I spent my first three nights on Thailand’s Samui Island, staying at beachfront hotel The Library, reading and recovering from jet lag. Then I moved over to the fitness/wellness resort Absolute Sanctuary, where I stayed eight days for a round of healthy living. The hotel is located up in the hills overlooking a secluded beach– the setting is serene and almost surreal.

On check in at the Sanctuary I read a card in my room outlining some rules of the retreat. Alcohol is prohibited. Somehow I missed this aspect when I booked my accommodations. As it turned out, all could not have been better. Most hotel guests were in residence for a nutritional detox. Juicing and cleansing foods of fresh fruit and vegetables. I did not wish to leave or eat any other foods. Without thinking about it I ate no meat, sugar or fats during the stay and lost five pounds. My only sugar was in the vodka I had smuggled into my room! BTW, have you ever had a Lawnmower Cocktail? That would be a vodka and wheatgrass shot. Holy moley, seize the day! Ha-ha, all in jest.

The weather during my stay was rain and then torrential rain. Perfect for massages, relaxing, reading, and my own kind of cleansing. I did venture out to the nearby village to experience life outside the Sanctuary, where I found the streets flooded with sand and debris from the recent downpours.

I took my first two Pilates classes, a back scrub and a four hand massage, follwed by quiche for lunch. That’s a joke– just kidding about the quiche. 😀 The resort was fairly quiet with only about a dozen European women guests– and these folks were invariably glued to their iPhones. Seriously, given the extraordinary setting and opportunity for focus and clarity, this digital addiction was both apparent and a bit sad. iPhones were in hand during meals, while in the pool, and even during a massage. When I commented to a German yoga instructor about this observation, her response was that she had had a woman in her yoga class interacting with her iPhone while being adjusted in a pose.

I won’t fly off the handle on a rant about folks not living in the real world while being immersed in little glowing LCD screens… but, Hello, Houston, we have a problem. I thought this was a distinctly American trend but it is in fact it a worldwide shift for humankind. I read that in a few years Apple will have AR glasses (=augmented reality) so you can explore your own world within an entirely personalized overlay of visual effects. Let’s all say goodbye to human interaction, at least it had been real while it lasted.

At times, it’s been a touch lonely without my faithful travel companion, my sister Beth, but overall this voyage to Thailand and “Land of a Thousand Smiles” has been a feast- both visually and gastronomically- and a most excellent adventure.

Thanks, as always, for following my blog and best to you from Wandering Gary