Longing for the There, and not the Here

Angkor wat, Cambodia
It is a curse.
To long for the there and not the here. For wander and sore feet.
It is a curse.
To be present, but never fully. To be a slave of an never ending desire for movement.  


When one decides to tame what shouldn’t be tamed – himself, it feels like slowly dying. Soul feels it. Feet became impatient residents of one’s body. Eyes are getting hungry while heart whispers silently: “This is not for me. This is not for me”. But shush dear heart, don’t make it even harder.

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Living in a Treehouse

Living in a tree house

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.


Years before….

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.

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Unexpected adventures lead to amazing places

Unexpected adventures lead to amazing places
I don’t like when someone is trying to sell the story that traveling is free. It’s not. I was busting my ass to be able to buy a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia. It’s even harder when you come from the Balkans where one often has to work twice as much from someone from the more developed country, for the same income. Did that stop me from doing it? No. I spent two and a half years of working  while studying and doing my master’s in journalism, only to embark on an adventure. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Hell yeah.


You never lose by giving your time 

People do volunteering jobs to make a positive difference in the world, to see other realities, save money and to make a change in the world. Yes, you give your time and don’t receive money but you never loose. With volunteering you can only gain.

Because I wanted to save money during the trip itself, I decided to volunteer in exchange for bed and if I was lucky – food. You choose a country, a job and voila, your resume is enriched for a new experience!

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The Bustle of Hanoi

 The bustle of Hanoi

Until the eleventh day I did not see streets wrapped in total blackness. Unearthly silence followed me to where taxi buses depart for airport. Even women street vendors have not spoken to each other. Quietly they lied piles of bananas and pineapples on heavy bicycles, getting prepared for another busy day in which they’ll need to earn enough Vietnamese Dongs to feed their families on the outskirts of Vietnam’s capital.

Good morning Vietnam

Despite the deep sleep in which the Old Quarter was in, it seemed as if the sun rose above the Hoem Lake intentionally, to throw its first rays on joggers, speed walkers and Tai Chi performers. At five in the morning even encouraged city rats came out to seek for food and most shocking, motorbikes drove without a single beep.

More and more people began to appear on the streets, opening their shops, pulling plastic chairs on the sidewalks and preparing their businesses for tourists.

Life in all its rawness was about to unravel on the streets of Hanoi.

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“I will find you”

I will find you

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.
What changed?


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Life in a paradise (Koh Phangan)

Life in a paradise

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.

Welcome to Koh Phangan sign

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.

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We are Travelers

We are travelers

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.

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The untold story

The untold story

 “It always happens when not expected. Run from love and it will catch you. It will come insidiously and suddenly you’ll have that fuzzy feeling”, Greg said.


I was drinking my Vietnamese coffee in small sips, listening to Greg and watching scooters pass by. If someone knows a word or two about love, then it’s him.

“Do you think some can be immune to it?” – I asked him.

He gave me „the look“ and nodded with his head.

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Lessons learned in Asia

Lessons learned in Asia

“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.

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After one month in Thailand

After one month in Thailand

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.

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