What Spending One Month In Thailand Taught Me
Coming from a small place in a small country, I've never traveled outside Europe, never been on a plane, never been away from home for more than two weeks, except one time when I was visiting my brother in Switzerland for one month. But this year, in April, me and my partner traveled to Thailand for a month and these are the lessons I've learned:
1. Step out of your comfort zone - for someone who was never on a plane, I had a 12 hour flight in front of me and even though my family was more nervous than me, asking me questions like "How you're going to do this?" I was very relaxed and cool about it, because I set my mindset to excitement and experiencing something new, not fear and panic. So don't be afraid to do something you've never done before, step out of the box, there's many adventures and things waiting for us all. Have faith and trust yourself and the Universe, this will allow you to do things that maybe seemed impossible at first or things you were only dreaming about.
2. Less is more - when it comes to packing, I really wanted to go minimal. I had too many flights, ferries and buses to catch and struggling with giant suitcases was not something I had on my mind. So I bought a 25 liter backpack and I also had one bigger over the shoulder bag. Even on a small island like Koh Phangan, you can get anything you could possibly need so I packed essentials only. That's all you really need.
3. Have zero expectations - when we booked our tickets, I was so excited, I was searching on Google, trying to find blog posts and stories from other people, I started to imagine how this trip would look like... Then I stopped. I stopped searching, reading, listening and thinking about it. I detached from any expectations and went with an open mind, heart, soul and eyes. Some basic information about destination are always good and useful but don't go overboard with looking up every detail.
4. Engage with locals - if you want an authentic and unique experience, I definitely recommend engaging with the locals everywhere you travel. Learn a few common words like "Hello" and "Thank you", be nice and humble and you will get a completely new perspective and experience. Visit traditional food places and cafes, souvenir shops, local markets...
5. Be present in every moment - if you are sightseeing, pay attention to details. If you are visiting a local restaurant, pay attention on how the food is made, how they serve it and what is the most popular thing on the menu. If you are walking on the street, look at people, the way they greet each other, is there something specific about their culture and every day life. Enjoy every moment, even when your motorcycle dies and you get caught in a tropical rain or you end up chased by the wild monkeys (yes, that happened to us on Koh Phangan).
Be fearless, dare to dream, live your adventures, explore the globe, meet people, learn, grow, be kind, be curious and remember that the only person who can set limits for yourself is - you.
For more on Nina you can follow her adventures on Instagram @nina_kovacevic