Just two weeks after Jeff and I started dating, he gave me a book with a note written on the inside cover. It was the first time that I would see Jeff’s beautiful handwriting, meticulous grammar, and the use of his famous red pen.
It was also the first time that I realized just how easy it was going to be to fall in love with him.
In his note, Jeff wrote of his excitement to write more chapters and to share more adventures with me, adding at the end “I hope you enjoy this tale, and our tale, as much as I do.”
During my recent trip to Chiang Dao, “City of Stars,” I climbed 500 stairs every morning to reach a mountaintop Temple in a remote reach of Northern Thailand.
As I loped up the wide, meandering stairs lined with motivational messages on either side, I recalled a set of stairs in another remote part of the world that were a little less…encouraging.Continue Reading
I didn’t see much of Chiang Dao before my bag and I were whisked into a waiting songthaew bound for a 10-minute ride up a winding hill to Malee’s Nature Lovers Bungalows.
There was nobody in sight, so I stooped to pet a tail-wagging dog and waited, still recovering from the efficiency that had brought me so quickly from bustling Chiang Mai to this remote bungalow on the side of Doi Chiang Dao Mountain in a sleepy part of northern Thailand.Continue Reading
It’s never fun to admit failure, but it’s true that I threw in my fins and quit scuba school.
In doing a little soul searching in the wake of dropping out of my (non-refundable) open-water scuba training, I can take the unpleasant admissions one step further: I just didn’t fit in on the island of Koh Tao.Continue Reading
“Have you even been to Thailand if you haven’t been to a Full-Moon Party?” This was the question posed to me sometime around dawn, as the sun threatened to break the horizon, ushering away the moon and the last of the revelers on Haad Rin Beach.
“I think so,” I said, swaying to the beat of the music still thumping behind me and gazing out toward the oncoming daylight. “But you certainly missed something.”Continue Reading
The van pulled up to the Elephant Nature Park just outside of Chiang Mai and disgorged six sweaty strangers. Not one of us had any idea what to expect from a night spent in an elephant sanctuary, or that in just 24 hours we would leave the park forever changed – and forever friends.
I fell into step beside Jenn, a 28-year-old hospital social worker turned world traveler, as our guide, Tong, hurried us along a broad patio to an unspecified location. We stopped short when, upon rounding a corner, we found elephants politely reaching toward baskets of bananas that lined the platform where we stood.Continue Reading
The plan was to come home in early October after my 90-day Schengen Region visa expired. BUT…then my friends decided to spend a few days in London and, well, I am easily persuaded to stay abroad. Since the UK hadn’t kicked me out yet, I could spend some time in the Scottish Highlands before hopping the train to London to meet up with my friends.
So, it was as my visa expired on the 90th morning of my stay in the Schengen Region that I boarded a plane from Zurich to Inverness – for the best and most unexpected add-on to a trip ever.Continue Reading