How a movie about a beach inspired me to travel and see the world.

What inspires you to see the world?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Everyone has that “spark” or moment they decide to pack their bags and travel to a faraway location. Whether it’s to escape, explore or simply to unwind.

15 years ago, I was captivated by the thrill of finding paradise portrayed in the Danny Boyle movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio plays Richard, a young backpacker who finds a map in Thailand supposedly showing a path to a secret beach, rumoured to bring bliss and joy.

Here’s the trailer:

The moment that really kickstarted my obsession with travel was when I watched Richard finally discover the secret beach. In that moment, drawn in by the adventure so far, I questioned where it was that the scene this beautiful was filmed. I needed to witness it for my own eyes. In this very moment, I had a thirst to find paradise for myself and to enjoy the joyous adventure of getting there.

Still filled with wanderlust, I visited a local bookshop and bought the novel that the movie is based on, also titled ‘The Beach’ by author Alex Garland. I then booked a flight to Thailand and headed to Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi to read the book while laying on the beach, where this exact scene was filmed.

Words can’t describe the feeling of reading a chapter while glancing up from the pages, admiring the view, and believing for a second that it is you who is Richard, discovering paradise for the first time.

I’ve been hooked on travel ever since and because of that Koh Phi Phi will always be my favourite beach destination. It will always bring back the feeling of discovering paradise and a reminder that there is so much to see, if we dare go see.

koh phi phi don  koh phi phi treehouse

(Me on Koh Phi Phi Don, the largest of the islands in the Koh Phi Phi archipelago and the treehouse I stayed in.)

Please share with me your travel inspirations and the stories that kickstarted your own travels.

What will be your next travel destination?

Your friend,

Peter Paxx


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