A 25-year old nomad seeking to travel for the entire year became unlikely friends with a Buddhist monk in Thailand during the covid-19 lockdown.
Nikita Proshin is a nomad from Russia who befriended Pongmia, a Thai Buddhist monk, due to the coronavirus pandemic’s circumstances.
The Russian had pledged to himself that he would explore the world for the entirety of 2020.
Proshin was coming from China when the global covid-19 pandemic emerged worldwide.
The 25-year-old originally intended to stay in Vietnam while waiting for the virus to subside.
However, Vietnam border officials rejected him as he came from the ground-zero of the coronavirus—China.
So, he decided to travel to Thailand instead. He explored the country for a bit, eventually settling in a hostel in Chiang Mai province.
While in Chiang Mai, Proshin heard of a Buddhist monk offering a work-exchange program.
The 25-year-old was quickly running out of funds to support himself, pushing him and ten other travelers to live with the monk’s family.
To satisfy the work-exchange program, Proshin and the others started on building mud homes. According to Proshin:
“As I understand, in half a year, [the buildings] will be a chiropractic school and meditation retreat.”
The Russian nomad is currently working on applying plaster to the brick structure, which was already built before he arrived, out of the mud.
According to them, more houses will be built in the area. Proshin, about the other travelers, said:
“Every single one of us, we do it not to save money, not to have a place to stay, but for such a unique experience.”
When not working on building houses, the nomad makes breakfast for the group with Pongmia’s mother.
Proshin also typically spends his mornings exploring the surrounding nature and working on projects. He added:
“Every single day, it’s an exciting time. First, we get to do something we’ve never done before. Second, we all understand that this is a situation we won’t be in again. And third, we just learn a lot about different kinds of lifestyles.”
Pongmia’s buildings house a group of people from different cultures. Additionally, Proshin and the group have shared an extensive range of exciting conversations, from the afterlife to their favorite meals.
Proshin, concerning this, said:
“They have their own beliefs and have their own reasons to come here. And I really like to see how different people can be.”
As of the moment, Proshin’s eyeing to travel to Myanmar next.
As a man in a constant chase with the various elements of life that gives every fleeting second a rare moment, Proshin signified:
“The experience I get here is something I will remember for a long time.”