I’m delighted to present an exclusive sneak peek book excerpt for my new travel memoir ‘Backpacker to Nomad’
What’s Backpacker to Nomad? It’s my new travel memoir, chronicling the evolution from naive newbie to full-time traveller through my adventure & misadventures.
What readers are saying about ‘Backpacker to Nomad’
★★★★★ “The writing is excellent, and the author’s descriptions are so vivid” — Amazon Review
★★★★★ “You’ll get lost in Amit’s adventures and laugh along the way (mostly AT him)” — Amazon review
★★★★★ “I thought the way the book weaved between adventure and mental self-discovery was very smart. — Amazon Review
if you love travel adventures, discovery, escaping reality to drift off to lands far and wide this is the book you need to pick up.
Book Launched: July 27th 2022
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Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy …..
Tropical Thailand & wild monkeys overview
Stress & frustrations were nearly visible as they left Amit, this is what he had expected when arriving in this country a month ago. The tropical Island washed through a serenity he hadn’t felt in a while but just as he let his guard down of course life had a surprise for him. This time in the form of a primate cousin.
Tropical Thailand couldn’t come quick enough
“What do you mean it’s gone missing? HOW?”
“Gone, sir, we do not know where.”
The small, clean-shaven Thai man in his pristine white shirt who sat in the safety of the little office on the other side of the iron bars simply shrugged back like it was a normal thing. I flung my arms into the air, wanting to rip off the iron bars, but instead, pointed to one direction of the train track.
“It can only go either that way,” my finger pointed the opposite way, “or that way. How can a train go fucking missing when it was on its way here?”
As with every day in Thailand so far, my wet t-shirt clung tightly to my sticky burning body. Every inch was soaked, but the clerk in his ironed white shirt looked fresh. He remained calm with his arms folded.
Hot, bothered, & frustrated
“Yes, sir, I sorry, we do not know.”
Another torrent of abuse was fired, but he was impenetrable. Before another assault was just about to fly out, fingers pressed against my chest.
“Just calm down, stop being an asshole, it’s not his fault. There is nothing he can do, and no point you getting angry for nothing. It will not make the train come like magic. You know all the time in Thailand the transport is late. We have this all the time.”
Backpacking Thailand wasn’t going to plan
Alex slid in between me and the clerk, breaking my glare and pointing towards the open-air waiting room like I was a naughty child before apologising about my behaviour. I dragged my heels towards the wall-less waiting room like a deflated balloon. While she dropped on to the concrete bench and went back to her book, my feet carried on dragging towards the shade just outside the white concrete walled entrance. Before I could even lift my cigarette, like sharks smelling blood, a clamour of tuk-tuks kicked up dry dust and started clamouring around. But one got the jump.
“You need a lift, where you go, I…”
Are you for real? You’ve seen me come out here for a smoke before, you know there hasn’t been a train pass through, are you going to take me hundreds of miles to Phuket? Idiot!
His words were instantly met by my raised palm as I looked away and lit the smoke while leaning against the wall. It was one of the tricks we had learnt in Thailand—simply waving them off while not making any eye contact or giving them any opportunity to start a conversation. They all retreated back, assuming their napping positions, and near silence fell. It was just the sounds of grasshoppers and crickets in the nearby shrubs and rustles in the overhanging palm trees.
Paradise Islands at last!
The hollow wooden slats of the jetty bounced under excited backpackers’ flip-flops and bare feet, desperate to get on to the island after a two-hour boat ride from Phuket.
“This is more like it… this feels like the tropical Thailand I imagined,” I beamed, feeling the ocean breeze on my face.
The ride over from Phuket was eventless, it was amazing, nothing went wrong. The boat just soared through the type of ocean I hadn’t seen since the Great Barrier Reef—a baby blue and emerald fusion with streaks of lime green running through. We took our time coming off the jetty. I was still in awe of the smaller limestone islands along the way, which gave it much more of a Jurassic feel. Ko Phi Phi Don was the first of many of Thailand’s southern tropical islands we wanted to visit and do nothing but relax.
In the short time we’d been in Thailand, the chaos and constant noise, not to mention the humidity in places had been so draining. We were ready to unplug from it all and just enjoy island life for a while.
Ko Phi Phi Don felt like tropical Thailand
From aerial pictures, it looked like two limestone islands connected by a flat stretch of land, almost like a natural bridge. The two main stretches of beach lay on both sides of the flat land, while the forests and jungle grew out of the limestone islands. Alex said it looked like somebody had taken a bite from both sides of an apple. The core being the flat land and the uneaten apple ends being the hilly forests.
This side of the beach was mainly used for boats ferrying travellers over and traditional fishing boats, but the other side was apparently the public beach, which was lined with beach shacks, bars, and beach huts—including ours. Commotion started to take over my ears as we approached the sandy beach.
“Accommodation? Cheap, cheap. You need hostel, hotel, guesthouse, beach hut?”
I thought we got away from the noise. I just want some peace, why is it so hard?
From children to old men, a handful of them had lined up to greet newcomers with laminated sheets and folders, trying to entice backpackers. They got hold of many in need of accommodation, but those of us who had organised it beforehand waved them off. As we made it through, another Thai man jumped in front of us, shirtless and with white shelled beads around his neck, his dark dreadlocks swinging away.
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Follow British backpacker Amit’s humorous wild ride into nomad life. From his early calamitous struggles with solo travel, the odd brush with death, to ghetto snobbing (his words), it’s been a ‘take the rough with the smooth’ type of journey
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Welcome to heaven
“Hello, friends, welcome to Heaven. You have accommodation already? Where do you stay?”
Alex waved him off while smiling.
“None of your business,” I snapped back.
“But it is, I have your keys if you already have accommodation,” he laughed.
That made my feet dig into the pale sand, nearly losing my flip-flop. The smile grew on his face as he floated over, bouncing a wooden tray of keys.
“This is small island—I hand out the keys to your accommodation here. It’s OK, you can relax. Looks like Thailand has stressed you out, brother.”
Alex gave him the name of our beach hut, he nodded and searched through the box and picked out the keys.
“Ahh, excellent choice. You have an amazing view.”
He whistled somebody over who, without asking and in one fell swoop, slipped off our backpacks, flung them on to a wooden wheelbarrow, and was off with them.
“Oi… where the fuck you going?”
“You have definitely been on the mainland too long. Relax, he is taking your bags to your hut for you.” Before I could give chase, the guy wearing beads stopped me.
Welcome to heaven
The palm trees on either side of the sandy walkway stood tall and the palms waved in the breeze as if to shake off all stress while welcoming people to a magical tropical paradise. Music—mainly reggae—grew loader with each step. The sand below faded to reveal large stone slabs as the pathway to the little square. Wall-less open-air bamboo shacks on natural wooden stilts surrounded the square, each one of them either a café, bar, or restaurant.
I prepared myself for menus to come flying from all directions like everywhere in Thailand and to be harassed by the menu holders, but they didn’t care. Instead, all we got were hellos and smiles from them all and quick reminders about when happy hour was.
This was a new experience in Thailand. Instead of overzealous Thai waiters, braided and dreadlocked backpackers in bikinis or Chang beer vest tops held on to the menus just talking to each other. There was a very hippy vibe—one I didn’t mind at all. It was a nice change of pace. Our hut was perched up on the hill against the tropical forest behind the bottom corner of the square.
It was bliss walking without being harassed, I was even bouncing to the assortment of music. Large overgrown vegetation and palm trees provided a very wild look against the little wooden huts dotted along the long shallow steps towards our hut.
Paradise Islands bring out the hippy within
I lit a cigarette and, falling back on the wooden garden chair on the patio, a smile naturally formed on my face for the first time in Thailand since the old man at the station nearly a week ago now. My eyes were closed as I took it all in—the whistles from the foliage, the sea singing, Bob Marley soothing from the square. All of it combined swept through my mind, emptying all the stress, frustration, and anger that had built up. Nature had become therapeutic.
“Ahh, looks like Amit is happy and relaxed?”
“Yeah, you know what, I think I am. Feels so tranquil. I’m liking the hippy vibe. Maybe I’ll become one. Peace and love, man!” I said, waving a peace sign in the air.
“You would be the angriest and grumpiest hippy ever. But you are right, it feels very tranquil.”
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This was just the start of the story, nothing is ever how it seems, adventures can easily turn into misadventures on the drop of the hat and not revealed itself yet.
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