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Recent travels through the blogosphere found me reading  Winsomebella’s post If I Wandered and The Good Greatsby’s post 15 Things About Australia You Won’t Find in Lonely Planet . .  Winsomebella’s post reminded me of my love for travel, and The Good Greatsby’s post reminded me of a post I wrote in June: Top Ten Helpful Hints One Will Not Find in a Thai Guidebook.

Both posts started me thinking about how we should not put off the things that we have always wanted to do, because one never knows when one’s toe is going to break or when one’s arm is going to die (I’m getting cramps in both just sitting here).

I’m not talking about huge undertakings like climbing Mt. Everest or adrenaline-starved-thrill-seeker stuff like the Tea Cups at Disneyland.

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Ralphie and Kelly on the Tea Cups – I could barely stand to watch.

I have more ordinary list items in mind like hiking between the five villages of the Cinque Terre in Italy,
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Tony and I hiked the Cinque Terre in 2010 and plan to go again in September.

. . . climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower . . . exploring the trails that crisscross the Swiss Alps . . . or traveling to Thailand. Destinations and activities that require stamina, balance, and the ability to consume rich and exotic foods without the help of a blender.

Already, I have had to cross off my list: “the lagoon” near Railay Beach because it involved hoisting my own body weight up with a rope. Even if I lose 50 pounds, the chances I’ll ever be able to get my arms up over my head and pull on a rope are nil.
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Ralphie and Kip “hiked” to the lagoon – they said it was the most beautiful place on earth. This was the easy part of the hike – the hard part was lowering one’s self down a cliff to the lagoon and then hoisting one’s self back up. The boys mentioned a need to remind themselves of their “desire to live” to help them make the trip. I’ll never see this lagoon.

Tony, Kelly, and I opted for this while the boys hoisted.
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Visiting Thailand is a bucket list must. By far one of the most interesting adventures I have ever been on. The people are friendly, the beaches are spectacular, the markets are fascinating, and the five-star resorts cost less than a churro at Disneyland.

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If Thailand is on your list, do it sooner than later; it is a full body workout.

Top ten helpful tips hints one will not find in a Thai guidebook, but one should definitely take to heart:

10. Always sit in the middle front seat of a long boat (the opposite of what you would do at Splash Mountain in Disneyland).

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9. Never sit at the front of a ferry on the top deck (the fact that there was standing room only in the ferry’s lower compartment returning from Phi Phi to Krabi is proof that even people whose frontal lobes are not fully developed, learn from their mistakes).
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thai 027Return trip – there are reasons for this – they are called giant, terrifying waves.

8. Don’t just carry mosquito repellant, plan on a tube per day and slather it on like it’s Coppertone in 1976. There is nothing more unattractive on flawless skin than itchy red polka dot blotches (except for maybe cellulite riddled floppy appendages slathered in mosquito repellant, but who cares). Spider repellant might be a good idea as well.

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Killing the Spider – a family bonding momentthe transcripts. Note- that is a large bottle of water.

7. Do not even think about visiting Thailand unless you have practiced and mastered the skill of throwing your leg over the side of a moving boat, hoisting yourself up using arm strength only, and carrying luggage simultaneously while keeping your clothes hoisted mid-cellulite riddled thigh . . . in a sauna.

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Option 1: Walking to long boat with the cool kids.

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Option 2: Taking the tractor with the old people – guess which one I chose.

6. There is no shame in wearing seatbelts.
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There is also no chance of finding a seatbelt.

5. Do NOT buy transportation vouchers in advance from friendly people who have a colleague in North Carolina. Contrary to what certain world traveling, 22 year old, college graduates say, it is cheaper to have your hotel arrange your travel.

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Unless of course one is fond of taking impromptu helmetless rides on the back of a stranger’s motorcycle through the streets of an unknown city to retrieve 4000 baht from an ATM. We had no idea where we were!

4. Consider not haggling over a few baht. So what if you look like a gullible tourist and you spend an extra $1.00 on cab fare, you can whine about it over a Mai Tai in your pool villa later.

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3. Yes, they do appreciate tips in Thailand and they do not consider it culturally insensitive when tourists give them money for excellent service. And on the topic of money, if you are going to Khao Sok, bring lots of cash.
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2. Pack flip flops; everyone takes their shoes off when entering buildings (including mini-marts). Also handy when getting into long boats – not so good in leech infested jungle.
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1. Eyebrow pencil.

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