2 months, 50+ new friends and tons of memories …

(Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam) I left my phone charging in my room, and went down stairs seeking local food. I sat down, ordered, and got my plate of rice and BBQ chicken. The first bite tasted something like my mom’s food. A thousand-memory bomb exploded in my head, throwing me back and forth between the past and the present.

(Chiang Mai, Thailand) I don’t remember having a bad day since I got here. How could that happen when the front desk ladies cheer me with their lovely smiles when they see me coming out of the elevator every morning! When the security guy at the mall door smiles and salutes me when I pass by! I get an endless amount of smiles from the moment I leave my room to the moment I come back.

(Bali, Indonesia) Last day at Seminyak beach. I have to say goodbye to the people I spent 2 months with sharing food, drinks, adventures and memories. When I left Jerusalem 85 days ago, I had no idea what kind of friendships I would have with those strangers.

Hacker paradise crew! #hiking #volcano #bali #indonesia #digitalnomad #hackerparadise #travel #liveaboard

A photo posted by Jamal Mashal (@jamalx31) on

(Chiang Mai, Thailand) 11 Nov., Dale’s birthday. Spencer decided a ladyboy show would be the plan. A priceless moment was when the lady grabbed Dale to the stage and danced on his lap.

(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) On my way to the second flight to Vietnam, 5 security guys stop me for 10 minutes passing my “Israeli traveling document” between them. Checking it carefully. “Hey, it’s the first time I’ve ever seen an Israeli passport”.

(Bali, Indonesia) 2:30 AM we began our journey climbing mountain Batur, an active volcano with 1717m height. It was 2 hours to the top to see one of the most breathtaking sunrise scenes.

(Chiang Mai, Thailand) I stood on the edge of a cliff, I put my MomImFine shirt on. Thai people around me laughed, took pictures, and I jumped.

#YOLO #mom_im_fine #cliffjumping #chiang_mai #thailand #adventure #digitalnomad #hackerparadise

A video posted by Jamal Mashal (@jamalx31) on

(Chiang Mai, Thailand) Dale to a taxi driver (2 am): “We want karaoke!”. The driver: “Say no more”. 10 mins later, 7 of us in a big room, 14 girls walking in and we were asked to pick 2. Dale (shaking his head in denial): NO, NO. We only want karaoke! kaa-rr-aa-ok-e!!

Bali ..  Chiang Mai .. Bali .. Chiang Mai
Two months with Hacker Paradise passed with only one rule: “Work hard, play harder”. My typical days were spent hopping between restaurants and coffee shops working and trying new kinds of food. Nights were full of fun, and weekends were all about new adventures: cooking classes, ziplining, taking a bath with the elephants, jumping off a cliff, climbing a waterfall and surfing. And besides all of the delicious Thai food, there is also this amazing culture. I was so lucky to have the chance to witness one of the most unique festivals here (Yi Peng festival and Mae Jo Lantern release).

A countless number of images flash through my mind now. All the faces I’ve met in the last 2 months, once strangers, but not anymore. Sometimes you make new friends, sometimes you find another family!

I’ve reached a new place out of my comfort zone. I have exposed myself to new experiences and met a lot of great people. It will take more than one post to go through everything. Hacker Paradise, I will miss every single one of you.

Happy New Year 🌏
Stay Hungry, Never settle