A little bit lonely – travelers’ life?

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Breakfast on the street

Over the past weeks, pretty much since we left Bali, both of us at times have missed having people to talk to and to get to know. In Bali we met so many warm, kind people caring for us, interested in getting to know us regardless of if we speak the same language or not.
In Thailand there were other tourists and travelers and they rarely seemed interested in getting to know new people, and most of the locals were more into “selling to tourists” than open to becoming friends with a couple of Swedes.

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New friend!

Now, being in a large city, it up at moments – we are a bit lonely. The big plus is that this city is wide open, welcoming and easy to get around. But most people have their lives going already and are in the middle of something. Meeting strangers on the street isn’t really on their agenda. We would need to be part of something, take a course or get into a community to make others notice us here.

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Our great duo

We guess it’s different too, since we’re not staying in hostels where it’s usually a more sharing atmosphere and people traveling alone also go there. Since we’re a couple, we always have each other and that might close us off to some who don’t want to interfere or get in the way of our twosome.

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Bathing an elephant and talking to the others

In Thailand, when we went for some tours, both of us were the smiling, chatty people trying to strike up a conversation… It was a bit funny when we realized it after a while!

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Reminder

This has also made us realize that as humans it is important to be part of something, to be recognized every now and then, to have someone to talk to. For us that are traveling for a long period, it’s very good to see this so clearly as we do now, because then we can act on it. We want to find places and activities where we can be part of something, and our new-found interest for diving might be one of those. To be able to meet with friends, like we did the other week, is awesome. And our Skype sessions with friends and family members, the messages and e-mails that we send and receive really mean something and are precious to us. And, as a matter of fact, this blog is important. We know you are reading and following our journey, it is an outlet for thoughts, insights, creativity, sharing and questions we have. And every now and then there is a comment or an e-mail from someone who wants to talk about a subject, or who just wants to say hi.

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Great fun cooking with Ploy in Khao Lak

So, to all of you who read this: to all of our friends, to our families: Thank you! You are important, you make a difference and we are grateful for you being part of our lives in one way or another.

With lots of love,

Anders and Wivan

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Morning boat ride in Bali

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Thai cooking class

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Ploy taught us basic thai cooking

Lots of fun, tasty food and easy to cook-recepies to bring along wherever we go.

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Qcumber in Khao Lak

It was a good class, very nice setting in the middle of the restaurant and our teacher Ploy was great at explaining, showing and letting us try to do the cooking to learn.

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Mango sticky rice for dessert

The café / restaurant Qcumber  has a simple, clean and very welcoming feeling to it.

Ploy recently started her own business here in Khao Lak, but has years of experience of teaching Thai cooking from Bangkok, Khao Lak and Europe.

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Mango sticky rice, northern Thailand style

We did five dishes/recipies whereof one is a curry paste that we then used to make a Tom Yam soup.

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Tom Yam soup

This was a fun evening together and we got lots of inspiration to try our new skills when having a kitchen to use in Singapore from next week.

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Anders plating Pad thai

It’s our last evening in Khao Lak and tomorrow we’ll go to spend a couple of days in Phuket.

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Green curry with chicken

Learning to actually make some of the popular Thai dishes on our own has been something we’ve talked about since we got here, and we found a great teacher in Ploy!

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Simple gas stove with a wok

Everything was very well prepared and we got to use some of the professional tricks of a chef by preparing all the ingredients before cooking the dishes in the wok.

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Some local herbs and popular ingredients

We don’t need to eat anything more tonight, that’s for sure!

The crazy snorkeling tour

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On the speed boat out to Similan islands

After spending a bit over two weeks in Khao Lak in Thailand we were ready to explore some of the famous sites. We have needed time to rest, heal and usually we hardly ever go on group trips and prefer going on our own or in smaller settings, but most of all we love to experience as much of local life as possible. That’s a bit hard on a tourist destination like Khao Lak, but we’ve caught some good moments of that too!

This time we found a price of a snorkling trip that appealed to us and we wanted to experience the Similan islands the way most people do…

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A bit bumpy in the beginning and then a smooth ride

During the full-day trip this was something we would both regret and laugh at. Because what a frenzy it was! Herding tourists like sheep, making quick stops for snorkling, lunch, beach stops (taking pictures) and some more snorkling.

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Not really on our own...

Even though the guide had given information about the schedule and times to be back at the boat, it was so much going on at the same time, we were constantly confused on what we were supposed to do or where to be at what time. And who of all the snorklers in the water were they yelling at? From which boat did they yell? And what did it mean; to come back to the boat, to stay away from the current or that a rare fish or turtle was seen? Lots of questions!

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Follow the mass

Good take-aways from the day:
* We got a good chance to try our new snorkeling/diving masks; Wivan had another little break down when the snorkel didn’t work but it got better with another one, Anders took his snorkeling skills to a new level and is a truly superior under-water-man.

The under-water-pro

The under-water-pro

* We did see some spectacular fishes, a free living turtle and many dolphins!!!
* The amount of snacks, different soft drinks, and lunch alternatives was richer than expected.
* The water was so clear, beautiful and wonderful to swim in.

One of the colorful fishes

One of the colorful fishes

* We didn’t get sea sick! Anders took two motion sickness pills during the day and Wivan none. The boat ride was rather smooth though, but still. Great experience!
* Our gut feeling of not really liking touristy places or very touristy activities is still accurate. When in nature and around animals we love to feel the real nature and be able to see the animals in some sort of freedom or natural habitat – not always chased by tens of cameras.

The beauty of marine life

The beauty of marine life

* Sometimes “Living life fully” means to take big steps out of ones comfort zone, be in the crazyness of it all and afterwards realize you survived, tired like few and grateful at the end of the day. And to wake up the next day and enjoy that it’s mostly the good moments you remember after all!
* Gratitude of having the knowledge, since young years, of how to swim in open water. To, without hesitation or floating devices, jump off a boat in the middle of the Andaman sea and know you can handle it. It’s wonderful to know how to swim!

Wivan: selfie, after regaining control of mask and snorkel

Wivan: selfie, after regaining control of mask and snorkel

* Deepened knowledge of our big love for water, the ocean, marine life and warm waters + sunshine. A greater lust of learning more, practice, explore and gain more control and experience of diving and snorkeling.

Ascend after free diving

Ascend after free diving

* Off-season traveling rocks! The past week the number of people staying in Khao Lak has increased by a huge number and it makes a big difference in restaurants, tours, pricing and on the beaches.

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White sand on Similan island nr?

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Time to load the boat after a stop

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Beautiful colors

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Famous signature picture

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Crowded beach

Free diving deeper than ever

Free diving deeper than ever

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Boats waiting for next pick-up time

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Pictures taken everywhere

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Tired, happy, confused

5th of December

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Pretty flowers

It’s fathers day, and the King’s birthday, here in Thailand today. That’s an official holiday, but it doesn’t really affect a tourist city like Khao Lak that much.

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Palm trees

The past days Anders has been resting to recover from a sore throat, so the days are spent rather quiet and simple.

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Afternoon walk to the beach

I’ve been on the beach most mornings; walking, reading and swimming.

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Sunset

Today I also went down to see the sunset, and have a couple of more dips in the ocean.

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Family watching the sunset

The setting changes all the time, depending on light, clouds, tide, rain and sun.

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Sun, water, clouds

Gratitude and peace of mind, lots of love and compassion.
//Wivan

Thai food love story

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Papaya salad x2 + Pad Thai

Something we totally love about being in Thailand is the food. So good!

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Great soup and a bbq beef salad

Fresh ingredients, many different varieties of spices and spicy-ness, wonderful fruits and fresh seafood and fish.

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Breakfast outside our bungalow

Papaya salads with cucumber and tomato is something we’ve been obsessed with over the past days…

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Easy to ask for how spicy it shall be

Anders loves the seafood soups and stews.

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Fried seafood with vegetables

Often the same dish looks different and has small varieties depending on where you get them.

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Another papaya salad

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Variation of Tom Yam soup

We really like this Khao Lak

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View from our room

After a couple of hours of “scouting” around the central parts of Khao Lak, north of Phuket in Thailand, the thought strikes me.

It seems to be a nice place and I like it this far.

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The Nang Thong beach

On the airport in Singapore last night we talked about it, since I had remembered once again, that one of the basics for me to feel free in life is to be able to be outside; to walk and move around without fear or stress. To walk and not having to tell a hundred people I don’t want to buy their things or ride in a taxi, to be able to stroll around without having to climb over, under or around lots of obstacles but rather move ahead.

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Barefoot without burnt feet!

I missed it in Cairo, and I’ve missed it during parts of our time in Bali. Here it seems to be a good zone for people like me, that want to be able to walk safely on the streets, that like to stroll on a beach without vendors walking after you all the time. To be free. Outside.

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Happy Wivis

And it’s beautiful here too! And we’ll be able to continue our diving, in new magic places that look fantastic on the pictures. So, we’ll stay for a while it seems like.

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Walking, swimming, playing

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Getting ready for moon ceremony

Today was the first little research day, and it gave such positive results we’ll continue tomorrow!

// Wivan

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Places to get a massage

Safe and sound in Khao Lak

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Snack dinner in the room

Arrived almost on time to Phuket and the ride to Khao Lak was surprisingly easy and comfortable from the roads and traffic in Bali.

After spending about five to ten minutes only to figure out the lock of the door, we soon realized it was a bit late to find an open dinner place. So we went bananas at Seven Eleven and bought all different kinds of snack we were curious about, some beer and wine coolers and had “a taste of everything” for dinner.

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Wine cooler and Singha

So, now we’re here! Like it so far, and like this simple and clean room that costs less than €16 per night, for both of us, including breakfast. And we’re next to a Padi dive center!
Tomorrow we’ll go explore the neighboorhood.

Love from Thailand!
//Wivan and Anders