When Shelley’s elephant wouldn’t move forward, her mahout simply patted the enormous animal on the back and patiently waited for her to comply. Bun Jun, as she was called, then backed up, brushed my own elephant off to the side and farted nearly in my face before dropping four large mounds of poo and making her way into the water. My first thought – it’s a very good thing elephant poop doesn’t smell so bad. I grew up in Delaware where chicken farming was the norm. If there’s ever a fowl poop smell (pun intended), it’s chicken poop. Elephant fart I can handle. In fact, the first thing a baby elephant eats when he’s born is the mother’s dung, then her milk, and finally food. Now it might seem weird to you that I’ve now written to you twice about elephant droppings. After all, I’m living in a world of diapers here at home. Poop talk is just as common around here as the weather. But here’s what’s different about these conversations when you travel to Thailand… Something on this day really meant a lot to us. There’s something very special about not just riding an elephant but caring for one. And not just seeing photos of the Yi Peng paper lantern festival but being there on the ground. And not just cooking and eating Thai food but working alongside a famous chef (IN HER HOME!!). We had back-to-back phenomenal days in Thailand last week and I’d be doing you a very large disservice if I didn’t encourage you to do whatever it takes to make sure you can come with us on next year’s trip. Because not only will you walk away with these experiences of a lifetime, but you’ll learn how to profit from them too – your photos on a magazine cover, or in an online photography contest with cool prizes, or framed on someone’s wall or hanging in a local business… It’s an amazing feeling when someone loves your photography. It’s like they’re saying they love you, too. And it all comes bundled in a single seven-day trip. Below are some of my favorite photos from this trip. They’re not my favorite because they’re technically perfect (some, in fact, are a bit blurry) and they’re not my favorite because I think someone’s going to want them for their magazine cover. They’re my favorite because this was a magical trip. Because they remind me of my time there and all we accomplished in seven days. And because my days here at home are full of dirty diapers and preschool fundraisers and Thanksgiving meal planning… and there we can escape for seven days and just be ourselves – cameras around our neck, friends by our side, lighting a lantern and making a wish up into the sky for more moments exactly like the one we’re experiencing then and there. Being yourself is important. And this is one of those times where you get to do that and bring home enough memories and good photos to reflect on for a lifetime. Of all the things I could have wished for on that last night at the Yi Peng festival – health, wealth, wisdom — I simply wished for more moments like these for myself, my kids and my loved ones. It really is a trip of a lifetime and I insist that you do whatever it takes to come next year. Clear your calendar. Use the payment plan to divide the cost out over 11 months between now and next November and we’ll do it all over again. More details, here. Here’s a quick video of this week’s group wish and lantern release. And here are a few of my favorite photos from this trip… I hope you’ll come next year. Lori
Travel to Thailand with us next November!
by Lori Allen | Nov 26, 2013