Hitchhiking – Krabi to Surat Thani

‘My proposal is: To set off walking this afternoon. To stop when we are tired. To get a lift when we can. To walk when we can’t. To do it at once, and do it cheap.’
– Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit


A few days ago I met a German girl, Pia, who asked me if I would like to hitchhike with her. As it isn’t something that I would do in my own country (South Africa) I was very hesitant. It is a lot safer in the less crowded parts of Thailand than it is in SA, so I considered it. I read online of people who have hiked in Thailand before and their experiences. I also spoke to other travelers in the hostel I was staying at to get a general feel of what it could be like.

It isn’t a very common thing to do in Thailand and not very many Thai’s are familiar with it. After a lot of thinking, I decided to go for it. Pia and I decided that we would leave early morning and hike to Surat Thani (about 200km away) where we would catch a ferry to Koh Samui.                                                                                                                           Koh Samui is one of the biggest islands to the East of Krabi.

The evening before we were going to leave I started getting cold feet. Firstly because the weather had not been good and secondly it was a scary thing for me to do. I almost changed my mind…

I awoke the morning with a bit of fear in my heart for what could possibly lie ahead in the hours to come. I finished packing, had some breakfast and we were off on an adventure. We took a Taxi to a petrol station close to the main road out of Krabi where we tried to get a lift. We stood there about a half hour trying to explain to people what we were doing and where we were going with no luck. Pia had the great idea of having a board with “Surat Thani” in Thai lettering that we could show people. Everyone was friendly and suggested we take a bus…but that would defeat the purpose.. Eventually 2 ladies agreed to give us a ride upto the main road.
As they dropped us off it started raining cats and dogs, luckily there was a bus shelter that we could stand under. We stood there for about 20 minutes trying to get a lift when a Thai Muslim couple stopped. They were very friendly and the gentleman spoke English very well. They took us to the road that goes directly to Surat Thani.


Pia and I hitching a ride in a truck
Pia and I hitching a ride in a truck

From there we hitched a ride with a truck driver who spoke no English whatsoever. The truck was very slow and it took us around 2 hours to get to our next stop. The truck driver dropped us off right in front of a supermarket where we took a tuk-tuk to the company that arranged the ferries. We arrived in Koh Samui around 18:00 that evening

It was a great to see how friendly and helpful people were. All of them tried hard to communicate with us and help us understand. It was hard for me to trust any of them and I was suspicious of everyone but in the end it all worked out. Might not be something I would try again especially in bad weather but the experience was good.

The moral of the story is that people are overall good and are not out to get you. Today maybe try and trust someone….

Life, beliefs and lessons learnt (Part 1)

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced – Soren Kierkegaard (Philosopher)


As the date of my departure draws closer (just over 2 weeks), embarking on an uncertain but very exciting journey I have decided to share some of the life lessons I have learnt with you.

One of the questions I have asked myself many times is “what to believe in?”

I have had many discussions, with friends and strangers. I have discussed the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, the truth found in many religions, quantum mechanics (a lot went over my head) and various other theories and beliefs.

Through all the conversations, thoughts and meanders, I have realized that people evolve on a spiritual level differently. It isn’t our place to judge or understand their journey or beliefs.

I have learnt to accept that not all people are on the same page in this aspect and that is okay. You don’t need to prove what you feel or believe to anyone and they don’t need to explain themselves to you.

We should however listen to what others have to say. You never know who you will learn something from. Never underestimate what the universe it trying to teach you or who it is using to fulfill that task.

Listen to understand and not listen to respond. Many times we only partly listen while calculating our answer or response. We rarely truly listen to understand what the other person is saying.

Never think because you have been through something “bigger” than another person and you have been on this earth longer than them that you know better or have more wisdom. You will be surprised where wisdom sometimes comes from once you open your mind and heart.

We are all vastly different, for some one thing will be relevant and for another something else. Not all things resonate with everyone.

A few things that are very important to remember :

  • Most people don’t just change. Something needs to happen. An experience, a realization, a death, a birth, a life changing event. People change (mostly) because they have to, not because they want to.
  • Change is never easy, you need to get out of your comfort zone.
  • Knowing something (knowledge) is good but without the true understanding and action on that knowledge, it is meaningless.
  • Loving your self is one of the most important things. I am not referring to ego. Ego breaks others down to build one’s self up, this is not love or acceptance of one’s self.

In my next post I will share my thoughts on Perception, Unconditional love and Mindfulness

What type of luggage do I need?

To suitcase or to backpack? That is the question when travelling.

What type of luggage do I need? Probably one of the most important things to consider when setting off on a 2 week trip or a year long (or longer) adventure around the world.

No one wants to lug around big suitcases, carry themselves to death or end up not having enough space to fit their toothbrush.

I needed something that I could go backpacking with and that didn’t weigh a lot. I wanted best of both world’s. A bag that I could easily organize but was also a backpack. Another necessity was a smaller bag that I could use when I was out and about.

I found the perfect fit, the Osprey Ozone Convertible.

It’s a lightweight (for it’s size), wheeled backpack with a detachable day-pack. It also comes with an insane lifetime guarantee – “Osprey will repair for any reason, free of charge, any damage or defect in our product – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday”

But enough blah blah blah, here is my new found friend:


Up, up and away

Well I’m not superman but I will be flying soon.

Booking my ticket to Thailand was one of the final steps I had to take before embarking on this amazing adventure and journey. And it is done! I will be leaving South Africa on the 1st of July.

I just want to thank everyone for their support and likes on my Facebook page. You guys and gals are rock stars. Remember you can also subscribe to my blog this will ensure that you never miss a post 😉

My hope is that all of you follow your heart and that you find peace and joy in all that you do! Have a great week!

Poster quote - May every sunrise hold more promise, and every sunset hold more peace.

What defines beauty?

Why can’t we see the beauty within others (or lack the willingness to see their inner beauty), why does it always need to start with the physical?

Is it really so hard to look at who the person is within rather than what their outer “beauty” reveals? Outer beauty is subjective anyway. What I find beautiful is not what others necessary find beautiful.

What is your take on beauty and the way we have been programmed to believe what beauty is? The reason I say programmed is because the media has dictated what we should see as beautiful…


A Choice worth making


Over the last few months I have learnt so much about myself, about life and about the world.

The way I think has dramatically changed; my inner “hippy” has surfaced, as some of my friends would put it. Things are so much clearer now. I am more at peace and I have more joy because of positive choices I have made. My reality has been shaped around those choices. It has no relation to any person or material possession, it’s all about choice.

As creatures of habit we tend to make the same choices on a daily basis without giving it a second thought. We rush through life, from one place to another. Trying to meet deadlines and please those who pay our salaries. Going out of our way to make friends and family happy without giving our happiness a second thought.

Big parts of our lives have become a “have to” and not a “want to”.

The smallest of choices can sometimes have the biggest impact. The choice not to get upset when the driver of an over-sized SUV cuts you off in peak hour traffic; the choice to smile at the cashier at the checkout counter when saying hello, the choice to listen to people to understand and not listen to respond.

Changing those “small things” make a big difference to your daily happiness.

The next time before you react ask yourself the question: are my actions improving my life or hindering my happiness. Is what I am about to do or say going to bring me happiness?

If you do find yourself reacting in a negative way, ask yourself why. Your reaction is yours and yours alone. You cannot blame anyone for your reactions because if you do then you are saying they control you which is obviously not the case.

So on the note of choices, I would like to share my latest choice/decision with you. It was one of the biggest I have had to make.

Not all those who wander are lost.   -JRR Tolkien

I have made the choice to sell all my possessions, quit my job and backpack around the world. I have dreamed of seeing the world most of my life but have never seen any place outside of my own country. I do stay in a beautiful and diverse country but there are things out there I need to see, learn and experience.

Some have called me ‘nuts’ or ‘crazy’ (and that’s ok because I am far from ‘normal’).

Some have told me how they wish they could do the same thing but they have too many responsibilities.

If you feel that way you should definitely go check out Nora Dunn’s site The Professional Hobo. As well as Will Hatton’s site The Broke Backpacker.

I will be starting my extraordinary travels the end of June 2015 and will be sharing my how, when and where between now and then, so stay tuned for I am the Citizen of the Planet. 😉

Am I crazy or are you crazy?


“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

– The Cheshire Cat : Alice in Wonderland

Welcome blog readers from around the world wide web of interconnectedness!

This is my first attempt at blogging and making myself vulnerable in this way – both exciting and daunting at the same time.  But I suppose courage is not something one can have in the absence of fear…so here we go….being courageous in the face of my fears.

This is me at the moment: 33, born in Pretoria, South Africa and now reside in the Mother City, Cape Town.

How I got to the above well that’s a whole other story…hence my blog.

It was 1988, autumn if I recall correctly. My cousins from Joburg came to visit, and, as kids are, we played. I loved climbing up things, especially trees. I still climb except now it’s up mountains and I use ropes, much safer in comparison to what happened next…

I decided to climb a wall. It wasn’t very big, as walls go, about 2 meters high and a meter in length.

As I climbed the wall, it began to sway. I jumped and tried to push it back as it leaned towards me but it just toppled on and around me. That simple act of climbing a wall resulted in my life being very different from that point on. It almost resulted in my death.

I was rushed to hospital. Various x-rays and a brain scan were done to ascertain the level of injury. It didn’t look good, nothing was broken but my brain was swelling. I was rushed into surgery where the doctors attempted to relieve the pressure on my brain by inserting a drainage pipe to drain excess fluid. After many hours in surgery and a blood transfusion (because of the amount of blood I lost) the doctors informed my parents that my chance of survival was very low and if I did pull through I would be severely brain damaged, I would be bed ridden….

Alive only in my own mind but dead to the world.

Thankfully the universe had bigger plans for me. I was released from the hospital a few weeks later and returned to school 6 months after that.

The brain swelling did however cause scar tissue to form on parts of my brain. This resulted in me developing a type of epilepsy symptomatic of absence seizures (staring spells). Unconscious of the world around me. The scar tissue also caused a form of depression accompanied by severe anxiety.

At the age of 10 I was admitted to a psychiatric clinic for evaluation followed by treatment for depression. Subsequent to that I have been admitted to various clinics several times under the same diagnosis.

I have been on various medications to treat my depression but in the end what made the biggest difference was my attitude and the way I decided to perceive life.

In the last 6 months I have learnt a lot about myself and about life. I’ve also seen how the principals I have been taught throughout my life are in fact truth and not just things that people tell you to make you feel better.

Some say that you are only someone in relation to another – so here is me in relation to you.

My hope is to share my journey and travels, my mistakes, my lessons and my heart, with you.

My goal is to enrich your life even if only in the smallest manner. So in essence this blog is about adventurous travels and self-enrichment.

Oh and photography…everyone loves photo’s 😉

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on my posts. If you don’t agree, have a different opinion or view I would love to hear it. We are all here to learn from each other! You are more than welcome to make suggestions. Love having others input.

I would appreciate if comments where however not made that would break others down that are commenting on posts. You are more than welcome to disagree but this is a place where people are built up and not broken down. Each of us have our own opinions and we are all on our own journey. Let us respect that!

I can be contacted via My Blog or Facebook or if you prefer a more personal approach you are also more than welcome to email me: jacques@citizenoftheplanet.co.za

A special thank you to Micaela Van den Berg for the Cheshire Cat drawing.

Rebirth, Freedom, Fire