I have lived on an island, traveled to over 50 countries and visited hundreds of cities, but nothing compares to Ko Lipe. It’s not even close. Ko Lipe is where I learned that life has so much more to offer than what we can see from our window or read about in a book—it’s where I learned who I am and what makes me happy. And while this may sound like hyperbole, it’s actually true: spending just one month on Ko Lipe changed my life forever!

When I first stepped foot on Ko Lipe in the year 2000, I had no idea the lasting effect that this island would have on my life.

When I first stepped foot on Ko Lipe in the year 2000, I had no idea the lasting effect that this island would have on my life. I was travelling alone for the first time and had no idea what to expect. It was my first trip to Thailand and also my first time visiting an island in Southeast Asia. In fact, it was one of my very first travels outside of Canada—I certainly didn’t know what I was getting myself into! This experience opened up a whole new world for me: a place where there were things like coconut trees, beach huts, hammocks and sunsets stretching out over miles of turquoise sea.

Ko Lipe is where I learned to love nature.

  • The beach. The sand is soft and the water is clear blue, but it’s still more beautiful than any other place I’ve ever been to.
  • The jungle. It’s a jungle because there are plants growing everywhere, but it’s not really like the jungles I’ve seen on TV or in movies—it’s more like a garden with trees instead of bushes and lots of wildflowers growing around them instead of grasses.
  • The mountains. They’re green and brown with little bits of white snow on top, which make them look like they’re wearing hats that match their eyeshadow!
  • The caves: There are two different types: natural ones formed by erosion over millions of years (therefore no one knows how old they are), or manmade ones dug out by locals who use them for storage space (and sometimes even live inside). These hidden chambers have been used for centuries as storage places during times when food was scarce; nowadays they mainly serve as restaurants where tourists can enjoy traditional Thai fare while getting lost in thought about life itself!

Ko Lipe is where I learned to love travel.

I traveled to Ko Lipe in October, the tail end of Thailand’s rainy season. I was supposed to be there for just two weeks, but ended up staying for four. The island is an hour-long boat ride from Langkawi, Malaysia, and it’s just a short ferry ride from there. It’s pretty much all sand—there are no roads or cars on the island, so everything is slow-paced and peaceful.

The first time I arrived at Ko Lipe was after taking a long overnight flight from New York to Kuala Lumpur with my friend Elijah; we spent our first day exploring the city center and eating local food before flying out again the next morning for our final leg of our journey: three days at sea (and then another overnight flight) back home.

Ko Lipe is where I learned to love people.

The people on Ko Lipe are the best part of this beautiful island. They are friendly, welcoming, and open. They will help you with anything you need while out at sea or even when they see you walking down the street. The people here have a good time and love to party but they’re also very helpful if you need anything from them at all.

I learned to love people in Ko Lipe because I got to spend so much time with them during my stay there. It was amazing how quickly we became friends just by being around each other for a few hours every day for a few weeks!

Ko Lipe is where I learned to love food.

If you’re a foodie, Ko Lipe is the place for you. The food on Ko Lipe is amazing and cheap, fresh, healthy and diverse. Not only that but it’s also delicious! You can get some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had there. Your taste buds will thank me later.

I highly recommend trying the fried banana with coconut ice cream or Pad Thai—both were delicious!

Ko Lipe is where I truly felt “at home” for the first time in my life.

The most important lesson I learned on Ko Lipe is that home is not a place. Home is a feeling.

It’s when you feel like you belong in the world, have purpose, and can do anything you set your mind to. For me, Ko Lipe was where I finally felt “home” for the first time in my life.

My entire outlook on life changed when I spent the month of February on Ko Lipe in the year 2000

In a nutshell, my entire outlook on life changed when I spent the month of February on Ko Lipe in the year 2000.

It was there that I learned to love nature, travel, people and food. For the first time in my life, I truly felt “at home” (I know it sounds cliché but trust me…it’s not).


I hope this article has given you a glimpse into how my life was changed by the month that I spent on Ko Lipe in 1999. This island showed me what it means to be happy, and it taught me so many lessons about living a fulfilling life. If you haven’t yet been lucky enough to visit this magical place, please do everything in your power to make it happen soon!