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As part of our quest to find out who is living in Koh Samui, why they chose Samui and what they do here on the island the Samui Time went to interview Dee Dairo at the Spa Samui.
Hi Dee, thanks for meeting with us today, so to get the ball rolling, where do you come from and how long have you been in Koh Samui?
I am from Camden in London and I have been in Koh Samui for nine years.
What do you do here on the island?
I am a personal trainer and a drugs and alcohol councilor.
Why did you decide to make Koh Samui your home?
I came to Samui originally for a three week holiday but ended up staying for six weeks. I just fell in love with the island; there is something really special about this place. But to be honest, what really did it for me, and I will never forget it, I was driving on my motorbike through Chaweng and some taxis stopped, the drivers got out of their cars and put a mat down on the side of the road, they all sat down and got out their lunches and started eating there on the side of the road. I thought that was just amazing. I remember thinking about my life in Camden with all the modern conveniences and how these men, comparatively had so much less and were happy and content eating their food on the side of the road. So, I flew back to the UK and rented my flat out and came back, and then later on I sold it.
I stayed for about 2 years and then when the money started to run out I knew I would have to go back home and earn some more so I could come back to the island and live here. Before I came here I was working as a drug and alcohol councilor in local community centers, it was something I loved doing but I decided that I would make money faster if I got work on a building site, but nobody would have me. But as luck would have it my ex boss heard I was back in town and had plenty of work for me so I went back to that as well as working on a market stall. I was so keen to get back I worked seven days a week to raise the money to do so.
What happened next?
I came back to the island for six months, loved every second of it, and then I went back to the UK. That was when I found the website of the first English speaking rehabilitation centre in Thailand, in kanchanaburi. They showed some interest in me working there, but when I arrived back in Thailand I just had to come back to Samui. After a while I decided that I wanted to work in Thailand and went up to have a look at the place, it is really beautiful. If you have not been there you really have to go, the place is amazing. I spent a year there and discovered that during the 2nd world war the Japanese marched the allied soldiers there on foot and they built the bridge over the river Kwai. There is a fascinating graveyard there as so many of them died. There is also tiger temple and it is only two hours from Bangkok.
Do you offer alcohol and drug counseling services in Koh Samui?
Yes I do, anybody can come along and have a consultation, there is help at hand. There used to be a rehab centre on Samui but it is not here now, however I know some very good ones in Thailand that can help anybody who wants to become free from addiction.
What drives people to want to give up drugs and alcohol?
There are many different reasons, some are health related, sometimes losing a business or ending a relationship can prompt a person to get the help they need.
If a friend of a partner is suffering with addiction is it worth bringing them to you?
To be honest the only person that can help somebody struggling with addiction is themselves, they have to want to stop. I can’t wave a magic wand and make somebody want to change their life. However I somebody is concerned about a friend or partner I can talk to them and start to plant seeds that there is a happier and healthier way to live their life and perhaps get them to consider making that choice.
You have been counseling for over ten years but you have been a personal trainer for over twenty years, what sort of services do you offer clients in Samui?
I offer personal training for anybody who wants to improve their fitness. I can visit client’s homes, meet them on the beach or in the gym. Really to get fit you only need about an hour a day so it is not as hard as people think. The biggest thing for me is giving my clients motivation and encouragement. I think most people benefit from a personal trainer because without one it is too easy to find reasons not to work out, but once you get into a routine it becomes easy. It is the same with exercise, it is too easy to give up after five minute but if you have somebody next to you, encouraging you and that can get you through the wall, then it becomes easy. I always start off with a consultation and then the sky is the limit!
So do you yell at people like the personal trainers in reality TV shows?
No, I certainly do not, reality TV is just that, reality TV, it’s not real life! If I yelled at my clients like they do on the TV I don’t think I would have any!
Do you run boot camps?
Yes I do, in fact I have one starting one on Bangrak beach on September the 3rd for ten weeks. It runs for an hour day at 6am and all you need is a mat and some training gear and few bottles of water. It consists of things like skipping, bench press, squats, jumping jacks done in circuits. There will be three sessions a week. I will be giving advice on diet and nutrition as well as the top ten foods not to eat during the course!
Do you have to be quite fit to join?
No, not at all, the camp is suitable for anybody at any level of fitness, you just need to let me know if you have any injures. If anybody wants to join they can register here – Click for Boot Camp
So what do you do when you are not training?
I love being at the beach, I love to hang out at Nikki Beach and Beach Republic and the rest of the time I just love the freedom island life gives me.
Thanks so much for talking to us today and good luck with your boot camp!