WARNING: I've consumed over 2 cups of green tea. Read with caution.
Matt and I are headed to THAILAND!!!! In February of next year we are making dreams come true and hopping over to yet another continent. We've been wanting to travel to Asia for some time, and it just happened to work out.
We are BIG Groupon fans (a website that offers incredible discounts on products, services, trips that many people would otherwise not be able to afford), and I came across a steal a couple of weeks ago. You guessed it - it was for a resort in Thailand. Koh Samui, to be exact. Sigggggh, I can't believe it!
We will be staying at Elements Resort for five days. This would have never happened without the terrific 75% off deal as advertised on Groupon.
Even better, since we saved so much dough on the hotel, we are going to be able to stop over in Bangkok for a few days. AHHHHH!!!! I feel like this blog should be titled "Dreams Come True".
Matt and are a perfect pair for so many reasons ( I often liken us to the Clintons, without all the infidelity, hehehe). But seriously, we both share a love for travel and new experiences. Never before have we been somewhere you must eat with chopsticks. I told Matt he better get on it, as I've upped my use of the Asian utensils to thrice a week. It will be embarrassing if he asks for a fork!!
There are so many things we plan to do :) There are elephant rides (which I'm not convinced on yet...have to do some research to determine the ethics and humanity of the whole deal), wats or Buddhist monastery/temples to tour, jungle tours, Big Buddha (Wat Plai Laem) - a landmark in Koh Samui, beaches, waterfalls, and so many cultural opportunities!!! We have NEVER been so excited to vacation somewhere.
We haven't decided where to stay in Bangkok yet, though I am pulling for this quaint ditty - Old Bangkok Inn. It's sustainably built, run, and maintained, and is located in the historic district. Swoooon. And if there is one place to travel where the dollar rules (besides Greece, which we will see in August), it would have to be Thailand. The dollar dominates the bhat.
In Bangkok we'll have to hit up markets and buy TONS of stuff to decorate our home, to include a tea pot, perhaps a tea set, cushions, pillows, lamps, vases, shoes, jewelry (those last two are for me, hehe). And SPICES!!! TONS of spices! I also plan on purchasing traditional Thai garb in which to dress on a particularly special night in Koh Samui.
The Grand Palace and Wat Prakeaw shall be graced by our presence, along with Wat Arun (poor Matt, being drug to all of these temples), a foot massage and fish spa (where little fishies eat all the dead skin off your feet, heedles!), and of course we'll have high tea by the river prior to rooftop cocktails and partying Bangkok style :) Just so long as we don't repeat a scene from The Hangover 2. Hear that, honey?
Hysterical anecdote: One of our couple friends visited Bangkok (and Koh Samui) a few years back (actually during the December tsunami in 2005???) and ended up playing Connect Four with hookers in a square in the capital city. BAAAHAHAHH! I can so see Matt and I doing this. I'd probably spend the entire evening attempting to convince them to get an education along with questions of awkward moments in the biz...no shame.
I would even love to take a cooking class (like this one) to learn how to make traditional Pad Thai and the like. This trip will add at least 10 pounds to each of us, as we eat Thai, particularly in the form of curry, at least once a week. Which makes me wonder - how do Asians stay so skinny (stereotype much?)?! I would weigh 230948lbs if I lived anywhere from India to Japan. True story.
Besides Thailand, Matt and I have at least one more exotic vacay on the list to hit up before we head back to the motherland...MOROCCO. Marrakesch or Fez, bitte. Though, Marrakesch is my first choice. And though Israel isn't really exotic, hopefully it will happen this summer :)
These are all frequenters of our Wanderlust list and daydreams....
*Burning Man! Have you heard of it? It's an annual social experiment/eccentric art and culture phenomenon that takes place in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Here, intellectuals, artists, adventure seekers, outdoors lovers, and those who are curious, set up camp in a desert for a week or so to try their hand at self-reliance and self-expression. There is no electricity, food stands, running water, etc. You bring a skill or trade with you to barter for necessities. We would make food for sure :)
*Visit India! We would make a stop in Bombay, perhaps Delhi, and of course, see the Taj Mahal. But one thing in particular I want to make happen is a stop in Goa at the Ashiyana - a yoga retreat. Can you imagine practicing yoga in the very place it was created? Mind blown.
*Visit Dubai! This seriously comes up in conversation once a fortnight or so. If we happen to visit when we're ballers (dad, that means if we're rich, smile), the Coles would stay somewhere like The Atlantis Palm. Words cannot express how insanely happy we would both be to step foot in the UAE.
*Visit Australia and New Zealand! I'd love to, of course, but this is probably the top of Matt's list. After he saw a commercial on New Zealand, he was sold. Kudos to their marketing director. Both are a perfect destination for people who love the outdoors and adventure. Perhaps I would even attempt to overcome my fear of deep water and submersion to dive what remains of the Great Barrier Reef? Sydney is a must, along with Bondi. We have friends we met in Rome in Queensland, so that would be on the list, as well. We want to see (NOT EAT) a kangaroo and maybe even a koala if we can find a good reserve. Matt has more of a feel of what to do on this trip.
*Visit Bali! Duh. Who the hell wouldn't want to? If you answered that question with "me", remove yourself from my life. Danke. This one speaks for itself.
*Spend a weekend at an Observatory! This is ALL Matt. He loves space, stars, astronomy, and is quite learned on the subject. He found a place in Virginia that is a B&B as well as observatory and has told me it is happening as soon as we make it back for his schooling. I cannot object - sounds fascinating. I really love to see him on fire for something, and this is an ever growing passion of his. Seriously, he watches Morgan Freeman's "Through the Wormhole" and other mind bending documentaries on string theory and parallel universes daily. We fight over Discovery Channel and History (I ADORE history docs, particularly WW I & II and the US Revolution). Such nerds.
*See the Northern Lights! It has to happen. Just has to. I don't care if it's on this side of the world or in Alaska. I'm quite positive I will bawl like a small child.
*Visit where we come from! This should happen sooner than later. As many of you know, I did an extensive Family Tree search via Ancestry.com. I found quite a few links to our past. For me, I'd like to visit Dunlace, Ireland where many of my ancestors come from on my paternal grandmother's side, along with Stair and Glasgow Scotland (though they come from about ten different cities/towns/villages in Scotland). This would include a visit to the Highland Games in a region my family would have participated in. I am so proud of my Scottish (and Irish) heritage (so is Pace)! Matt actually has family that lived in the Kaiserslautern area! Crazy, huh? Though he is more interested in visiting his British roots, in Gloucestershire, Sommerset, and Sussex (Brighton). Curious how we come from the same part of the world, though our family members probably detested the other nationality. Also curious, my family has more recent immigrants than Matt's, who it seems have been here since before the Revolution! Talk about American :)
*Visit a warzone. This will probably happen for Matt, unfortunately, but it is something that is strangely on my list. After taking a class about Afghanistan, I developed a strong urge to visit the country and report/write about it. More so the women and their struggle, and absolutely immerse myself in their culture. This probably won't happen, for a few reasons. To be honest, though I want to do it, the very thought of being dropped among warlords and Taliban scares the very life out of me. It would be an amazing opportunity, though, and I don't know how one could pass it up.
*Live in DC! The biggest of all my pipe dreams is to live in our nation's capital. There, Matt and I would both have relevant and inspiring jobs. I've expressed to Matt that upon his retirement, this is where I would like to FINALLY pursue my career. We absolutely love the city and all that it offers - history, culture, entertainment, knowledge, inspiration. There is no other place I'd rather be :)
We are ever adding to our Wanderlust list, working our best to cross them off with each passing year. In just two years of marriage (can you believe it!?), we've done so much.
Well, that seems to be it for now. Make this day great; YOU and only YOU have the ability to make it so. Don't ever forget that you're in control of your destiny. Dream lofty dreams, and reach for them to the best of your ability. Never stop learning. And above all, love and be loved.
peace and dreams,