My country is the World. My religion is to be Human.

900 km for 0 EUR – New Year’s eve at the beach

December 30th, I just left a Buddhist temple in northern Thailand after 16 days of meditation. I stood aimlessly in front of the temple, without a plan, but not lonely at all. I was without a plan and purpose, but I did not feel scared at all. That was all. For the first time in my life I felt that I was self-sufficient, independent and essentially happy with what I have.

I decided to spend New Year’s eve in a quiet place, without any people and noise. I was sitting on a bench in front of the temple, exchanging messages with people who were 50 km away from me, in Chiang Mai – former capital of Thailand.  After a couple of text messages, my Italian friend and I decided not to have a plan together and go where the road takes us.

That evening we met in Chiang Mai and decided that tomorrow morning we would be setting off on an adventure. We decided to hitchhike. We were making decision spontaneously. We knew that we wanted to go south where the weather was warmer. As we were approaching Bangkok, we knew that we wanted to spend several days on the beach.

Hitchhiking in Thailand is very safe. Everyone will give you a ride, even if they don’t go the same place as you do, they will take you where you want to go. One time there were 17 passengers in a pick-up van. The driver decided to transport all 17 of us who were hitchhiking at the intersection. We were really cramped in a trailer, but that did not matter at all because we arrived where we wanted.


An interesting fact is that each car had been consecrated by the monks. This means that every car has this imagery on the ceiling painted by some monk’s thumb.


Final numbers:

  • Traveled: 900 km
  • Time: 16 hours
  • Money spent: 0 EUR
  • We changed: 9 cars
  • Met: 24 people

We took pictures with each and every one of them:

We met various structures of people, friends, couples, families… Every person was unique in their own way. In addition, we did not spend any money for the transport, we also had two meals for free. They did not let us pay for our meals, because their culture is about helping others. People from Thailand feel like they have to take care of others without asking for anything in return.

New Year on the beach of Ko Lan island
Finally we arrived at the island called Ko Lan. We reached the coast and decided to go to the nearest island. It’s beautiful, it reminded me a little bit of Greek islands with a couple of beaches. We decided to find an ideal beach for us, one without people, a wild beach, where we were going to spend 4 days with 3 kg of fruits and 6 liters of water.
We set up two hammock on two trees. We slept there for four days, eating fruit, swimming, reading books and meditating. We celebrated New Year Eve’s by sleeping on the beach. This only goes to show how beautiful life is when you live your life the way you want to and not how others tell you to.

One of the best moments in my life – 7 a.m, I turn my head to the side and see the sun rising, waking me up. Glistening sea stretching all the way on the horizon. I look down and I see water brought to my hammock by the tide. I look to my left and see nothing but wilderness and above me all I see are branches. Here I suddenly became wide awake because one sentence rang in my ears – I was in Thailand, on an island, on a wild beach, lying in a hammock, I’m here in this moment, and I’ve never felt happier and stronger in my entire life.

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Milica Radovic-Mandic