When you find an opportunity to go somewhere all the way across the world cheap as can be ~ you book it.
Save up that money & goooooo
Best risk/idea I ever said yes to.
I will never forget pulling up to JFK airport and my aunt & uncle saying, ‘Ok, have fun guys.” … At that moment I was pretty terrified. First off, It was just me & my cousin Koby (who is 19 I just turned 20) who has never traveled ANYWHERE before. I have traveled across the world before, BUT I was with my completely awesome Mother who took care of everything ~ all I had to do was follow. Second, we did not even have our plane tickets. Online it told us to get them when you check into your flight at the airport. Like who travels 10 hours to the airport without their plane tickets ready?! I was pretty convinced something was not going to turn out right. But, in situations like this where you are traveling so far, you just have to learn to go with the flow & think positive. I soon realized then at JFK airport I can do this. We can and will figure this out… and we did.
I would describe Bangkok with only one word: intriguing. Everything you do, see, or hear is so intriguing to the mind. Bangkok is a city that never sleeps. The culture, the nightlife, the markets.. they are so intriguing. We got to Bangkok around 2 pm and I could not tell you how excited I was to go and walk around this crazy city. Even if it was just down the street from our hotel, there was so much to see and take in. I put one of my thai pants on and we went for it. There’s something about being in a new country and taking it all in for the first time. It’s addicting and that is why I love to go to different places. There’s this thing called ‘culture shock’ that people warned us about before we left.. But to me, culture is the BEST part of traveling abroad. You get to witness and be apart of their culture and it is just the coolest thing to experience. So many of my friends and family could not wrap their head around the idea of us wanting to go to Thailand. Like why would you want to walk around a dirty, smelly, crazy cat infested city when you could go somewhere else? It doesn’t make much sense BUT this is where you experience the culture and let me tell you it is WORTH it. GO to Thailand. It is something you will not ever forget and there is NOWHERE in the WORLD like it.
~ bangkok photo diary ~
~ first evening out in Bangkok shenanigans. Right after this pic I had some bomb Indian food. Indian food was everywhereeee in Bangkok.
~ first selfie with the Wat Poo Buddha himself. Most beautifully painted room I have ever been in. It was so amazing to see how the people are so loving and care so deeply about their temples and religion. Every single Buddha was BREATHTAKING.
~ the Golden Buddha himself. To get to this buddha, you had to walk what felt like the longest staircase ever. It was beautiful though. The Golden Buddha was my favorite. There was a place here where you could throw a coin in this silver bucket, and once the coin dropped in, you would make a wish to the gods. After, there was a set of bells that you would walk through and ring them all. You did this, to get the gods attention so they would hear your wish. I loved it all.
~ one of my favorite pictures that I took. The monks were so interesting to watch walk through the temples. One girl in our tour group said, ‘if you take a picture of a monk, they lose their soul’. Considering how many tourist go through these temples a day taking pictures, I am sure their souls have been gone for awhile now…. Plus this particular monk was walking around this temple taking pictures of the walls. SO, I figured it was okay to snap a pic real quick.
~ Buddha, Buddha, Buddha, Buddha rockin everywhereeee… for real tho. SO MANY BUDDHAS. Hung out with Buddha literally this whole day. It was chill, it was hot, it was just pretty great. I learned this day that basically each Buddha means something different depending on how their body is positioned. Also, the buddha lined up in rows as shown in the pictures, has meanings of aging or the progressions in life. Each Buddha had something different each time. It was intriguing. You know when you go on a tour and there’s that person talking telling you what’s going on or what everything means. Yeah, pay attention to them. It is interesting. People and their ideas are interesting. HISTORY is interesting.
~ second day in Bangkok = The Floating Market. I took this picture on our way to the floating market by boat. It was a great ride. Seeing how these people lived on the water and all they had were these little boats to get around. It is crazy to see how differently people live than you. That is just what makes traveling amazing ~ it broadens your mind and perspective of life.
~ when in Thailand you GO to the Floating Market. I have never seen anything like this before. I was simply amazed. Markets are one of my favorite things about traveling… but when it was on water AND you got to ride on a little canoe to shop AND people had little shops ON the canoes…. It was just like wow how is this even real.
~ they tell you not to eat street food in Bangkok…. buuut you eat street food in Bangkok anyway ~ and let me tell you it is delicious. The food at the Floating market was so yummy ~ I nearly ate my whole body weight every day on this trip. I mean the whole point of traveling is to eat yummy food right??
~ last but certainly not least… day in Bangkok. ELEPHANTS. This day was magical..spectacular…amazing in every single way. When I booked this tour back in West Virginia before I left, most of my family and even friends were just like…’you are going to pay 90 dollars to wash an elephant?”…… Yes, you pay 90 dollars to wash this gentle, beautiful creature and it is AMAZING. Words can not even describe how perfect this day was. I mean I was seriously almost tearing up from how actually happy I was. I thought to myself I have not legit been this happy in a LONG time. Like real, pure happiness. That is what I felt this whole entire day and it will be something I will never forget for the rest of my life.
~ more and more elephants. I just couldn’t get enough of this day. First, we fed these elephants fruits and vegetables. They all had names and each one had their own life story. There was an elephant here that was over 70 years old. Amazing. I actually got to feed her. We had to personally smash up bananas, fiber, and some greens mixed with water so she could eat it. We squished it up into a little ball and fed it directly into her mouth. It was amazing when I first looked into her one left eye. I could see right through it… elephants are one of the smartest animals out there. So, when you look into their eyes you see life. It was a moment I won’t forget. We also took mud baths with these beautiful creatures… I can not tell how much FUN this was. At first, you look at this mud pond and you’re like…what…we get IN that??? But, yes you get in and it feels GREAT. The workers were so much fun ~ they started a mud fight and soon everyone was just throwing mud at each other. I loved every moment of it. I rubbed that mud all over my body ~ and for real, my skin was legit softer after that. The elephants loved it too, it helped their skin from bugs.
~ pure bliss ~
~ last night out in Bangkok called for getting into the Sky Bar. Me, Koby, and our friend Jeremy take a cab there from our hotel. We show up and the lady at the elevator to go up was like no no no. We were like what? The lady wouldn’t let my cousin Koby go up to the bar with shorts on. We just look at each and were like wellll sh*t. We walk out of the building hoping for a market of some sort. Sure enough just around the corner there was this little thai man with a sign saying “Do you need pants for rent?” We were like well yeah!! It was pretty funny. He was legit just on the side walk with a little clothes rack filled with pants. We go over there and Koby has no choice he has to do it so we can go up. Koby gives the man 100 baht (like 3 dollars) to borrow the pants. The funniest part was how he got changed. No bathroom, no closet….. the thai man had a small curtain and just hung it over Koby’s waist. It was on of the funniest things I have ever seen.
~ pictures of the pants renting process to get into the Sky bar
Those 3 short but yet somehow still long days in Bangkok were so much fun. 3 days is actually how much time you need to see basically everything in Bangkok. Now it was on to the next ~ ~ Phuket, Thailand.
I would describe Phuket as very beautiful and laid back. Completely different than crazy Bangkok. I was really glad we were able to experience a Thai beach. It was my first time in the Indian Ocean and it was magnificent. The water was so clear and blue… it was picture perfect. As soon as we arrived we were in for a treat. Our rooms weren’t quite ready and we would have a few hours for them to be ready… but I did not care ~ I went straight to that beautiful beach and sat right down. I didn’t need anything else in this life. Of course the next 4 days would be filled with great adventure.
~ phuket photo diary ~
~ first full day in Phuket was pretty sweet. Me and Koby’s friends that we met on the trip, Jeremy and Frank, went out and rented three mopeds. At first I was completely terrified of this idea…. I hate going fast… motorcycles have always freaked me out. Even our tour guides said it was not a good idea because Phuket roads are basically all curvy roads going up and down mountains. That being said we could have died that day, but we didn’t. It was truly a great experience and I was glad they made me do it. Riding the bikes up and down those mountains and overlooking the beautiful views over the island was spectacular. It was the kind of thing where you’re just happy to be alive and appreciate the life that was given to you.
~ second day in Phuket called for island hopping. A MUST in Thailand. This day mainly consisted of two things ; boating and beaches. 2 of my favorite things ever. Each island we went to kept getting prettier and prettier. We got to snorkel, explore around the islands, and just simply enjoy the beautiful beaches. I got so burnt on this day but it was definitely worth it.
~ first part of the third day in Phuket was spent at the monkey temple. So many monkeys everywhere just trying to steal all the food you bought for them. These monkeys were picky little fellas… Some monkeys just liked bananas, other just wanted nuts… others wanted corn! Like whatttt… don’t all monkeys love bananas!? Well apparently not these monkeys. Only two girls in the group got a monkey to stand on their shoulder. I was one of them. Monkeys are pretty smart creatures also. They can look into your eyes and see how exactly you feel about them. All of people in our group were a bit spooked by them. If they did bite you, you could get some disease or get really sick. So, it made sense they were a bit stand offish about touching them. These monkeys however were not aggressive. I remember going up to the monkey and he looked right into my eyes. I let my eyes sparkle and said it was okay. I swear the monkey understood and hopped right on my shoulder. It was a pretty great morning.
~ little town of Koh Panyi after visiting James Bond island. This little town was so interesting. The WHOLE town was completely over water. No land anywhere. It was simply amazing. We actually got lost wondering around this town… we had no idea which way to go. There were little walkways everywhere. There was even an elementary school here. It was crazy how these people lived here, but it was so fascinating to see and experience it. The people would have a little market right inside their home. This was how these people made a living. This little town was also the place where we heard the song ‘Country Roads’. I could not believe my ears. I was like are you serious? My state song is legit playing in this little town on water where theres no service for miles? It gave me chills bumps for sure. It makes you realize how small this world can be and how we are all the same ~ just people.
~ when in Thailand you get a tattoo. Me, however, I got my FIRST tattoo here. There were about 7 or 6 people in our tour group who got tattoos this day. They found the best (and cleanest) tattoo shop they could find. Of course I was super nervous about this…I mean it was my first tattoo….and I was completely across the world in a semi dirty town…. This tattoo shop was legit though. Very very very clean. I can’t even explain how nervous I was for this tiny little wave beside my boob… the whole shop was just laughing at me. But, I made it through and did it. I was pretty proud of myself even though it took the guy 3 min to do it. I was really glad I did it. To me, on that last day, I felt like that was the perfect ending to my Thailand trip. It put the cherry on top. My wave has a lot of meanings to me. It means strength, going with the flow, riding MY wave through this crazy, beautiful life. It’s a memory of the best trip I could have asked for with the best people. Thailand you are AMAZING.
No matter where you go in life, you will always meet new people. When you travel however, you will always meet the BEST people. Maybe it’s because we all have that one thing in common ~ to travel ~ that brings people together.
Super blessed to have met the people I did on this trip. They were all amazing and I am super blessed to have shared this whole experience with them.
~ thank you, friends, tour guides, and all the thai people…. thank you, Thailand for a trip of a life time. A trip i will never forget ~
~ BEST TRIP EVER ~