This was what our January looked like, in no particular order from a mix of iphone and dslr images. We explored the Thailand countryside from the northern tip to the southern beaches, taking a much needed sabbatical from editing and the internet. I put my camera down for most of the trip, which I'm trying not to regret. A break is good. Now we're already moved up to Portland and getting settled back into the gray, rainy drizzle of the Pacific NW. Pretty happy to be here.
For anyone wanting recommendations for Thailand, here are a few:
When taking the sleeper train to Bangkok to Chiang Mai (which is an awesome way to do it) choose a train number that's higher than 10. These are newer, and less cockroach infested. If you're even luckier to get on one that has the disco diner car, get your ass out of your bed and go drink some Chang beer in my honor as you ramble through the countryside. Also, don't freak out in the morning when you realize you've been peeing directly on the railway tracks, just be thankful you didn't drop anything as you tried to use the squatty potty and keep your balance at the same time in a room that felt like a simulator ride.
If you have experience riding motorcycles (or minimal experience, like me), take the minibus from Chiang Mai to Pai and then hop on bike rentals and get your hinnys to Cave Lodge. Epic adventures await. Go explore all those caves I couldn't after a bad cold hit me on day two.
After or before Cave Lodge, go to Elephant Nature Park and spend as much as you can to support that pure overflowing of goodness being put into the world. Please skip any elephant trekking or feeding baby elephants in cities. This is a great place to get educated on the heartbreaking elephant abuse that tourists are unknowingly contributing to. Plus you get play in the river with those giant beautiful dinosaurs, it doesn't get much better than that.
Koh Lanta was beautiful. It didn't disappoint in any way and next time I want to go with the sole purpose of learning how to dive. Stay at Pinky Bungalows, eat as many fresh coconuts as you can, get massages next to the beach, and rent a scooter to explore the southern beaches. Paradise.
Also, always travel with cold medicine (along with antibiotics and food poisoning meds) with extra to give to fellow travelers. Thank you Boston world-traveling family for saving me in my desperate time of need.
And laugh when you end up fighting with your traveling partner, because no matter how hard you try it'll most likely happen. More often than you think it will. Make up over a cold beer and a delicious, thoroughly cooked meal.