Over the last year we have had many firsts. Some I would rather forget, but many I will always recall. When we meet people and they ask us our favourite stories of travelling, these are the top 5 I always find myself repeating.
Walking Tigers in Thailand
I will never forget this day. A monastery tucked away 3 hours west of Bangkok caring for tigers. We fed the little ones milk, the medium ones chicken. We bathed them, played with them and walked them. The big ones we watched play from the confines of a small caged pen and got to stroke them for photos. It’s hard to say what it felt like and why to this day I still feel totally amazed by this experience, but that day those big cats stole my heart.
Bath fun with Elephants in Thailand
We had previously ridden elephants and bathed with one briefly in Malaysia, but here in Thailand it was a whole different ball game. These large lumbering animals literally enthralled me. We had a water fight with one in a big dirty lake and gave him a good old scrub. It was a delight to serve and be in the water with these gentle beasts.
Releasing Lanterns in Chiang Mai
When our friends invited us to this event we had no idea what to expect. That evening when 20,000 – 30,000 lanterns were released into the air in synchronization, it was breathtaking. And that our family shared the experience with all those other people was simply unforgettable.
Zip-lining on St Lucia in the Caribbean
Something I had always wanted to do, but limited by the kids. Finally they were happy on our cruise ship and we had the opportunity on this beautiful Caribbean island. The rainforest was lush and green. There were 12 lines, long ones, short ones, high ones and low ones, over rivers and over trees. The adrenaline adventure left me exhausted and exhilarated.
Swimming with sharks in Belize / turtles in Barbados
Both of these trips were one day spent on a catamaran in the most beautiful crystal clear waters you are likely to find.
Our first trip was on the world’s second largest biggest barrier reef swimming with nurse sharks and massive stingrays. Beautiful gentle creatures of the sea.
And then in Barbados, a country I only imagined visiting we jumped from our boat to swim and touch and watch giant sea turtles.
The ocean is one of my favourite places to see and be in in all the world and thus a treasured memory.
Reader Comments..."I respond to every comment by direct private email. I look forward to your feedback" - Josh Bender
Great experiences and photos! What do you think about the gossip that the monks drug the tigers, so the they are calmer and don't hurt tourists? Some people also say that the monastery is just doing it for money..
It's long overdue, but we are working on this post right now. We are not one to shy away from controversy, but we have spent a long time considering our stance. It should be up this week! I'll let you know.
Discovered your blog today. I can't wait to do what you're doing! Traveling the world would be amazing. I'm going on my first trip out of Europe this Month, going to Thailand and Cambodia for 24 days. Would you be so kind as to let me know details of the Tiger-walking place near Bangkok please? hopefully a website/location/price?
Gosh what an experience you have had for a year!!!
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