Drop Everything

Alexandre Afonso at Thailand

I went to live in Thailand

Interview with Alexandre Afonso

Alexandre Afonso is a friend who helped to create the Playocean. Once living in the city of Sines, Portugal, he was in charge of every content coming from those lands, until the day in which he decided to go and live in Koh Samui Island, Thailand.
He works on the internet, from where obtains all the necessary income to be happy.
He has no moorings, dropped everything.

One of Maenam beaches
One of Maenam beaches to the north of the island. In the background one can see the island of Koh Phangan, known for its Full Moon Party.

Who were you before dropping everything?

I used to consider myself one more sheep in the herd before dropping everything. I was a stressed person, nervous, anxious, irritated with the circumstances of life. I felt a defective part in a mechanism that doesn't work well. I felt that my happiness depended on external factors like the weather, politic or financial situation of the country, news, work, among others. I looked around and saw people with the same symptoms as mine. People complaining that they didn't have a job and others complaining because they had one but weren't happy with it, because they didn't have time for their families or themselves. I felt simply one more.

Longtail Boats at Maya Bay, Phi Phi Islands
Longtail Boats on the sand of Maya Bay, in the Phi Phi Islands, available for tourists visiting the area of Krabi. Here was filmed the movie "The Beach", which has Leonardo DiCaprio as the leading figure.

Tells us a bit about your life before the "Drop Everything".

Before dropping everything i had a life of stress, fears and senseless. Stress for every inherent problems of a so called normal life. Fears for being always on the edge of the abyss and never knowing of the money was enough to pay all the bills. Fears for the fuel price rising up, the rise of taxes, of surprise expenses showing up like a fridge that breaks or a traffic fine. Imagining to continue working in something that one doesn't like, to buy stuff to fill a house not even knowing why, was an obligation. I felt part of a herd that seemed to be ruled by the dogmas of society and if one wouldn't abide by their rules and traditions, one would be considered a lunatic or a black sheep.

Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands.

Why did you decide to break with your life?

The decision to break up with the life was living came naturally. It was due to a inner change that the rest of the world also began to change. I always hear the saying: "Do you want to change the world? Change yourself." Until then it was just a pretty sentence worthy of getting a "Like" in a Facebook post and even more if accompanied by a beautiful image. After truly changing my inner self, I realized that the world changed around me, or better, the way I used to see it. I believe that the way we see the world is a reflex of our mind or state of spirit. I changed some habits of my life and cut with everything which made me feel bad, like watching TV or being with people that I felt no connection with. I started to be at peace in the middle of the society chaos. It was with this interior peace that I decided that the world should reflect better my inner state. If I'm well within myself, why shouldn't things that surround me be also of my pleasing!?

Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands.

What takes in the baggage someone who drops everything?

Regarding that, due to my inner change, I started to value more experiences and moments than piling up stuff, what I brought in my baggage was very little. Three or four T-shirts, three or four shorts, slippers, documents, computer and my Kitesurf gear.

Olga and our baggage
Olga, the person with whom I moved to Thailand, at the Airport of Lisbon, ready to begin my adventure. In the photo, all the baggage we brought with us, including my Kitesurf gear.

What were you feeling when entering the airplane?

When entering the airplane I felt that I was taking the biggest step of my life, felt anxiety but lots of hope and happiness for having released myself from the moorings that held me to a world which was no longer mine.

Why Thailand?

Mainly for being a country of a all year long summer, temperatures above 30ºC, paradisiacal beaches, palm trees, people with a way of life totally different.

Vikasa Yoga
A wonderful place called .

Did you find what you were looking for?

Undoubtedly, I couldn't be more satisfied. I found the lifestyle which better reflects my personality, currently. I found beaches where I can be the whole day with sea water temperatures that rise to 38º C.
I found safety among people. I leave the door of my house open all day long, even when I leave to go further away. I found a fantastic flora, surrounded by greenish the whole year. I found people from all over the world with the same lifestyle and with whom I can share experiences.
In short, I found myself.

InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
Evening at the , west of Koh Samui Island.
Piña coladas at the InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
Two piña coladas and some appetizers while I enjoyed the evening at the .

Did you start or restart? Why?

I feel I started my life. I began to be who I am, doing what I enjoy and feeling good most of the time. I feel connected with everything, feel free, all because I believe that we are in this world to be happy and we can only be it by doing what we want whenever we want.

Island of Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan, private island that is part of Koh Tao.

Were you capable of dropping everything again?

Certainly. After dropping everything the first time all becomes easier. Maybe the first time is the most complicated for everyone. For me it wasn't so complicated, it was a natural stage of my state of mind, it wasn't forced at all. It was the liberation from old habits, places and routines those which I tend to identify myself better. Since I started to collect moments and not things, the liberation from accumulated goods is something simple and the experiences, those, come with us in the memory. I started to have everything while having nearly nothing.

Erawan Natinal Park, to the west of Bangkok
, situated a little further than 200 Km to the west of Bangkok. Here I was dressed with very comfortable cotton clothes, made by the locals and sold in Bangkok. The hat is typical from Vietnam but equally sold in the markets of Bangkok.

And now, who are you?

I could say that my name is Alexandre, 36 years old, a Portuguese currently living in Thailand among other things, however I think that doesn't tell who I am. What I think that defines me the most is the general definition for us all human beings. I consider myself part of a whole, a whole involving everything that exists. Part of an energy source to whom we all belong. Despite of an individual being with my own characteristics and thoughts, I'm the reflex of something superior, experiencing this physical form and trying to take the greatest possible pleasure from this life.

Ang Thong National Marine Park
, situated about 45 minutes by motorboat from Koh Samui. Union sensation with everything surrounding me, lightness and freedom in sea waters with average temperatures of 33º C.

Life begins where the comfort zone ends — soundtrack of one of the movies which was in a certain way the push to drop everything.

Thank you, Alexandre. A hug from Portugal.