Today is the beginning of an epic trip of a lifetime. A celebration of a college graduation, a 30th wedding anniversary, a special birthday, and living life to the fullest. Mom and Dad left today for Thailand, beginning their 27 hour journey half way around the world. They will arrive in Thailand on July 16th at 6:40am (GMT +7) however July 15th at 4:40pm PST. It is definitely a mind blow to skip an entire day, while flying over the pacific ocean. However when a week of culture, extreme relaxation, and excitement awaits you in the “land of smile” it seems a small price to pay. Mom and Dad will spend a blissful 7 days at the Four Season’s hotel in Chiang Mai, Thailand celebrating 30 years of love, friendship, and the plentiful years to come.
Not to long after, Brianne will join me on the west coast (July 21st) and we will venture on to unknown lands and exotic destinations, meeting the relaxed and welcoming parents in Bangkok, Thailand, where we will then fly to an island in the Gulf of Thailand, called Koh Samui — known for their crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, culinary excellence, and long tailed fishing boats. This leg of our trip is greatly anticipated for some quality family time, that has become harder and harder to grasp as each year rolls by. Here we will, yet again celebrate Brianne’s birthday in a unbelievably beautiful location. From a memorable 5th birthday in London to a revolutionary 15th at the wave break in Cabo San Lucas, this kid’s got it going on… trust me. Brianne will turn 17th on the 30th of July in Koh Samui, Thailand, an unforgettable way to pass another year of her life.
As Bri’s birthday comes and goes the family will say goodbye to the charm and meditation of the gulf and enter a world sure to grasp a hold of every human sense, Bangkok. A mystical, yet overwhelming city that I hear captures your heart as it runs over it at the same time. From the culture to the traffic, from the temples to the streets, from the venice of the east to the canals of the slums — this city is sure to be remarkable in ways unknown. Here we will welcome our final member of this exotic trip, Chris, with humor, smiles and never ending appetite that are sure to add to this families’ craziness and exploration. Four days of sensory overload is sure to be a great way to end a family adventure and begin an independent one.
As Chris and I wave goodbye to Mom, Dad, and Brianne — smiles are sure to cross our faces at the memories we just made and at more that are yet to come. We will begin undertaking our adventure with an over night VIP bus ride to Chiang Mai. From the city of Pai we will be trekking into the northern hill tribes of Thailand, spending our nights with two different Lahu hill tribes, living and learning their ways of life. During the day– elephant rides through the jungle and some white water rafting will fall into play. On the third day we will arrive back in Chaing Mai in late afternoon to spend the night and following day exploring a city of Burmese-influenced art and architecture and miles of rice fields.
After our stint in Northern Thailand we will begin our travels down the western coast, along the Gulf of Thailand stopping in the cities of Phetchaburi, Hua Hin, and Surat Thani. We will then have a chance to unwind and live out a dream of mine, sleeping in a giant treehouse! We will spend 3 days exploring the Thai National Park of Khao Sok. Home to the fairy tale lake of Cheow Lan and the Raffelsia, the largest flower in the world. After the cooling off session in the jungle, we will head south to the area of Krabi and stay in the small town of Ao Nang. This area is well known for James Bond Island, rock climbing, and the limestone cliffs that jut out of the sea.
Back to the north we will head back to Surat Thani to begin a boat trip to living life as islanders on the islands of Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao. Here we will experience staying in a traditional Thai hut 30 feet from the waves, learning to scuba dive, receiving our open water PADI certifications, and soaking up the Thai mentality and culture, hopefully to bring their mind set and way of life home with us to the US. After 8 days on the islands, Chris and I will travel north to Bangkok to conclude a trip of a lifetime.
Memories will be created, hardships will be encountered, boundaries will be crossed, culture will be engraved in our hearts, and we will travel home stronger. I hope to take away with me a part of the Thai way of life that I have read and heard so much about. Mai pen rai (my-ben-rye) meaning “never mind, no problem, don’t worry about it.” This may seem to be a simple phrase but in Thailand it is a way of life, something you say in situations that go from simple to extreme, in hope you can accept what you have been given in this life. So as we begin our journey I leave you with that mentality mai pen rai…
adventure we are about to embark on!)