"How does it feel like to return to a place where everything started ?"
That was the first question I had in my mind when I was thinking about going to Club Med Cherating Beach about a month ago, between worry, doubt and excitement whether everything will be the same like 5 years ago and how would I feel when I actually step into the lobby Club Med again, for real. My Schengen visa was about to expired after spending almost 3 months exploring Italy, Germany, Santorini, Paris, Spain and somehow I just wanted to continue traveling. I wanted to see the world, meet new people, maybe reunite with good old friends and let life surprises me more in ways I could never imagine. Talk about the beauty of uncertainty, obviously I had no idea what's next but one thing leads to another and next thing you know...you're living the dreams.
I told myself when I left Club Med Cherating Beach 5 years ago and decided to moving forward with life, I knew one day I 'd be back even just for a while, to have nostalgia time, make new memories and maybe I will have to leave my heart there once again like I did last time - but I don't mind. Club Med Cherating Beach has always been one my favorite places in the world, my home away from home. Perhaps because I had a long history, I grew up and practically started everything there. I remember I was only 20, had a short hair, innocent, but highly motivated, energetic and all I wanted to do was just working overseas. The universe conspired to make it happen, I couldn't thank Sentha and Ivan enough for giving me the opportunity to explore myself working with such a beautiful dream team in a paradise. Never thought my decision to work in Cherating Beach for a year brought me a lot of life-changing experiences that made me who I am today. I have traveled far, been through lots of ups and downs but always manage to get back on my feet, made some achievements, and for that...I need to give myself a little reward : coming back home to the place where I started, fall in love, be the sunshine, leave and fly even higher. As soon as I found out a good friend of mine is currently working there, I decided to contact her and see if there's any opportunity to work part time for a month. While I'm on a long break, I thought this is the perfect time to return to Cherating Beach and collecting memories.
30th June 2015, I arrived in Kuantan airport. Still the same girl with the same energy like when I first arrived in 2010. Driving for 45 minutes to the resort was kind of a long movie playback. All the memories suddenly haunted...emotions...excitement... ( you can call me drama queen, that's fine ) Nothing much changes in Club Med Cherating Beach, except the zein pool, team and evening show. I had no expectations but one mission to make the most of my 30 days. On my first day I found it really sweet when some of the local employees still recognized me even after 5 years, I was happy to reunite with Marianne, William, Javed, Rajes, Sentha, Dinesh, Gil, and Glen - knowing they're doing great and being so kind to have me working with the new team. As much as I wanted to have my old team back and every corner in Club Med Cherating like backstage, swimming pool, the beach and many more seemed to have a story that only reminds me to the past, I'm glad to live in the present instead and make new friends with some of really cool people I met there, Sentha gave me a chance to work for two weeks in Passworld , and I even got to do a photoshoot with insanely talented photographer Andrea Panero from Turin. Simple things like walking on the grass or along the beach in the morning, smiling to people and the Bar team, being silly and crazy with my team and Passworld were just few little things I appreciated a lot. In the end of the month before I left, my mission is accomplished : I fell in love again with bunch of special people, I created new memories and somehow ready to move forward, to fly higher. Cherating Beach will never lose its magic, at least to me.
Photo Credit : Andrea Panero