Same Same But Different -

Same Same But Different

Tonsai Bay


When I first touched down in Thailand three and a half months ago I felt weightless. I could hardly contain my excitement as I prepared for the adventures that awaited me.


krabi town


It’s no secret that I struggled to feel enchanted and balanced in Vietnam and Thailand promised a new culture, a new story, new friends, and a new beginning.


railay thailand


Despite the ease I predicted, as my journey through Thailand progressed, I became anxious about my work performance and frustrated by the constant distractions around me.


krabi town


Everywhere I turned a friendly backpacker offered an invite, I often shared rooms with friends, and I met a man who occupied more of my mind than I wanted to allow.


krabi town


I constantly pushed others away, fearful that they might distract me from my purpose and my mission.


I was closed.


krabi town



But this time, everything is different.


krabi town


Landing in Thailand again ten days ago, my eyes welled with tears. While for over a year I struggled to cry even when I desperately wanted to, entering Thailand I was overcome with emotion.


krabi town


Instead of feeling the weightlessness of what awaited me I felt heavy over what I left behind. I found home in Indonesia and leaving it I yearned for something to hold onto.


railay thailand


In many ways arriving here felt less like the beginning of a chapter and more like the end of one.


railay thailand


Now, in Southern Thailand’s mythically gorgeous Andaman Sea, backpackers no longer surround me. Friends aren’t meeting me for dinner or tempting me to go out dancing. There are no distractions of ornate temples or busy markets or endless cheap street eats.


railay thailand


For the first time in a long time, I feel lonely.


koh lanta


Families build their sandcastles by the sea. Groups of friends chat over phad thai and beers. Couples hold hands as they watch the sunset.


koh lanta


Watching them reminds me how much I miss my family. They remind me how good it feels to share laughter with friends. They remind me that even though I fight my desire, I’d really like to fall in love again.


koh lanta


They remind me that I am in fact alone.


koh lanta


Yet here on my own I’m feeling more connected and alive than I have in as long as I can remember.


koh lanta


Every day I wake up early, I run on the beach, I practice my yoga, I give myself Reiki, I progress in my passion, I explore the island on a scooter, and I watch each sunset like it’s my first and my last.


My god it makes me feel so good.


koh lanta


I feel aware of who I am, why I’m in Asia, and more importantly why I’m on this Earth.


koh lanta


I feel flooded with peace and calm faced with obstacles that once terrified me.


koh lanta


I feel indescribable gratitude for everything that surrounds me and everything that at times feels painfully far away or out of reach.


koh lanta


I feel like I’ve finally broken down my walls and opened, knowing that I love myself enough to accept what I deserve.


koh lanta


Most of all, I feel like me.


The same, but different.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  1. Whoa Camille, what a beautiful post filled with emotion. I totally relate with everything you’ve been feeling. Life is such an incredible ride :)

  2. just stumbled upon your blog in researching a move to Puerto Viejo from the US! I’ll be in PV next month job and house hunting and would love to be able to get your opinion on some of the restaurants in the area (are you familiar with Outback Jack’s? They’re is hiring… is it realistic to assume I could support myself bartending as a single woman in PV?) Thanks so much for your response– I look forward to hearing from you! P.s. your photos are GORGEOUS!

    • Camille Willemain Says: February 26, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Thanks so much for your compliments Vicky :) I have heard of Outback Jack’s, though they weren’t open yet when I was there. Hm, supporting yourself on any salary you make in Puerto Viejo will not be easy. I know people who do it but they live on very restricted budgets. Costa Rica is not a cheap place to live and minimum wage is only a few dollars per hour. The tipping policy is nothing like it is back in the states. My best recommendation would be to go with money saved up and work for extra income. If you want to have a comfortable living down there it’s best to open your own business or find a way to work remotely earning a first world income. Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you need any other advice and perhaps I’ll see you when I’m down there next!

      • Thanks so much for your response, Camille! Looking forward to making the move! Have you done a post on what you have in your backpack? I’m researching how to limit my belongings only to what I can carry on my back, and my personal computer is on the fritz so I’d be very interested to know what kind of computer you think is best to use for backpacking/nomad (and blogging) life, as well as what other essentials make it into your pack! Thanks so much! :)

  3. LOVE this. I sure hope you will come and spend a bit more time in Bali at some point! Enjoy lovely. It looks and sounds amazing x

    • Camille Willemain Says: February 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Thanks darling. I will definitely be back. I came to Southeast Asia hoping to find another home and I found it in Indo no doubt :)

  4. Even though you came back to Thailand feeling a bit sad, it seems like you’re leaving it in a better place. Feeling like yourself is always a good thing. And I’m so glad I got to meet you on Koh Lanta!

  5. fantastic!

  6. Have you ever written about Reiki? I’m interested in hearing your story / perspective. I love that you find balance with fun / indulgence and health /exercise
    Love these photos today.

  7. how many forward slashes can I use? geez

  8. Hey Camille,

    What a funny title for the blog – it transported us straight back to SE Asia. We were there a few weeks ago and saw countless t-shirts with “same same but different”. On some tuk-tuks, we saw “same same but better” – now that took it a new level altogether :)

    Love the photographs that you have so beautifully captured

    • Camille Willemain Says: February 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      Thanks so much :) Ah “Same Same but Better” I LOVE THAT!! I’m going to have to start using it! Where are you now?

  9. What a love title. I wen to Thailand last year. You have some love pictures here. Great blog :)

  10. Camille, your description here, as always, is beautifully written. I found a connection being on the Andaman Sea as well – a sense of peace after my mother passed away. Have you been to Koh Lipe? It is very special. I hope you will give it a try. :)

    • Camille Willemain Says: March 3, 2014 at 12:11 am

      Thank you so much for your kind compliment Jill. I’m glad to hear you found solace somewhere during such an emotionally difficult time. I have not yet been to Koh Lipe, and when I come back to Thailand I certainly will. I didn’t have enough time this trip, but I hope to also go to the smaller Trang islands and sleep under the stars :) Ahhh so many many beautiful places in this world.

  11. […] where again I feel like me. […]

  12. Beautiful note Camille, that’s how I feel exactly at the moment… I am planning to go to SE Asia soon too!
    I had a question,I was wondering how you survive on a daily basis, do you get some casual jobs there, or are you getting paid with your blog, or are you relying on your savings?
    Good luck in your adventure, your posts are so inspiring

    • Camille Willemain Says: November 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Hi dear, thank you so much! I make money through freelance writing online and also I’m now beginning to monetize my blog.

  13. Leiane Oviedo Says: January 11, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Beautiful photos & so beautifully written.
    It brought tears to my eyes, as I read…I felt your realization of the loneliness you were feeling.
    Thank you for sharing.

  14. good post