What a month! I was rehashing my travels on my 5 hour flight home this morning and realized it has been quite the four weeks. I've been on the road 18 days out of the past 28. This has included 10 flights for over 53.5 hours of total flying time (literally in the air, not counting airports, driving etc). I have spanned two separate continents and 15 total time zones. Wow. It's a bit overwhelming to put into words, but I promise I wouldn't have traded any of it for more sleep, or time at home. I was also fortunate to have shared these experiences with two awesome travel partners (My wife Kailah (Thailand) and future bro-in-law, Jared (Arizona)). Below are some of the highlights, as well as what is on deck for 2017!
This was Kailah and I's first time in Asia and boy did it not let us down. The cultural differences, scenery and Thai people, really made this a magical trip. We had three very distinct experiences, as we traveled north to the jungles of Chiang Mai, South to the beaches and limestones cliffs of Krabi and then finished in the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. In Chiang Mai, we enjoyed traditional northern cuisine, haggled vendors at several open air markets (buying countless counterfeit merchandise), enjoyed a day pampering elephants and even found time to shut down a few bars in the evening. The most amazing part was certainly the day with elephants. We learned about their mistreatment, walked them, prepared food and then fed and bathed them. These gentle beasts are amazing animals and if you want to learn more about them and our experience, check out the Elephant Nature Park website at https://www.elephantnaturepark.org/.
Moving south, we splurged on four nights at Rayavadee resort (and got a great deal through TripAdvisor). This was the nicest resort I've ever been to, on one of the top ten beaches in the entire world; Phra Nang. Words can't describe the relaxation. Turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, limestone cliffs and UNBELIEVABLE service. The Thai are head and shoulders above America in terms of hospitality. After days by the beach and pool, we enjoyed meandering into town to grab some Thai or Indian food and a few drinks.
To round out the trip, we spent a night in Bangkok. We didn't have much time there, but managed to explore more open air markets and have one of the best Thai meals on our trip. We stayed at the Peninsula resort, which was gorgeous and had a pool, so we could soak up a few extra rays before our afternoon flight.
The purpose for this trip was to attend the men's basketball National Championship game. I had purchased tickets through a friend a few months prior (Thanks Mike Preseau!) and Jared agreed to meet me in Phoenix for a guys trip. Both game days were a blast, as we made sure none of the bars outside of the stadium felt left out. We didn't have tickets to Saturday's Final Four games, so we watched from a TV like everyone else in the country. Monday we went down early and hung out around the College Gameday set, where we were fortunate enough to rub elbows with the likes of Bill Walton, Tom Crean and Jim Calhoun. Once inside the stadium, the atmosphere was electric, as UNC avenged its loss from last year. Basketball aside, we woke up Sunday and decided we were going to drive a couple hours up to see Sedona, Arizona - since we had a day off between games. Brilliantly, we decided we should go in style, and rented a 2017, two door, red mustang. Sedona is BEAUTIFUL. We visited a small brew pub in town and then drove up to a lookout location, where we hiked up to the top of Bell Rock. Check out the commanding view below.
Balance of 2017: Currently, we have three more trips planned for the year. Check them out below!
- Kyle to Tahoe/Reno in June for Jared's bachelor party
- Kailah to Chicago in May for Sossan's bachelorette party
- Both to Greece in August for a week!