tuk drivers that were helping us haul all of the band instruments, gear and equipment from place to place for each show. Pang booked all the bungalows at each spot, with beautiful beaches and cliff sides. As if he pointed to his screensaver and said “Yes, that is is where I think we should go”, clicked and BAM we were in Thailand. Point is Pang is the guy who creates magic in every way, for each person around him. He believes in the band and crew and just in people. He wants to share, help, create and support the people he loves, and even for the people he doesn't (which seems to be nobody). He would say “I'm just a conduit”, but he is more than that. He is Pang.
We arrived in Phuket way later than expected. Instead of arriving at 1:00 a.m, it turned out to be 3:00 a.m. Big groups move like hippies... it's like herding cats sometimes. We were all patient with each other and each situation we were to happen upon.
Pang had previously reserved a hotel for the night for the group. A place to crash until we were to take the ferry at 8:00 am. We arrived at the hotel and we had only 4 hours until departure onto the next vessel. Our driver even said we could leave the gear inside his van and he would wait for us outside the hotel until we were ready to go.
Some of the group went to bed as soon as we arrived, and about half of the others went to the night market, it was now 5:00 am. The market women handed us plates with rice and told us to fuel up on the buffet styled setting of food. It was totally unanimous with the 7 of us who at this point were hungry weary travelers, we were almost zombie like. I myself had no sleep or much food while coming across seas. I was still unsure to yet as what was “safe” to eat, but I had not a care in the world when we were feasting off of different kinds of fish, to curries to vegetables. We all had a bit of everything in our bellies before returning to the hotel for an hour later at 6:00 a.m. I had sleep for an hour before we were to return to all the gear in the van and head towards the ferry.
The ferry was taking us to the outskirts of Krabi, in a beach town called Tonsai Beach, near the more resorting side of Railay Beach. Most of us in the group were at the front of the boat, getting comfortable for the hour plus ferry ride. It was blissful getting to know the others, while basking in the sun and talking with cheer, exuberance and thankfulness we were all there, experiencing this together.
The Ferry was dropping us off into a smaller boat, a long boat, to get us to the shore of Tonsai. The surrounding water was a few miles from there. The tricky part of this was transferring all the band instruments and equipment, and then some.... and a bit scary. The boat had to stay level, and that means we all had to balance it out, especially when getting in the boat ourselves. We had help from the men on board, them taking our hands before we even stepped onto the next boat. We quickly learned not to lean to far either way of the boat.
Part 2 - Coming SOON, so stay tuned for Tonsai!