White powdery sand. Ocean breeze and palm leaf swaying in a tropical sun, whispering shhhhhhh! It was a place my eyes have never seen before. A paradise. Time didn’t matter, mornings were for sleeping and nights for wildness.
“Come, I will introduce to the island life” – said Edi, my American friend whom I met in Bangkok when we were both at the beginning of our journeys.
So I came.
An unexpected home base
In a place where I least expected a homely atmosphere began to grow in me. Not only that I got an island home beneath the starry sky, but I learned how to drive a scooter. I swam among the fishes in turquoise water. I ate dozen of mangoes, met real hippies and practiced yoga. After a week I could recognize smiling faces on the streets. I adopted an island cat and gave her Croatian name.
Situated in the Southern Gulf of Thailand, Koh Phangan is part of the group of islands that make up the Samui Archipelagos. Tourists have started to discover the island in the 1980’s. It is close to Koh Samui and Koh Tao. It’s a home to 20 temples and only one KFC.
Edi barely got me off his couch… Finally I left after one month, seduced by the lure of this magical tropical paradise.
But, let’s go from the beginning.
Continue reading “Life in a paradise (Koh Phangan)”
In the end, it’s all about the people we met. Wherever we end up we recall our crazy days, endless nights and journeys to new frontiers, literally and metaphorically. We might know each other for ages or we met by chance, but now we are friends for life.
And it has been going on for ages.
We pack our backpacks and in this constant motion we respond to, our wings spread. By leaving the well known world, magical gates with the sign „Wanderlust“ appear. Behind them is a parallel world where life is lived in a different, more rapid and more intense way. We can’t see it until we become part of it though the doors were always slightly open.
While at home we were slow and kind of passive, the Road dares us. It provokes us.
Continue reading “We are Travelers”
“They have black coffee, yogurt coffee, egg coffee! It’s so delicious, I am staying here forever! “– I wrote to my friend in Bangkok who has a cafe within his home stay.
“Egg coffee? Ewww!”– he replied.
“It’s really delicious and not some new age thing. Locals drink it! “– I tried to convince him.
“OK, can you bring me some?”
As a sworn tea lover, I decided to write a story about the Vietnamese coffee, for which I converted into a coffee worshiper.
Continue reading “Vietnamese black iced, please”
“We’d never seen anything as green as these rice paddies. It was not just the paddies themselves: the surrounding vegetation – foliage so dense the trees lost track of whose leaves were whose – was a rainbow coalition of one color: green. There was an infinity of greens, rendered all the greener by splashes of red hibiscus and the herons floating past, so white and big it seemed as if sheets hung out to dry had suddenly taken wing. All other colors – even purple and black – were shades of green. Light and shade were degrees of green. Greenness, here, was less a color than a colonising impulse. Everything was either already green – like a snake, bright as a blade of grass, sidling across the footpath – or in the process of becoming so. Statues of the Buddha were mossy, furred with green.”
– Geoff Dyer, Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it
I bought a one way ticket and chose Asia as my first stop for numerous reasons. The most important one was that I knew it was going to be different than anything before. So I picked up my backpacks and with traveling to Asia, I’ve chosen freedom. That freedom has taught me many lessons so far.
Continue reading “Lessons learned in Asia”
When the bus drivers left us in the middle of nowhere, in a muddy alley outside of Siem Reap, I knew we got scammed. Leaving us at the mercy of tuk tuk drivers who charge a lot for the last few kilometers, we became part of an organized tourist fraud.
I warned other travelers that this might happen. Some did not believe, and some were laughing. But when we got left around 10 PM, tired, sweaty and thirsty – we became united.
But let’s start from the beginning.
Continue reading “How we beat the tuk tuk mafia”
When people ask how many Southeast Asian countries have I seen in one month, they can’t believe when I say – one! And it’s Thailand. I travel slowly. Time is on my side and I’m not rushing anywhere.
I was two weeks in Bangkok. I should be in the Guinness Book of Record, right? But I lived there with the American-Thai married couple, who brought me into the “Thai” world. Living in a totally non tourist street, they showed me where to eat, what to eat (coconut pancakes, my love), I didn’t know what double pricing is and I learned how to navigate through city and manage the money in local currency. I was prepared for all possible scams. It was a perfect start.
Continue reading “After one month in Thailand”
“What do you want to have today?” – my “smoothie lady” asked me every day while already pulling my favorite fruits from the refrigerator.
“You choose! I trust you” – I’d tell her and be delighted every time.
“Let’s start with passionate fruit, your favorite”.
“Sit and smile”
Because of this woman, Jirawan Chaidoungkaew, and her magical smoothies, I will remember Chiang Mai. Visiting her fruit stand in front of her home became my favorite routine while staying in the city.
I stumble upon it accidentally, when leaving the Thai massage salon run by the former female prisoners just across the street. I needed refreshment and saw the sign “Sit and smile”, as well as the names of the fruits I’ve never heard of or even tasted before, like passionate fruit and dragon fruit.
Not that I was just buying refreshing and healthy smoothies for 30 Baht, but I was always greeted with a smile and no money can buy the feeling of being truly welcomed.
Continue reading “Smoothie Lady of Chiang Mai”
We all have them. Sometimes miles away. Sometimes a continent away. Some days just a click away. And sometimes we just haven’t met yet. Connected without knowing that, or even each other, they are here for You.
Your Travel Guardians
When one decides to live a life of uncertainty, an avalanche starts to roll within the body of a future traveler. A warm current flows through it, attacking the cells with something that one has been suppressing for a long time – a scent of choice.
You may not know where you’re going or what you’re gonna do but honestly, it doesn’t even matter. The decision is made and you’re off on a great adventure. To see the foreign lands.To rose deep into orgasmic pleasures of the newly awakened freedom. And this notion deliberates you unimaginably.
Once you’ve decided to go this path, surrounding yourself with good people is crucial. Their strength will become your strength. Their stories will become your soul food but most importantly – they will push you beyond your limits to show you how far you can actually go if someone truly believes in you.
Continue reading “Travel Guardians”
Inside the streets of the Jewish quarter in Budapest lies a new wave of entertainment. If you see an abandoned building with charming décor, contemporary art and live music – you found them.
I haven’t heard of them until I went to Budapest for the fourth time. Browsing through the city map, it was time to explore the old Jewish quarter (district VII). And while I’m already enchanted by the Jewish history, architecture and music, ruin pubs were new to me.
When Fogasház takes over
Crumbling buildings and perky, yet quaint and fusty atmosphere, unique cafés and pieces of history on every corner – it makes my heart tingle whenever I’m close to something Jewish (without being Jewish myself. Funny, I know).
And then I stumbled upon them. Especially one – Fogasház. I visited a place I couldn’t believe it exists.
Continue reading “Magic of the Ruin Pubs”