Weeks 8&9 | Koh Lanta
November 2017, on the island of Ko Lanta, Thailandia.
The sea is in front of us, the jungle right behind. This is pretty much how we spent the last 15 days on this island which is 40 minutes by boat away from Phuket, off the coast of Krabi, in the ocean of Andamane. For the first time we wanted to give a break to the wheels of our suitcases since we’ve never been in a place longer than a week. And now we have 15 days ahead! Wow! It feels like we have a home again.
We booked our stay on Ko Lanta last minute after a month and a half filled with constant travelling, packing and unpacking, wheeling and dealing. We suddenly felt the need of staying and just laying on a beach listening to the sound of the sea, intensely and quietly, the sand murmuring our names. We changed our plans: we wanted to stay in Malaysia more than we actually did, but we impulsively booked a flight for Phuket without really knowing a lot about the destination.
We knew we were looking for the sea, the tranquillity and the most authentic island life, but we had no clue about where to go. We spent 48 hours immersed in research. “What about this? And that?” “Oh no, this is better but have a look at this instead.” “Oh this is way too crowded and this other is too far away.” “Oh gosh, this other one is too isolated, isn’t it?”
You should’ve seen us: the next time we should video record our chaotic decisional processes. After two days of meditation we found our sweet spot. The only challenge? Reach it. It almost took a whole day to get here!
In this area of Thailand the peak season begins in autumn and the transport service is scarce until November, so no Speed Boat for us but 6 endless hours by car. To reach Krabi from Phuket it’s a long inland road and from Krabi to Ko Lanta Noi you go by boat, heading to the south. Passed this point you cross the bridge to finally land in Ko Lanta Yai, the most lived and traditional part of the island. Once you’re here: welcome!
We stayed in the southernmost tip of the island, immersed in the jungle. Around us only palms, monkeys and palms again. The real added value? The view from our Bungalow. The terrace faces the sea and it’s the theatre of many moments spent together during these long two weeks. We didn’t have the breakfast included and only God knows how much I love breakfast, it’s my favourite moment of the day, my pain was real (see japan manga crying). The magic of transformation turned this tragedy into one of the sweetest memories we’ll have of this journey: the mornings on our terrace, two maybe-coffees, two milk with cereals and two chairs with Lia in the stroller and a parent sitting on the ground. Ole’.
It’s been a bunch of slow days where time was running with a different pace. The rhythm of an island with only a main road, bare foot locals on their scooters, fishermen docking their boats on a desert shore at sunset, disconnection from reality. This was exactly what we were looking for: hanging our walking shoes to the wall for a while. We took advantage of this situation to work so hard! The result is many new adventures online and a Likemiljian.com more and more useful. We hope you like it! We also introduced a brand new column with general guidelines and tips on the places we visit and on the adventure of travelling with children. I still don’t know how we manage to do all of this while being busy with two littles. Sometimes I look at Julien while he’s sitting in the most absurd places with his laptop well charged, Teo climbing on his back and Lia sticking her hands into his mouth and I wonder: Can you really work like that? While I’m meditating on this matter I take my phone and I make a picture because I’m sure of the fact that the day we’ll have an office and time to focus on our work (without interruptions regarding strawberry cookies, crying and laughing and screaming of joy) we will really miss all of this.
On Ko Lanta we spent long evenings uncorking a beer with a spoon while sitting on the terrace. Ko Lanta has been about cannonballs in the outdoor pool, the 18 monkeys we found on the terrace when we woke up (Teo crazy happy and us.. a bit less, I confess), our bathing suits drying in the sun, running fast to avoid the monsoon and then looking at it through our windows.
On Ko Lanta we found ourselves on Corriere Della Sera, an italian newspaper (you can find the article here) and we felt so appreciated by all of you who are following and supporting us. You are our strength! On Ko Lanta we also had our first live interview on the radio, a crazy emotion! Thank you so much Radio 24 to let us share our story! (you can listen to the radio interview here, at the minute 45:52 :-)).
On Ko Lanta we had Pad Thai with chicken and shrimps, Banana split with four spoons please, Chicken Satay sticks with white rice and a Sea View.
On Ko Lanta we experienced the magic of Loy Kratong, the Thai festival of the lights when locals celebrate on the full moon night of the 12th month of the lunar Thai calendar. Loy Kratong literally means “let a basket float” and is related to the action of placing a basket full of flowers and banana tree leaves on the water, as an offer to the spirits of water. Teo was so excited he could not stop laughing and jumping and smiling at me and he said “ Thank you mama, it’s beautiful!”. Thanks to you, my blonde cupcake. Your smile is my joy.
On Ko Lanta Daddy J cut his beard for the first time since we left, gaining back in the blink of an eye the face of that young man sitting on the roofs of Florence in the years ‘00. On Ko Lanta we had our first family tuk-tuk experience in the darkest night, with only the faraway pubs and Julien’s iPhone screen spreading a light, when he clicked play on an Edith Piaf’s song. “This is a grand moment de la vie, isn’t it?”. “Oh yes, it most certainly is.”
On Ko Lanta we drove by car discovering the island, spending some time on the jetty in the Old Town (little anecdote: here Julien found the coolest trousers and I’ll be jealous forever). On Ko Lanta we spent a morning on the desert Klong Dao Beach, we run against the time and the space when we found out that a monsoon was about to come and we took shelter under a roof looking at that craziness, feeling a bit scared but still excited and enchanted and we hoped for that beauty to never end. We will never forget the sunset on Klong Nin Beach, one of the most incredible ever seen. “Carpe Diem” could not be more appropriate.
We keep dreaming about that drink at Why Not Bar on Kantiang Bay where both our kids fell asleep allowing an intimate cin cin to just Julien and me, so intimate that we almost felt adolescents. We keep wishing to have another moment like that just for the two of us, sharing a glass of wine, walking hand in hand in the evening breeze… and of course the daydreaming is suddenly interrupted by a shout or by a kick, probably accidental, certainly painful. Or by someone asking for a strawberry cookie, they should stop producing them forever... aaaand we’re back to reality. Dear parents, the road is long.
On Ko Lanta we enjoyed the contact with the sea and feeling disconnected from the rest of the world (Instagram permitting). On Ko Lanta we cherished our second month anniversary in the world. Now we are ready to leave again with our clean clothes, countless ideas and many many memories. We’re ready to wear our shoes again and walk the kilometres ahead.
While we’re getting closer to a new year we realize we are exactly where we want to be.
With a Lot of Love - #miljiansgotothailand