I have always dreamt of living on a tropical island. I was lucky that I did, for four entire months. Now when I am writing this, I am on an island again but this time I think it will be only for few weeks. It has a lot to offer – warm weather all year around with 24/7 access to the beach, calm and easy life. But everything has its pros and cons. You might think, what the hell can be wrong about living on a tropical island? Not much really, but still there are a few things you might not like after some time…
THE sun doesn´T shine all the time
No worries – you won´t be cold any time of the year. You won´t need a coat or scarf but as we have four different seasons back at home, tropical islands have their dry and wet seasons. So for example in Thailand – the high season (blue sky all day long) is from November/December till the end of March and it is the best time to visit Thailand. Just be careful – this is not the same for the whole South East Asia. In Bali it´s the other way around (rainfree weather starts from April). So if we are talking about Thailand – from April till October, the weather is not so great. It is hot but you can expect a lot of clouds and rain almost every day. It´s not gonna rain all day long, maybe for two hours and then you get an hour of sunshine and then rain again.
it gets really humid!
The rainy weather creates a lot of humidity. It is so bad that when you wash your clothes, it will be drying for the next three days. You need to ventilate your rooms a lot to prevent mould to get in. And even this sometimes does not help! Me and James discovered mould on our things few times in the last couple of weeks. On shoes, trousers, cosmetic bags…I guess once you touch anything with a wet hand, it´s done.
everything is limited
Tropical island = small island. It is like living in a tiny village where you have two small shops with basics, few massage places, few stands with fruit, restaurants serving Thai food in 95% cases and maybe one super overpriced pizza place. There is no bookshop, no public transport, no cinema, no supermarket, no food market, no shops with clothes (when I don´t count the cheap, beach style which you can see on every backpacker). I mean, I don´t mind this style of living. Sometimes I just miss going out and wandering around the city or shopping ingredients for my evening meal.
low possibility to make friends
You might find some expats living nearby you can hang out with. But it´s very unlikely you will be a buddy with locals because they speak hardly any English. But exceptions prove the rule! Let me know if your friends are Thai, Balinese or Cambodians!
and what about work?
You will most likely not find a local, legal job in this remote part of the world. There are still few options – if there is a school, you can be an English teacher or you can work for any non-profit organization. You can also do freelance and online work or set up your own business. Some countries can make it diffucult for you – in Thailand you can´t be a 100% owner of a local business. You need to co-own it with a Thai person and you are allowed to own max. 49% of it.
all those weird animals
You will encounter many dogs, cats and you will occasionally meet elephants, monkeys, rats or quite big lizards. But if you can´t deal with insects, then this is not the place for you. Ants, baby lizards, mosquitos, flys, cockroaches or huge bees will share a room with you at least once. I have also heard a story from my co-worker from Phuket who lives in a nice villa that she discovered a huged cobra crawling around her toilet in the middle of the night. On the plus side, I think I have never seen so many butterflies in my entire life as I did the past six weeks in Thailand.
I hope I don´t sound too negative! I do love it here but there are definitely elements to island life that are less glamorous when you´re not on holiday. What aspects of living in paradise have driven you crazy? Let me know in the comments section!