Everyone has their happiness, unfortunately not everybody finds it. I recently discovered my pinnacle of happiness: travelling. I have embarked on many trips throughout my young 21 years of existence, however they all seemed to be so structured. It was not until my most recent trip that I felt ultimate freedom, constant excitement, and pure serenity.
I am a 21-year-old Canadian who lives in a small city on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. I was eager to put some exhilaration and thrill into my life as it had felt so boring between school and work. It was Jan 1st, 2017 and I forced myself to book a trip. I was on my way to Thailand for 3 weeks.
Fast forward to May. I am on a massive Boeing 777 flying from the luxurious city of Zurich to Bangkok on an 11-hour flight. I remember taking my first step off the plane and instantly feeling the 38 degree Celsius heat. Bangkok was a jungle, there was so much going on all at once. There were food vendors on every street, there were Tuk Tuks zooming through traffic, it was a whole new world. However, my trip didn’t really begin until I travelled south towards the islands. First I hit Patong, Phuket where I got my first taste of warm salt water beaches, white sand, and the best vendor streets. Some famous phrases from the vendors were “cheap, cheap, special price just for you” or “same same but different”. I bargained with every vendor and everyone was Sabai Sabai (happy).
My next thing on my to-do list was to rent a scooter and it was as easy as paying them a couple hundred baht and showing identity. Before I knew it I was cruising through the insane streets in Thailand in the hectic traffic. I thought I was pretty cool, until I crashed my scooter going 60 km/h and sliding on bare pavement for 15 feet and almost getting hit by a van. I guess you’re not a real tourist until you crash a scooter, its not a scar, it’s a memory. No more scooter for this guy, off to the islands it was!
On my ferry ride to Koh Phi Phi I had met two great lads from England and Ireland who really showed me the ropes of island life. Everyday consisted of hitting the beach, swimming in crystal clear water, eating fresh meals, hanging out with the not-so-friendly, stealing monkeys and meeting new people from all around the world. I remember one day, I hiked to a major viewpoint on Koh Phi Phi and overlooking the whole island. I was surrounded by other travelers who were also in complete awe of this beautiful scenery and it hit me. Everyone was so happy, for the first time in my whole life, nothing else mattered, I did not have a single worry in life. I was living in the moment, which is the best kind of living. On the islands of Thailand, there are not many rules. Don’t steal, don’t litter, and don’t fight. Aside from that, you are free to do whatever you want, drink wherever you want, and go wherever you want. In Koh Phi Phi, all the locals are extremely generous and helpful. They know the importance of tourism and they treat it preciously.
Every night is a party night. There are fire shows, pool parties, limbo on the beach, did I mention its all free? There is no cover at any bars and feel free to bring your own drinks to any bar also.
I met so many amazing people who are also putting their reality on hold to enjoy life. I now have friends scattered around the world who I plan to travel with again in the future. Its impossible to not become friends with people who you share so much happiness with. If you have not found your happiness, I can promise you, travelling will help you find it. Book that trip, make it happen, live life.
Antonio Duplessis is a 21-year old Canadian. He is currently a university business student and also works at a bank, however, his true passion is travelling. Antonio loves the excitement of exploring new places and meeting new people from around the globe. Following his graduation, he plans to travel more of Southeastern Asia as well as Europe. His journey is only just beginning. You can follow along with his adventures over on his Instagram account @travelwithantonio or shoot him an email.