There is a saying that there is no bad luck. That someone from up there puts us in the right place, at the right time, for a reason. Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?
I do. But why was I then at the Brussels airport on March 22 when the terrorist attack happened? The answer came in the form of a man who slept in a bed next to me. He wore a black hat.
Continue reading “What Brussels Has Taught Me”
It’s time to chase that spark again.
Don’t you think so?
To think of the things you love.
Gather your scattered selves and make them whole again.
Rub your eyes because, I am sure it is time.
You learned the things hard way. You risked yourself in the world. You kissed the pain.
And now it’s time.
To find the way home.
Continue reading “It’s Time”
I’m not sure if I should tell this story. What if it never happened? Did I really find such a place, I wonder now, months later?
I will put the words on paper. It’s up to you whether you believe me or not, when even I doubt myself.
As I sat with my laptop, sipping a cup of tea and browsing through travel websites, resisting tomorrow’s going to work, I found them on Workaway. I shook the head in disbelief and promised myself that one day I will get there – the south of Thailand, on a paradise beach surrounded by dirt jungle paths.
More than two years after, mini van left me in the muddy street. The rain that held back all day cascaded down. The roosters curiously followed my steps to a new home.
Continue reading “Living in a Treehouse”
I don’t remember the exact moment when I find it.
Thai people walked in silence around the temple and I sobbed like a baby. They stared at me. I stared at the big golden Buddha in Nakhon Pathom. So after two and a half years of waiting I came to Thailand to cry? In front of the Buddha?! What happened to me?!
I felt oceans of sadness pouring out. There I was. Finally traveling. Finally doing things my way yet I cried and cried, wondering what launches an avalanche of strange feelings inside me.
I started walking. I glanced at the monk who stood silently next to me in orange robe. When the last tear dried I felt a frightening void. But footsteps became lighter. Breathing became slower and all of a sudden I could feel myself.
Continue reading ““I will find you””
It’s strange. One would think that it is hard to pack stuff in a backpack and sit on a plane only to wake up in the country where you will be a stranger. Without familiar faces. Surrounded with uncertainty in a completely different reality.
Leaving is easy
Someone would ask why on Earth people would do it? Why would anyone consciously threw himself into difficult situations? Who would ever willingly chose to be sweaty, hungry, nervous, in a constant search for a place to stay and in the eternal care where the wallet and passport are? Why?? Why?!!??
As a woman who finally allows her life to be shaped by the coincidences and sweet moments, I ask a counter question. How do you go from new friends and new places to not have a hard time? How do you go from living on the island in Thailand where time is not important to European punctuality and money obsession? How to move from fighting like a warrior against the tuk tuk drivers; sometimes spending the whole day without eating, and for hours in the sun to the: “Lunch is on the table”. “You need to eat more”. Or a small talk, gossiping and negativity.
Aaaaaa! No one is to blame but once when you saw what others did not, you can no longer pursue with small talks.
Continue reading “How to ever fully “return”? (On going back “home”)”
“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”
Standing at the Hua Lamphong train station early in the morning, covered in sweat and tired of the night drive from Chiang Mai, we just wanted to escape the big city. Steff told Jazz and me about the place outside of Bangkok where you can get Sak Yant aka bamboo tattoo from a monk. The city’s name: Nakhom Pathom. 1,30 hour ride. 3rd class. 14 baht ticket fare.
“Let’s have an adventure! Let’s go where tourists don’t go! ” -Steff was excited.
We looked at each other and got on a local train. Not that we had anything else in mind so let’s have an adventure for 14 baht.
Continue reading “14 Baht Adventure”
Pai is a getaway. Pai is wild, yet it smells like home.
“Pai. You have to go to Pai. Don’t miss Pai.”
As soon as I arrived in Chiang Mai, other travelers started telling me the same – go to Pai! I never even heard of this small town, nestled in the hills of Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand.
It was only a three hour ride from Chiang Mai so I bought the ticket. The ride itself felt liberating. Golden light peeking through the glass of the mini van… Driving through the perfect jungle scenery. Bananas. Only bananas and the mountain roads.
Continue reading “Into the Jungle (Pai)”
– Hi, I am Fred. I’m Canadian.
His shirt was green as our bed curtains in a night train to Chiang Mai.
– Hi, I am Ivana and I am from Croatia. Do you know where that is?
– Oh, I know. I’ve never been in Eastern Europe though – Fred said.
Stranger in the night
After two weeks in Bangkok, it was time to leave. The Road called me. And the Road knows. When the boat started moving, my heart started blossoming. I was waiting for some kind of excitement but all I could acknowledge was calmness. Bangkok wasn’t the place that could silence my longing for what never quiets – the wanderlust. Will Chiang Mai succeed in this game of taming, I asked myself.
“I love to travel – Fred started talking. – But I won’t be able to sleep. Trains, buses, planes.. I never sleep”.
His movements were slow. Gracious. I could see that his eyes have seen more than he remembers, whilst his skin was touched by the places I can still only dream of.