Life Is a Book

A lot of people ask me how I am able to travel so much. The answer is simple. I just do it. I make an average amount of money and I spend it on travel. Saying you don’t have enough, is an excuse. I was dirt poor and managed to scrape enough together to do a medical mission trip to Vanuatu in 2005 (I had to pay for flight and 30 days accommodation). Was it hard to come up with the money? Hell yeah, was it worth… every damn dime!

At this point in my life I am not married and the mom to 3 adult kids. I make a decent living working overseas. This puts me closer to a lot of places I’ve always wanted to visit. I don’t own a house, a car or very many “things”. I would rather spend my money exploring… and that’s what I do. Sometimes you just need to put on your big girl panties, pack up a back pack and walk out the door… You only live once!

This picture was taken by me, with my iPhone, while sitting on the beach on Phi Phi Island, Thailand in November 2011. I had an amazing vacation with my friends Cathy (from Illinois), Karen & Dominique. Karen & Dominique are Brits living in Abu Dhabi. Make memories… take the time to see something new… Step 1 get a passport and explore!


Phi Phi Island, Thailand November 2011

Thailand & Dukan – Day 89

Thursday was a PV Day

Daily weight loss: 0.44 lb/0.2 kg
Total weight loss: 39.58 lb/18 kg

Well I am sore as hell this morning! Yesterday was a super busy day!

Started off with an omelet with onions and some bacon.

Then private tour van to a crystal clear lagoon with little waterfalls and rushing water coming into it. We trekked about a kilometer into the forest to get to it, but worth every step!

Back in the van for a ride to the hot springs, we trekked 1.2 kms into the forest to get to it, again worth the hike! Hot water, running down the rocks to form pools to sit in. Nature is indeed awesome.


Then back in the van to head for lunch. It was Thai food, of course, but everything was in heavy gravies, so I ordered a burger. Absolutely the worse burger I have ever tasted in my life. Obviously frozen, microwaved to thaw and thrown in fry pan… Blech! Really, though, the only disappointing meal of the trip.

After lunch we headed for a Buddhist temple where we were given 2 hours to explore. There was a steep climb (1200+ steps) up the mountain to a temple that I attempted. I got up just under 300 steps. It was like climbing a ladder and the height and steepness were freaking me out… LOL The steepness, I’m sure are why my quads are a bit sore this morning!




I wrote my name on a gold leaf, said a long prayer of thanks for prayers answered and a good life 🙂

Then the icing on the cake… The BEST trip got even BESTER (I know that’s not a word,I get my vocab from my youngest child who has made up some great words over the years!). WE RODEA HUGE ELEPHANT INTO THE RAINFOREST! After impressing us with the amazing size of his, ahem, manliness….


We climbed aboard for a 50 minute adventure into the rainforest. At first we sat on the bench and unlike the rest of the mahouts, our elephant’s mahout did not get on him. He walked next to him, ahead of him, hid behind trees from him and chatted quietly with him. They were very in-tune to one another. You could tell our mahout loved his elephant! Our elephant is 35 years old and the mahout has been working with him for nearly 11 years.



After 10 minutes of trekking, the mahout told Cathy to get off the bench and get on the elephant’s neck to ride bareback. The joy on her face made me so happy! It is amazing to experience life long dreams with people you love. Cathy had been waiting for this opportunity since childhood. I feel so blessed to have shared it with her!



The mahout took Cathy’s camera and shot tons of pics, asking at one point if he could have the camera, we said sure… Give us the memory card and the elephant and it’s yours… He gave us back the camera…

Then it was my turn to ride bareback. Riding bareback reminded of late night horse back riding in my teens, with my Palm City friends, only on a much larger scale! The powerful muscles of the elephant’s neck can be felt by your legs. You don’t feel the need to hold on for dear life (at least I didn’t). He slowly strolled through the rainforest guided by the gentle voice of the mahout. My hands, lightly placed on the top of his head, felt the soft skin with his little black, bristly hairs. His soft ears flapping lightly, to cool himself off, would occasionally hug me gently. THAT was so cool, to feel these ears gently pressing against your legs… Wow, wow, wow! Too soon we were back to the village and our amazing ride was over.





We then fed him bananas, but instead of giving them in his trunk, we were allowed to put them in his mouth… Again, WOW! It is amazing how gentle an animal of this size can be. His powerful, HUGE tongue coming out to take the banana. What an experience!


Then back to the resort for a one hour massage and then Mexican for dinner! I had fajitas without the tortillas 🙂


What a fantastically, amazing day… Shared with some amazing friends!

Now off for my morning massage!