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“I’m Samuel Obrist, Switzerland, 23. It’s my first travel experience like this, far away, alone but never alone.”

It was never Samuel’s plan to end up in Koh Phangan, the plan was to spend one month in Koh Samui, discovering Thailand a bit, then travel to Malaysia.

Tell me about how you ended up in Koh Phangan?

I started traveling because I wanted to see new places, experiennce new cultures, meet new people, to explore another view of life, another perspective.

Perspective… to realise what does it mean to have a “good life”. Being in Thailand showed me that you actually do not need that much to be happy and have a enjoyable life.

You can learn a lot from the people here, whether it’s the locals who were from here, or people from elsewhere that chose to be here, to enjoy this simple life.

I never planned to come to Koh Phangan, the plan was to spend one month in Koh Samui, discovering Thailannd a bit, then travel to Malaysia.

But along the way I met a lot of nice people, they showed me around and… I took the ferry to come here, thinking of staying one week to see the island… then I started to fall in love with this place, to feel the island.

Then I started to hear the voice.

Can you tell me a bit more about the voice?

Being on the island gives you a lot of time, you have this freedom, free to do whatever you want… I think this is the easiest way to start to hear the voice again, because back in your normal life, you are always working, and you lose the connection, and this feeling…

It’s an inner voice, that guides you, and protects you, sometimes you might not know where it is leading you, but you just need to trust it, the voice is always right.

Does being on the island change you? And if yes, What experience happened here influenced the way you think?

Yeah there was a bit difference.

First you have this freedom, and you grow with freedom, you have a lot of time to find yourself. I think it is the best to leave your comfort zone, and see new people from different countries, with different perspective.

How were you like before coming to Koh Phangan?

I was stuck in my daily routine, I was just waiting to go away, just counting the days to leave this old day same life…

It was just working everyday, just daily routine, and some days you have 2 or 3 hours for you, but you were totally destroyed from the whole day, it was just actually everyday waiting for the evening and everyday waiting for weekend, just living for the weekend to come. And didn’t really enjoy your free times.

I think if you spend everyday waiting for free time, then this is not the right thing for you.

You should make fun out of it… I mean job is where most people spend most of their time with, it should be something that makes you happy.

And what about now? What’s your thinking process now? And your perspective now?

I think it is important to have something to do, to do something productive, now I’ve been here for a long time, and I didn’t really do something, something that I can say “Wow, I made something.”

I think if you live in a place like this, you should have a reason to be here, I enjoyed this time, but now I feel like I should go home, to do something, I’m becoming lazy here.

When coronavirus happened, why did you stay?

I just didn’t take this seriously, I thought I could go home later, it will be easy.

For me it was also about finance, it’s still okay for me to stay here.

Do you feel home here in Koh Phangan?

Yeah totally.

The island is a big playground, a big home for sure,

but home is wherever the friends are,

where the good people are, where you feel welcomed, where you feel this connection with the people, with the animal, to the nature…

Can you share some stories about the people/animal/places you feel connected to? That made you feel like home?

It started with the first place I stayed here, the brown house(name of the hotel). Just the feeling I had when I drive here, it feels like I’ve arrived home.

You have the neighbors, the Thai people, you have your dogs running around.

Tell me more about the connection you’ve had with other people?

I started to meet people because they did something that was interesting for me, first Jega, a nice guy who knows everything about the island, and then I met more and more Thai people... because I wanted to be like this old guy, who always give positive energy to the surrounding.

And everyday I become more open, more free, more interested in different things that I was never interested before. I saw other people who did interesting stuffs, and I wanted to learn more about that they did, so I got into the conversation, and we started talking…

I felt good with the people here.

I learnt the easy, cheap life here. First from Nipaporn, a Thai girl whom I met here, she showed me her way of living, and I started to love it, because I realised that I didn’t need much to feel good, to feel like home. But also be happy with what I had back home, to know that it was a good life.

I think 90% of the people don’t have this, the opportunity to travel around... most of the people are just stuck, because of money; because all they do is just work work work, then living becomes working, all about bring food on the table...

It is actually not so different from back home, we just have different standard. Back home the standard is much higher, it’s just need… people think they need all these, but then they get stuck in the prison, they build their own prison with the stuff they think they need.

Tell me about your friends? The enjoyable memories?

With Jega… it’s a lot.

It’s party it’s hiking it’s driving it’s meeting new people everyday.

Being here gave me a kind of freedom. different from being in Koh Samui, there was another vibe, another feeling y,ou don’t get that free, because the people surrounds you did not have the free mindset. And in Koh Phangan you meet a lot of people with free mindset, they enjoy the life here, and are thankful for this.

What are your views/ impression of the island.

The thing is… it’s not about the place, it’s about you. If you are happy and you see the beauty within everything, then every place is beautiful and can be like just home.