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Sitting on dock of bay

Day-dreaming on Koh Chang island

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

Beach Koh Chang

We are on the island of Koh Chang. The second largest island in Thailand after Phuket, situated close to Cambodia and part of the Koh Chang National Park. White sand beaches, laid-back backpacker areas, and small fishing villages. This is the last leg of our trip before we head back home via Bangkok. Lying on a white sand beach under a palm tree is the ultimate time for some reflection don’t you agree?

Palm tree

Start of our family trip

The start of our trip almost 6 weeks ago now seems far away. It’s experiencing that wonderful feeling of losing track of time. What day of the week is it actually? A question we have asked each other many times. The very moment you ask that question for the first time also makes everything else seem so far away: work, agenda, appointments. They all seem less important now.

House on stilts

6 weeks doesn’t feel like 6 weeks, at all. For us, this has not been a regular holiday. It has been our travel, our temporary way of life. Traveling for a longer period of time made us rethink lives back home: routines, habits, the ever controlling agenda. I will not call travel an escape from the controlled life back home, but the longer the travel, the more you realize how structured and controlled our lives actually are.

Sunset Koh Chang

Koh Chang

The island of Koh Chang is a great place for easy-going and taking it slow. Renting a motor scooter, visiting the fishing village of Bang Bao and the backpacker area around the so-called Lonely Beach where parties go on until late every day.

Scooter Thailand

Boat harbor thailand

Harbor Koh Chang

Swing beach

Sitting on dock of bay

Returning home from 6 weeks of travel

Our lives back home (the routine, the habits) are not really something we look forward to getting back to. The ties back home control our lives, maybe too much.

What does that mean? We are not off to travel forever, but our slow travel for 6 weeks did learn how easy it is to break the ties and how easy it is to spend a longer period of time somewhere else in the world. This trip has been very valuable for our family. We have been talking about upcoming destinations a lot….

Sunset hands


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Inspiring Reads for August September 7, 2012 - 07:00

[…] to make little (or big) changes that have positive impacts on both ourselves and the world. A Family Together Far from Home: Emiel, his wife, and two children just returned from 6 weeks traveling slowly in India and […]

Jenna Francisco September 4, 2012 - 00:50

I really love the way you weave together your story of your trip with these beautiful photographs. Inspiring post, Emiel.

Emiel van den Boomen September 4, 2012 - 08:47

Thank you for that great comment Jenna. I guess the pictures indeed show what we mean with slow traveling…

Emily Cannell August 30, 2012 - 23:35

6 weeks? Wow. Amazing. Your trip just looked amazing. Monique is right. 2 weeks is a stretch for we Americans.

Emiel van den Boomen August 31, 2012 - 15:13

It was and amazing trip Emily. This has been a very special trip and it was really valuable. I know that in Japan even 2 weeks is a very long time to take a holiday 🙂

monique at bringingtravelhome August 30, 2012 - 02:55

I am so glad you were able to take an extended amount of time away for travel this summer! This concept (Sadly) is very non-American – I imagine a little bit less rare on your side of the pond. I find the more time away, the more you can settle into your other way of life and the more you gain. !ho knows, maybe next trip will be even longer….? lucky kids!

Emiel van den Boomen August 31, 2012 - 15:12

So are we Monique! It’s a bit less rare on our side of the pond, but certainly not common. I talk to lots of American families however who are traveling and homeschooling their kids at the same time. That again is very rare here in the Netherlands because we have strict Education Laws. It has been a very valuable 6 weeks, that’s a fact!


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