Keep Calm and Move On! Goodbye to My 5 Months in Thailand.

In ASIA, BLOG, INSPIRATION, THAILAND by Clelia Mattana15 Comments


7-KLE-WATERFALLLadies and Gentlemen, If you thought I just disappeared in thin air, you were wrong: I’m back!

I’ve been away from my  baby blog for a while now, dealing with some major changes in my life.

Tomorrow I will say my last Goodbye to the lovely village of Map Ammarit in Thailand and the incredible people that  made me feel so welcomed and home for the past 5 months.


If I think about it, it seems like yesterday that I have arrived, and at the same time it feels like I spent a lifetime in here.

Let me tell you that this is going to be a very hard goodbye. Even if I complained about my isolation and lack of comforts (plus a few Scorpions and cockroaches here and there), the experience here has been one of the most intense and emotional of my trip so far.

I actually spent 2/3 of my trip in here. Not exactly a joke. When you stay for so long in a place, it becomes like your second home. You start creating a safe routine, people pass from staring at you (like you were an alien), to greeting you like one of them.

In these 5 months here, so many things happened: I tried what it feels like to be a teacher for a while, I challenged myself with Thai cousin a few times, including some very spicy encounters with red-hot chili peppers (no, not the band, unfortunately!) and even tried a very strange, soft fruit called “Durian”.

I’ve been happy and I’ve been sad, I had a couple of panic attacks (yes, they follow me even everywhere), I’ve loved and I’ve been loved, I laughed as there were no tomorrow, I got bored and I even missed home for a while.

But most of all, living here  forced me to face my own limits as well as  discovering my true passions. In all this isolation I took back my blog from where I left it, working on it like an obsessed workaholic day and night, getting some incredible satisfactions and opportunities.

And now I can say that I am officially a travel blogger!

Teaching ballet!

Teaching ballet!


It is very challenging to give you a recap of what staying in here has been for me, I could list  a million things, but would that be enough to encapsulate my experience? I don’t think so.

All I know is that I’m 100% positive that this experience will stay in  my heart for many years. It changed me a lot, in ways that no one can see. Because it’s been real. I was not a tourist here. I was part the community and even during the hard times I am so glad that I stick to it for so long.

I have many images of my life in here, and tomorrow at the train station I will definitely cry.





  • I’ll say goodbye to the school and to Teacher Pook and her husband Tong, who have always been so kind to me and welcomed me  like a sister.
  • I’ll say goodbye to my little princess Lita, Liya, Lisha, Cus, Mooky and all the other  kids at kindergarten (even if I taught there for only a few weeks, their cute little faces will always be in my heart).
  • I’ll say goodbye to the shy Tonpor, and to our good friends Noom, Pin and Manas (sorry Pin, not sure I’m writing the name correctly!).
  • I’ll also always remember with a smile all the sweet girls working at the local seven eleven and the 5 aggressive bats (ermm sorry,Chihuahuas) who failed in the attempt to eat me alive every time I passed in front of their gate.
  • To the sweet girl who kindly washed our laundry every week.
  • To the streets, to the smiling old woman at the “rotten smelly-fish” market in front of the house and to many other things.

Thailand life




It will be difficult to leave all this. But it’s also necessary. As a traveler I feel the need to move on, to reach other places and other people, to build new memories, to see new smiles and new beaches.

If you stay too long in a place, it all becomes too comfortable, too predictable and you start to lose focus on what your trip is all about.

It’s not without pain that I leave. Moving on is never easy, readjusting  your life is even harder. It’s like to die and be born again. No matter how many times I’ve been trough this, it doesn’t get any better with time: It’s damn hard.

But I’m happy to feel the pain and the sadness, because it just mean that it was worth it, big time.

Goodbye Perfect beach!

On a side note: I know that many people would like to know what’s going on here with my private life. I thought about how to deal with it, now that I have a blog,  for a very long time.

Should I be transparent and talk about  it? There are many brave bloggers out there who do so, and I admire them for being so open. But I decided to pass.

I will keep my private moments for me, also in respect for the other people involved. I think it’s fair enough to have a small private space, especially when you suddenly find yourself  in the “spotlight”. I’m writing about my experiences for you after all.

I have no problem in sharing pictures and facts about the loved ones, but it will stop there, and I’m sure you’ll understand!



So where is Keep Calm Klelia headed next? this will be a very small recap as I want to dedicate a separate post to it:

25/09 –>03/10 BANGKOK

04/10—>30/10 ITALY (Rome and Sardinia)

30/10—>10/11 LONDON

10/11—>5/12 ITALY( Sardinia)

6/12—->8/12 THAILAND (BANGKOK)

8/12—->8/01 (2014) CHINA (Shangai/Beijin)

8/01—-8/02 PHILIPPINES (Details still tbc, as well as the precise dates, but it’s finally happening! whohooo!!)

From there on, God only knows. I think I’ve even planned too much. Let’s see what these months have to offer, but I will keep you updated!



  1. Ciao Clelia, sono Erika da Ravenna (Italia) e il prossimo gennaio andrò per la prima volta in Thailandia per tre settimane. Sto preparando il programma di viaggio e pensavo di fare: 3 notti a Bangkok, 3 notti a Chiang Mai (qualche escursione di natura/riserva di elefanti), 6 notti a Ko Lipe (qualche escursione di mare nel parco marino), 3 notti a Phi Phi Don e 4 notti a Phuket (con eventuale escursione alle isole Similan). Pensi che siano sufficienti le giornate e soprattutto mi consigli di esplorare di più il nord della Thailandia, tipo Chiang Rai?
    Io e la mia amica siamo persone dinamiche, a cui piace esplorare i territori entrando in contatto con la natura e con le persone del posto, e rilassarsi in qualche spiaggia esotica.
    Grazie, mi farebbe piacere sentire un tuo parere e soprattutto confrontarmi con le tue esperienze già vissute nei posti.

    1. Ciao Erika, scusami ho visto solo ora il messaggio… immagino che sia troppo tardi per darti un consiglio, spero che la tua vacanza sia andata bene!!

  2. Pingback: Memory Lane: Traveling Around The Philippines! - KEEP CALM AND TRAVEL

  3. I just had to do this very same thing…though I complained in the end about how that Visa law was changed and some other frustrations, damn will I miss Thailand. To think it’s 9 months traveling now and I spent 6-7 months of it in Thailand. Well, off to new adventures with memories to cherish right?

    1. Yes it’s always a bit hard to say goodbye when we spend so much time in a place. But you are right, we need to cherish the memories and move on. The world is too big to just focus on what we are missing. And we can always go back one day 🙂

  4. I hate gooodbyes. To mee they meen you are missing. And missing hurts. But someone once wrote or told me, that what is the alternative? Without missing and saying goodbye, you also never say HELLO and like/love…

    Hope you managed both and enjoyed Bangkok and will eagerly anticipate setting foot on Italian soil again. Pizza ordering as the first thing? Or making abracci to everyone you see?! 🙂

    Safe flight(s)

    1. ah well goodbyes are always hard but traveling taught me a lot, including being strong and be able to move on, keeping the good memories with me as little treasures. First thing when i’ll be back will definitely hug my family and then ordering a huge pizza, lasagna, spaghetti and cannoli! 🙂

  5. I have been following this blog since the beginning and you are such a better writer now and you dont use as many !!!!! and ….. as you used to so everything flows a lot better. Just wanted to ask : what do you ‘do’ everyday? How do you know what to do while traveling?

    1. Hey Ash, thanks for your comment, very honest……!!!!! (ok just kidding, i couldnt resist).
      About your question, it is very difficult to reply. It mosltly depends on where i am traveling. Some days i just stay home and work on my website, other days i like to go out and sightseen, especially if im in a new place. But i mostly wander without any set plan in mind. I like to be surprised by a new destination and let the day flow whilst watching whats happening around me.

  6. I know exactly what you mean about not staying in the same place too long and yes it is a very bitter sweet experience. Without the goodbyes however there can be no new hellos…..

  7. Love this blog!Thanks for your honesty. Goodbyes are never easy but as you said, this means that you had something special going on. I wish you all the best for your future travel plans and i will be following your adventures as usual. Keep strong!

  8. Sweetie, it’s been a great time for you and I am so so glad Asia has treated you well. Ach, I really miss Thailand these days. Love your travel plans for the next few months. If you need any tips for China let me know. London? Say hi to Londoners from me!!! x Bon voyage!

    1. Thanks dear! Yes, Thailand is an amazing country with incredible people… I may be saying goodbye to this village but drfinitely not to the country! I will definitely need some tips about China! I’ll shoot u an email in the next few months! And i’ll say hi to the Londoners for u! Im pretty excited to be back to the city that has been home for 6 long years!:)

      Big hugs

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