I’ve been loudly proclaiming my love for Thailand since my first arrival last November. I’ve already been back two more times and it’s only February. I can’t seem to stay away.
I could feel it as soon as I stepped off the plane day one, this was going to be one of my favorite countries. The energy of the local people quickly charmed me, as did the lifestyle- especially when I got to the islands. No other place I have visited yet, has felt more like home than the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan in Thailand. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, there is so much to do and so many great people to meet. The vibe is chilled out and exhilarating simultaneously, which is exactly what I need in my life right now.
I’ve fallen in love with so many parts of Thailand. Here are just a few…
The lifestyle. While Thai people do have a strong work ethic, they also know how to relax and do what they need to for themselves. Never have I seen a more blurred line between work and home life. Many of the locals have bedrooms in the back of their businesses- which would be totally weird back home in the states- but hey, there’s no commute! The locals work all day and then go take a nap when it’s slow. They relax until they have a customer then come to the store/shop/restaurant front and then will greet you (most of the time) with a “Yeah? What do you need?” kind of look. I’ve come to find this charming and humorous. If only we could getaway with this back home. We’re so concerned with “work-life balance” and the Thai people simply live within the balance, always walking the line.
Prices. Thailand is (so far) the most affordable place I’ve traveled. I’ve been able to live comfortably on $25-$30 a day- and that’s including the semi-regular Thai massage! The local currency is called “baht” and for every $1 USD you get 35 baht. Usually a meal costs about 100-150 baht.
Shopping. Anything you could possibly want for less than half the price we’d pay in the states. I just wish I could fit more in my backpack! Before I go home (whenever that may be in the future), I plan to stop through Thailand and stock up on everything.
Cats & Dogs. They roam freely like they own the place, and some are so damn cute it’s ridiculous! Case in point. ⬇️
Street Food. It’s cheap, it’s amazing and it’s addictive. You’ll pay $1-$2 for a full meal of authentic mouthwatering Thai street food. Beware though! The low prices and deliciousness of everything will tempt you to be a gluttonous pig. Maybe just get two things at a time… 😉
People. Never have I met such amazingly helpful and kind people. Sometimes it’s easy to mistake a language barrier for someone not wanting to help or accommodate you on something, so I’m sure to go the extra mile and make sure they know what it is I’m saying (hello Google Translate app) and once they understand they are always more than happy to help. But it’s not just the visitors, like me, I see them helping- they are constantly helping out each other. There is a real feeling of community among the locals. They all assist each other with any given task at hand. I think this is something we all could learn from.
Variety. From Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand to the hustle bustle of Bangkok to the many different islands (my favorite) you have a solid variety of places to experience in Thailand. A bonus: the country is small enough that you are able to explore all of it within your visa timeframe- but you’ll probably want to stay longer like me, so plan accordingly!
Parties. The parties on the islands are better than any day in Las Vegas or Ibiza. Not only is the scenery better, everything is cheaper and the drinks are stronger (hellooo buckets).
Anything goes. I don’t know about you, but for me there’s nothing more freeing than being somewhere where anything goes…A place you don’t have to live through your inhibitions. A place where nobody cares. In Thailand I always feel a sense of openness and freedom. There is no judgement or need to look or be perfect- especially on the islands. Coming from a world where I always had to be perfect, I can’t even begin to explain the kind of solace this place brings me.
I feel at home even though I am merely a visitor- and being so far from everyone and everything in the states for what feels like a lifetime, it’s no wonder I keep gravitating back here. This place has become my sanctuary- and my home away from home.
Thailand, you will always be special to me.