Of all the possible places to describe “home” is probably the hardest. There’s just too many memories and emotions the word “home” evokes inside each of us. And for about an year in my life this word meant Thailand to me. It’s even harder to write about this country knowing that it’s one of the most well known, in fact, trivially popular tourist destinations in the world.
When I think about Thailand I think first and foremost about its friendly, fun loving, witty people. I think about the comfort in seeing a stranger on the streets and smiling. About the 5am sunrises to see the monks starting their day by gathering morning alms in front of the sparkling temples. I think about the biggest change that this country brought into my life – the discovery of Buddhism. Not in the religious sense, but in the sense of a way of life. I remember the freedom I felt while living there, the lack of judgement and playfulness I never felt in any other country I’ve lived in.
Most of all places I loved Bangkok – the city of angels as its Thai name translates. Yes, the city that no-one likes because of traffic jams and pollution. In this city with millions of people hustling to survive while others are bathing in their wealth, I was just a speck of dust. For the first time in my life I felt completely anonymous. Walking in the streets, looking through the windows of the bus as I commuted, I still find it hard to this day to believe how life in Bangkok is complete in its chaotic perfect movements.
I can go deep in my sentimental memories and write for a very very long time… But if there is a message that I hope you take away from this short note about Thailand is my invitation for you to go there with an open heart. Show respect and you will receive back the double. Show kindness and you will earn friends for life. Show gratitude and you will be blessed with an awakening of a lifetime. If you open your senses and surrender to the moment, you will feel the gentle smile of the Buddha accompanying you through every step of your journey. Just. Let. Go…
All pictures © Alex Kovacheva. Pictures taken with Nikon D3100 and Nikon D810 + Nikkor AF-S 24-120mm 1.4G in Thailand between 2013-2016.