Motivation | Why it’s okay to travel solo

Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can.  Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.


Paris

Paris, France


I always romanticized travel.  I imagined one day traveling the world with that special someone.  That we would stroll through the streets of Paris, eat gelato in Italy, and experience the monuments of Rome together.  I imagined that one day I would travel the world, and that ‘one day’ it would be with that special someone.  Yet, I find myself in a point in time where that one day has not yet arrived.  So I have to ask the question, does my decision to travel and experience the world really hinge on finding that special someone?

Growing up, I was taught that travel was a luxury.  That travel was something that you got to do when you were well settled in your life.  Perhaps, this is what helped to shape my romanticized idea.  I guess I equated being married with being well settled in my life.  But yet, here I am, without that special someone and I find myself with this longing to experience the world!

So I took a leap of faith.  I mean, what was I really waiting for?  I decided that I let too much of my life pass without experiencing the moments.  I came upon a crux.  Perhaps a quarter life crisis?  I like to think of it more as wise thought.  I took a friend up on an offer to take a trip to Thailand.  Maybe it was a crazy whim, but if I was going to go out of my comfort zone, I was going to go big.  I knew that by taking that trip to Thailand, life was about to happen.  A second thought didn’t even cross my mind.

Don’t think twice about travel.  Make that commitment to take a trip.  Perhaps you are a little hesitant to go outside of your comfort zone.  Or perhaps you feel like me, where you want to share that experience with that special someone.  But just because you experience the world on your own, doesn’t mean you can’t make different memories with that someone later on.  Whatever it may be, take my advice and travel as much as you can, as far as you can.  Make memories.  Indulge in different cultures.  Experience the moments. Don’t let a longing desire eat you up inside.  You don’t know what is out there until you experience it for yourself.

Travel the world while you are able.  Live and be free.  Let life happen.


XOXO

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Houses on stilts, river boats, and beers, oh my! Exploring Chao Phraya River: Bangkok, Thailand

It’s amazing to think that a lifestyle exists where people live and make a living for themselves on water.  Where people own houses built on stilts, sell items boat to boat, and fish for their food without ever having a need to travel inland.  What I am describing is a lifestyle that can be found along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand.  I tried doing a little research on this topic but unfortunately fell short.  So all I have to offer is my experience from a river boat tour that we took, which was meant to explore the temples along the river.  But unbeknownst to us, unexpectedly opened our eyes to a whole other society contained within such a huge metropolitan city – Bangkok.

We had one full day left in Bangkok and had yet to explore the temples in the city.  We decided to book a tour which would cover all of the major temples including the Grand Palace in an effort to make the most of our day.  All entry fees and modes of transportation were included and a portion of the tour would be done by water.

Excited for the tour!

Excited for the tour!

The day we set out was a bit dreary, but as were the previous days before. When we got to the water portion of the tour, the typical mode of transportation was a high-speed motorized long-boat.  We were surprised at how fast the boats could go!  The water was splashing us from every direction and midway a storm rolled through.  Luckily the weather was a pleasant so a bit of rain didn’t ruin our day.

Thailand Long Boat

Traveling along the Chao Phraya River was quite the experience!  I have seen houses along rivers in the past, but never houses built in a river.  It was certainly unexpected to see.  The houses varied by size, style, and complexity.  Strictly going off of observation, I would have to say that some homes looked like squatter homes, as if built from scraps on unclaimed land.  Other homes were more intricate, displaying great detail and built from sturdy materials.  Many homes appeared to have electrical and even the most modest homes had satellite dishes.  At times I observed people fishing off their balconies, hanging their clothes, or children playing.  It was a very interesting sight to behold and definitely an eye opening experience.  I wish I had more information on this subject, but I’m not sure about the history or cultural background on these homes.

Just as we were traveling along our path, the boat slowed down to meet a passerby on a small canoe type boat selling goodies and drinks.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of beer, but how could I pass up an opportunity to buy something from a river vendor.

Upon reaching the end of our path, we got an opportunity to be on land for a bit and explore the markets.  Overall, exploring the Chao Phraya River was such a great experience, and I am so glad we unexpectedly stumbled upon this tour.  Hopefully this inspires you to add the Cha Phraya River to your travel list if it wasn’t already there before. 😉

Click on the smaller photos to enlarge.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Patara Elephant Farm, Elephant owner for a day: Chiang Mai, Thailand

If anyone had ever told me that one day I would go to Thailand and adopt an elephant, I would tell them that they were crazy.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would do something so crazy, so adventurous, so out of character. But, here I am, writing about my experience as an elephant owner for a day at Patara Farm, an elephant farm located in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

Knowing that we wanted to see elephants on our trip, we performed extensive research and spoke with friends that had traveled to Thailand before to get their opinion.  It was very important for us to go through a reputable company as there can be some controversy with elephant riding as not all companies treat their animals well.  After much careful research, we decided on Patara Farm, an elephant farm that offers guests an immersion experience of adopting an elephant for a day.  When I say immersion I mean that you literally go through step by step every detail each elephants trainer goes through for the day.  You feed, learn how to check the elephant’s health, and even bathe the elephant as part of your day.

Baby elephant

“you are trained to approach your elephant correctly, know the elephant’s temperament, feed and check its health, learn about and take care of your own elephant, bathe and brush it in the river, learn how to ride on its neck, and communicate THROUGH DIFFERENT spoken commands.” – Patara Farm

Let me tell you, we pretty much paid to do labor for the day, but it was worth the experience!  Initially, meeting the elephants is a little overwhelming.  You are basically entering their space not the other way around.  They go about their business eating, pooping, and hanging out with each other. When they see you, the babies are the ones that are more curious, the adults aren’t bothered.  Unless you are holding sugar cane!  Then you are everyone’s center of attention.

After going through the training program and getting acquainted with your elephant, at Patara Farm, you ride the elephants bare-back, meaning no seats.  The best way I can describe this experience is incredible.  Being with the elephant all day you bond and get to know each other.  Then when the elephant allows you to ride them, it’s a very beautiful experience.  The elephant is never forced to give you a ride nor are you forced to ride them.  You are taught from the very beginning how to understand your elephants temperament.  So when I say that my elephant allowed me to ride him, I felt like he accepted me. Now, maybe at this point I’m starting to sound like a hippie, but I do believe that elephants are very intelligent creatures and like any animal they can form a bond or connection with you.

“The program is specialized and meaningful activity to create trust and relationship between you and your elephant.” – Patara Farm

Overall, I am very grateful to have been able to take part in this experience and highly recommend putting this on your bucket list.  If you have any questions or want to know more about the experience, please feel free to ask.  For more information on Patara Farm, check out their website or reviews on TripAdvisor.  ❤️  Hope you enjoyed!