Featured post: The inspiring Yana from Travel Art, Chiangmai



About one and a half years ago, I was backpacking in South East Asia. Koh Lanta was one stop I made but luckily I chose that small non-touristy island to stay for few days because I got a chance to meet a passionate girl who was always behind the bar serving me some cocktails. Yana is an Ukrainian girl who left her hometown to be in Thailand to volunteer for 3 months but turned out 7 months staying on that beautiful island to find the definition of happiness. During the time I spent on Koh Lanta, I gotta get to know Yana and her passion for art. I still remember how impressed I got after seeing her art works. After one and a half years, I feel happy to have followed her journey and her works all this time.

So, what is the story of Yana Shvets?


In Ukraine, Yana always thought that having a job and working hard to earn good money would satisfy her. Hence, she worked in an PR company and she was proud of what she had done. However, after awhile, she realised that it did not fulfil her. Yana asked herself – “What is happiness? What is like to be fulfilled?”

After spending months to think about what makes her happy, after sipping several cups of coffee each night and letting her mind lost in thoughts, she decided to quit her job and her flat, and took an internship for 3 months in Greece. In 2014, she wanted to go somewhere warm and easy to enter with the  Ukrainian passport so there she flew to Thailand and got a volunteer job. After that, she luckily got adopted by a Thai family in Koh Lanta to work for them for awhile. During this time, she spared her time to pain more and sold her amazing works to several people. She felt happy. Those 7 months had fulfilled her and brought her back to life. They got her realised how happy she had been doing things that made her happy.

Late 2014, she decided to move to Chiangmai to take part in a volunteer project. She met up a group of digital nomads and it brought her thoughts of being one of them.
“Is it possible to earn money doing what you are passionate about?” – that’s the one question in Yana’s head.

art and coffee event_free

And then, that’s how TravelArt was found.

Yana’s goal is to inspire people in wherever she stop by to paint, inspire people to take a risk and do what they really love doing but not just follow the social standards. Yana’s started several workshops based in Chiangmai, Thailand to help people learn about watercolour painting and inspire them to create art. Talking with Yana and listening to her sharing how happy she was seeing her students grow and their works getting better, I was inspired. Not much of an artist or painter but the power of her voice passionately shared with me gave me a push. She travels, she works and she inspires. Let Yana inspire you as well!

“Art will be always with me no matter what I do or where I go”
-Yana Shvets

Follow Yana and her works on Facebook, ArtFinder and don’t miss out her workshops in Chiangmai.

Thailand: To Mae Tang

One thing I enjoy so much about travelling alone is meeting cool random people. It has given me the chance to see so many different people from different countries with different backgrounds. Checked in a guesthouse in the old town of Chiang Mai, I randomly met a guy hosting Couchsurfing. He is a friendly gay guy called Porsche (that’s how he calls himself). After a few line conversations, he offered a trip to Mae Tang. ‘Why not?’ – I thought. DSC_1203 We started a trip with some snacks in the market close by our guesthouse. Somehow I always ended up picking the wrong food. We started driving around noon. Coming with us was another Dutch guy staying in the same accommodation. We hit the road with full of excitement- music was on, we sang along. It felt superb being on the road to explore new places, and this time, I did not know where we were heading. First stop was the Tiger Kingdom. Oh well, let’s touch some big cats! The route we drove was a beautiful road. Two tree rows were standing parallel along the road. Flowers were falling slowly from the trees. The whole road was clear for us to drive real fast. I was feeling absolutely merry with what were surrounding me. There were banana leaves, palm trees, dogs and chickens running around on the street, the sun shining gave the road a touch of glitters. How cheerful was that? The most important thing must be a good travel companion. Porsche was such a funny and warm-hearted guy. Sam didn’t talk much though because of the hangover the night before 🙂 DSC05324

DSC_1206 Our last stop was a slide waterfall. It is located in Kangkued village, Maetang district. I wouldn’t call it a waterfall because the water in fact doesn’t really fall. The dare was to slide off that ‘waterfall’. It was definitely not something I would like to do. Besides my fear for water, that looked kinda scary. The slide is about 4m high and it leads to a little water hole that is about 2.5m deep. To some people, that was not a problem at all. However, it terrified me quite much. Knowing nothing what you could expect after the landing scared me. I was standing on the top of the slide and looking down. The cold water flashed to my lower body. It took me at least 5 minutes to calm myself down. With all the cheerings from Porsche and Sam, well, I decided to sit down slowly and get myself together. Bloop! It was not even 2 seconds and I hit the pond. I was freaked a bit because I couldn’t reach something to stand on but I managed to get off the water. I gotta say, it was really cool. Scary but cool. I realised I just managed to face my fear and got over it. I wouldn’t dare to do it again but I know I can get over the fear. Anyone can. DSC_1257


DSC_1267 We headed back to Chiangmai with a good feeling. The sun was setting. And we enjoyed the music that was played along the road once again.