Between regular summer vacations to the Philippines, a study abroad program in Rome, and seizing the opportunity to visit friends and cousins in international countries whenever I could (um, hello, free lodging!), my passport and I have seen a good chunk of the world together. In fact, I am procrastinating my renewal this year because I don’t want to give up my very full passport—I don’t think I’ll ever rack up this many stamps in one book again. Mr. S, on the other hand, has never traveled outside the USA. His family was big on domestic vacations when he was growing up and being a college athlete meant he had to spend his spring breaks at the baseball field instead of partying it up in the Caribbean. Plus, Mr. S has an odd fear of flying, so he likes to spend as little time in the air as possible. I’ve been flying across the International Date Line since I was in diapers—any flight under 10 hours is short to me. He gets no sympathy here.
Despite his slight aerophobia and virgin passport, Mr. S is really excited to travel the globe together. When we planned our honeymoon, he didn’t impose any restrictions but only asked that it be a place neither of us (i.e., me) has traveled to before. I was totally on board—there are lots of destinations still left on my bucket list and I always hesitate to return to somewhere I’ve been before. My only ask? I want to hug an elephant.
Image via Responsible Travel
Don’t ask me where this harebrained idea came from because I don’t know myself. I don’t collect elephant figurines, my Patronus is not an elephant (it’s a horse), and I’m not even really partial to wild animals. Except Chunk—he can be a wild thang.
Ahh, a rare sight—the rednose Pit Bull asleep in his natural habitat. Shh…do not wake him.
But based on the mental images that exist only in my brain, I’m convinced that there is something so romantically adventurous about getting to interact with elephants up close and personal. So, why not? When else in my life am I going to be able to make an outrageous request like this? I’m pulling the bride card for elephants!
I change my mind. I don’t want to hug any elephant. I want to hug this elephant. / Image via BostInno
In addition to being a maiden visit for both of us and pachyderms, we want to indulge in amazing food, soak in some cultural sites, and a have a healthy balance of city life and beach bumming. I don’t believe a vacation is a real vacation unless I come home with a decent tan. All factors considered, the obvious honeymoon destination for the Squids is…THAILAND!!! A few days in Bangkok for some shopping and nightlife, a few days in Chiang Mai to hang out with my elephant friends, and finally, close it all out with a few days lazing on the beaches of Koh Samui. Yes, it is so perfect I can hardly contain myself! Eeeeeeeeajkdhfpiawueh;k!!!!!!
I’ve heard all the fruit in Thailand is off the chain. Floating Market, Bangkok | Image via AspirantSG
You know you want to sing it with me: “Let it go, let it gooooooo!” Wat Rong Kun (The White Temple), Chiang Rai | Image via Wikipedia
Yesssssss | Koh Samui | Image via Law Fuel
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a few months before we embark on our dream honeymoon to Thailand. Our wedding is in mid-December, which means we won’t be able to squeeze in a 14 day escape before Christmas. Neither of us wants to spend our first Christmas as husband and wife apart from our families, and an 18 hour flight just isn’t worth it for a shorter period of time. Jet setting away right after the holidays is also a no go since I work in accounting—specifically, financial reporting. Fellow accountants know that January through early March is the busiest time of the year hell as annual financial statements are due in early March. ::heavy sigh:: Work is such a killjoy. So, it looks like Thailand will have to wait until March, at least. Major frowny face. But wait, is there something on the horizon to turn my frown upside down? To be continued…
In the meantime, to those of you that have been to Thailand, please send your recommendations my way! What to do, what to skip, where to sleep, what to eat, etc. How many Thai massages can one have in a day before feeling like a slab of Kobe beef? I heard some elephant “reserves” are actually pretty cruel to the animals (wah!), so how do we ensure we visit one that treats their elephants with love and care?