Saturday, March 2, 2013
For those of you wondering how much and how we did it (basically, for people curious like myself)... The total came to $13,500 Which included RT tickets from LAX to Bangkok, two one way flights in Thailand, all food, hotels, allowances, trinkets for 63 days, elephant riding and an 11 day sailing trip plus a very expensive hotel in Beijing! RT tickets were purchased back in July after a better than normal house flip, in country flights were used with frequent flyer miles and the rest we paid for out of our monthly income from rentals since we don't have any bills at home currently. We sometimes were kinda broke traveling and other times ate well. We always had an air con room which is more than we did the last time in Thailand. Our hotels were on average about $33/night and only two cockroaches were seen (thank you cute little geckos). Would I do it again, for sure. It was phenominal.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
I truly believe that every person has a talent. Some can play music and some can negotiate peace treaties or memorize the periodic table. I am not one of those people with very noticeable talents except one and only a handful would think this be a skill worthwhile...and I got it from my Mom. I grew up watching her make deals from trading ride sharing to trading houses and boats. She is an opportunist and has honed her skills to lead a very interesting life filled with adventurous opportunities. I think I have learned to simply take this somewhat odd talent to the next level. Hence, I dedicate the next blog entry to my Mom and personally thank her for teaching me how to lead a life through opportunity...It has been a dream of mine for a few years to go on a sailing trip somewhere exotic. Knowing how expensive it is and overwhelming to actually figure out how to pull it off, I filed it in the back of my head as ONE DAY. While driving around on Langkawi Island in Malaysia, we stopped at the Kuah Yacht club to check out sailboats. While there using their free internet and the free infiniti pool, I met this crazy looking Ozzy named Brett Steele (not kidding, that is his awesome name) and he is only crazy looking, quite tame in actuality. He showed me pictures of his sailboat moored out in the bay and gave me his email address. A few days later I asked if we could come out and visit his boat and chat about his lifestyle. He was kind enough to meet us at the jetty and bring us all out for a swim and chat. He is super easy going, very generous with his time and quite adventurous himself. We got along so well I decided to take the plunge and ask him if he would take us back to Thailand on his boat. He waited a week to answer but then he said in proper Aussie style, lets meet for beers and discuss. So began 11 days on his boat visitng six different islands, some with nobody on them. It is something I cannot actually describe very well as we were simply charmed by Brett's endless patience with our children, exotic locals with coral reefs, untouched tropical forests, beaches with sand soft as flour, sunsets, sunrises, lively conversations in the moonlight and seeing things very few have been privileged enough to see. I am deeply grateful to Brett and his willingness to open his life to us and deeply grateful for my children and their beautiful curiosity about everyting from small blue fish to garbage rafts. These are the moments you remember during those last breaths of life, happy we tried, happy to have them embedded in the memory card. Dave joined us with his Swiss girlfriend at the end to catch up on our two months worth of adventures and say good-bye to Thailand for now. It's been a blast, it has been moving and it has been fantastic to see my kids growing into their own adventurous souls filled with a zest for life and compassion for people of the world. We'll be back sometime in the next year, living in a stick house, planning another adventure possibly on a sailboat. Until then, peace to y'all! OlfzHsI/AAAAAAAACf8/hyW7ef9zFBw/s1600/Diana's+Photos+003.jpg" imageanchor="1" >
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Monday, February 4, 2013
We got bored last week sitting on the beach for a few many days in a row so we rented a car to do a little tour. The island is fairly small, about the size of Oahu so it can all be seen in a day really. We skipped all the touristy places and simply drove around for awhile. Without trying very hard, we soon found monkeys on the side of the road kind of like deer back home. They are always just chilling and eating some bananas the locals throw out for them. If you pull over they will scream at you and then I remember that monkeys are mean and we drive on.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
A few years ago, I went through a short lived yachting phase. This means that on a trip somewhere in the world, I talked Steve's ear off as well as cousins and friends about the possibility of learning to sail. Well, the bug has hit again. The newfound lust stems from a blog I found back then about a family living on a boat around the world. I had written the family asking questions and exchanging traveling tales. Somewhere in the back of my bizarre brain, I filed the info away that they were in Malaysia. www.hackingfamily.com Well, they are actually in Thailand. Yahoo! They have a wonderful blog you can get lost in for days describing everything from their finances to food storage on their boat. So for all of you full-timers following along (you know who you are), how about trying a catamaran on for size? We plan to visit the couple in Phuket in the coming weeks and ask questions til they feel like they were caught by a CIA agent trying to swap recipes with Michelle Obama (I have been reading entirely too many cheap spy novels). We also plan to tie signs around our children's necks that say "Thailand" and park them at the yacht club here in Malaysia and see what happens.
Monday, January 28, 2013
I am a big believer that out of boredom comes creativity. My friend Diana and I used to spend hours and hours and hours with our kids doing nothing but walking around near a river or downtown. The kids would find some rocks and make a throwing game or find some flowers and pick them apart. It is what makes kids kids actually. Their ability to make something out of a stick or a leaf is mesmerizing to me. We have moved our clan via a taxi, airplane, taxi, bus, taxi, boat and taxi to Langkawi, an island in northern Malaysia. The moving day was epic to say the least. It was a clear example of how kids will do anything for food and how kind locals are when you are kind to them. We barely made it to our boat from Thailand to Malaysia and wouldn't have if it wasn't for our bus driver that drove crazy at about 60 miles per hour down a tiny street to get us there before the ferry left. Ryder was laughing the entire drive and shaking his head at our crazy lives. With our three kids running to border check with their backpacks on and all of us laughing and screaming, they held the last ferry for us and we were off to Malaysia with two new stamps in our passports (you travelers know what that means:) We have arrived for phase two of our trip, beach time. We found a hotel room on the beach for $33 that has air conditioner, two double beds, bath and three channels that sometimes plays American movies but plays a ton of Malaysia soap operas with English subtitles that I have fallen in love with. They are awesome. Every problem is resolved by reading from the koran and praying at the end of the day. The kids have also watched some Bollywood movies, ridiculous Asian game shows where people will do anything for cash prizes and the equivalent of America's got talent but with scary clowns that act like dogs eating garbage. Since none of them are in English we make up the words as we go. We also do a lot of this...
Saturday, January 26, 2013
We took a small weekend excursion from Chiang Mai up to a National Park with so many names, I am calling it Doi Fang instead. It is a lot like Yellowstone but smaller with lots of hot springs and water and beautiful farms with terracing.
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