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Our Thai adventure

Five years ago, Ivana Greslikova and her partner, Gianni, made the big leap to become full-time travel writers. Here, she talks about her love of Thailand and her passion for sustainable, mindful travel

In partnership with Rickshaw Travel well travelled

At midnight on August 2012, I lit my last cigarette. Gianni and I were sitting on the ground under a tree in a park near our apartment in Frankfurt, and we were positive we could do it. We had tried to stop smoking before, but this time it was different. This time, there was a plan. A big one. The deal was, if we could stay away from nicotine for a year, we would quit our jobs, and leave for a trip to Asia. Simple.

While dreaming of cigarettes and far-flung exotic countries, we stumbled upon the book, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts (Random House, £13.99), a guide for independent travellers who want to learn how to turn an extended trip into a unique lifestyle. It inspired us so much that we immediately started looking for a solution to make our travels long-term.

A new chapter

While getting ready for the journey, we found plenty of information about Southeast Asia. We delved into searching for facts that we could trust, following experienced travel bloggers, and watching videos of expats living in Asia. Finally, a combination of stories from successful online entrepreneurs who worked remotely in Thailand, the lure of a great climate and enticingly affordable living costs, persuaded us that Thailand would be the best choice to set off for our travels and blogging careers. After 14 months of research, frugal living, saving money, selling all our possessions, and leaving our jobs – with zero cigarettes – we landed in Bangkok with our small backpacks, and began to absorb every new smell, movement and sound.

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Psychologies June 2017 - Real Calm