Who: Melissa Craggs, 28
Where: Koh Samui
Why: Melissa's passion for holistic health and wellness led her to Koh Samui, where she now works as a Naturopath at Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa.
Life before Thailand: Melissa was working in Australia at a holistic clinic. Deciding that she wanted to broaden her horizons and live overseas rather than just be the perpetual tourist, she began to look for work in holistic resorts.
"I had never been to Thailand before but Kamalaya seemed amazing," Melissa says. "I had heard of its reputation as a truly holistic and authentic wellness resort following its win at the World Spa Awards for Destination Spa of the Year, Asia and Australasia in 2012 (which it incidentally won again in 2014). So I decided to take the leap and apply for the position - less than eight weeks later I was here!"
|Melissa consulting a guest at Kamalaya|
Best thing about living in Thailand: "Amazing fresh foods and an endless supply of young coconuts," she says.
Hardest thing about living there: "Missing my friends and family, especially weddings, births and birthdays."
Biggest culture shock: "The complete disregard for road rules and the need to drive extremely cautiously," she says.
Melissa's favourite Samui restaurants, cafes and bars: "My favourite restaurants are Soma at Kamalaya, Sweet Sisters and The Spa for the lovely healthy, hearty food. Orgasmic and Rocky’s for gourmet, special nights out, and Bondi’s for a place that reminds me of home- it could be any pub in Australia."
Melissa's favourite places for leisure and downtime in Samui: "Silver Beach is a great cove away from the tourist strip for a swim and snorkel. Most of my leisure time is spent shopping, getting massages and pedicures and scuba diving around the nearby islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao - some of the best dive spots in the world."
|Melissa at Kamalaya|
Her favourite Thai food and why: "Mangosteen because it’s the most delicious fruit I’ve ever had the pleasure of consuming. I eat it by the kilogram and it’s also extremely healthy."
Melissa's favourite Thai expression:"'Mai pen rai' ('it doesn’t matter' or 'never mind') because it shows so much of the laid-back Thai character that’s so endearing."