I’d like to introduce you to my daughter: Chloe Rose Stringer.
Yes that’s her below…
Just turned 21 and relaxing in a hammock, somewhere in the deep blue gulf which surrounds Koh Tao. A little island paradise, located in sparkling warm waters, a couple of hours from the thai mainland.
I remember the moment she came into the world, her dad coddled her in a snuggle blanket and she lay in a hospital cot, looking into my eyes unblinkingly. A sense of peace came over me at that moment. Something she brought into my life and has given to me on many occasions when I’ve needed it. She, I believe, as her brother was before her, has been a gift of love.
Currently she is livin’ the dream. Not just any dream mind you. Her dream to be precise. In the process of livin her dream, Chloe is deliberately fulfilling many of her bucket list goals. Living life consciously.
Arriving in Thailand in time to celebrate Songkran – a water festival which celebrates the traditional Thailand new year.
Eventually encountering a young whale shark at South West Pinnacle. One of her favourite dive sites. Persistence has paid off – she’s waited to see a whale shark since her last visit to Koh Tao two years ago, where she paid for herself to become a PADI Divemaster.
When Chloe was 11, her dad, brother and me went travelling for a bit. A couple of years later, she decided that she would like to work and live somewhere like Koh Tao – so Chloe began working in the UK to save for her first trip to this magical little island, to train as a Divemaster.
Since then she has worked hard and saved to commit to her dream – to commit to working with what she has, what she is able to do – to enable her to do what she wants. Its been tough at times. On her return to the UK – after the majestic independent freedom, this young woman encountered living abroad alone for the first time, she returned home to her family and bedroom and the thought of living her life in the south-east of england.
Chloe turned to Yoga to feel her freedom, to find on land what she had discovered underwater. Something which she has been able to carry forward with her and continue her practice in Thailand. You can follow her practice on instagram @chloerstringer. Or check out her blog Chloegoesbarefoot.
Once again Chloe resides on Koh Tao. Travelling and living by herself – having fun with friends and doing what she loves. There is no magic ending (yet). Life will still be tough. There will be struggles and choices to be made but I know she is already deciding what the next step in her life will be – as she commits to livin it fully and doing what she wants.
Her dad and me are incredibly proud. We have placed both our children’s freedoms as important and in turn I believe, we have empowered them to know the importance of themselves – but we have also taught them about relationship and through committing to themselves, they have learnt what it takes to commit to another.
Tomorrow is the first day of August – 26 days after that I will turn 50 and yes, I have those moments where I watch my daughter doing these amazing things and feel a tinge of jealousy that all her life is ahead of her. I know that in consciously choosing my life, dealing with the ups and downs, struggles and strains. Moments of bliss and wonder, having travelled across the globe with my husband and children – making the most of our family – enjoying precious time, engaging in fun activities, as well as spending down time together. That I too have laid my foundation for the next 50 years. I have lived one dream and am in the process of creating the next step for the new dream ahead. Have you lived yours?