Story Of The Day: Unpacking The Lessons I Learned Living In A Spiritual Community In Thailand

I lived as a digital nomad for nearly two years, and I learned a lot. The most impactful experience was a paradise and “spiritual” island in Thailand.

I’ve always been independent since I was a little girl. One of my wildest dreams was to travel the world. I remember having a poster from a beach in Bali hanging on my wall during my teenage years. At that time, I promised myself one day I’d go there. 

The wanderlust girl inside me has always been avid for new experiences, so I left my hometown at 24 and moved to Europe. Few years later, the next stop was Southeast Asia. 

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So I left my job, got rid of 80% of my belongings, packed what was left, and traveled. Among many places I visited and lived (Bali included), I went to an island that I longed to visit since my first trip to Thailand, an island in the Gulf of Thailand.

The island was packed with Westerns living in a hippie commune style. I fell immediately in love. My initial plan was to stay there for three weeks. I ended up living there for ten months.

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The island had everything you can imagine from a hippie commune. People walking barefoot, getting high, spiritual gatherings, vegan food, and yoga studios in every corner.

I was raised in a big city and have always been a nature lover, but the real freedom you can experience in those places is inexplicable. It definitely has ups and downs, and too much freedom sometimes can go south. I’ll share the lessons I learned.

A Simple Life Makes You More Grateful

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I walked barefoot for nine months, ate $1 street food every day, and learned that less is more. When you’re in daily contact with Mother Nature, living with so much less you’re generally used to, there’s a sense of gratitude for the smallest things in life.

If I used to complain about the traffic jam or slow internet in Europe, I was grateful to have a shitty internet connection in some places and people not being on time.

Everyone Is Dealing With Their Own Traumas. And That’s Okay

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We tend to think that spiritual people living with such an amount of freedom are all happy and enlightened. It turns out that everyone has their problems and traumas to deal with, it doesn’t matter where you are. I met people who were running from their past and incredibly humble people who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable.

Meditation Changed My Life

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I’ve already shared here my life-changing meditation journey. I’ve developed a meditation practice back in Europe, but it wasn’t until I lived in Thailand that I decided to take my meditation practice seriously. My meditation practice forever changed me, and it’s something that it’s part of my life and non-negotiable. 

Real Growth Lies On Shadow Work

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I took part in several retreats, and I was introduced to aspects of me I’ve never seen before. At first, it was darn scary, and I didn’t know how to deal with them.

Limiting beliefs, traumas from the past, and programs I was caring about were on my way to be the person I longed to be. Hadn’t I faced those traumas, I couldn’t evolve spiritually and mentally speaking.

Written By:
Camila Santiago

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