I love to travel. Traveling exposes you to new cultures, takes away preconceived ideas of a people, a country, and a culture. There are so many reasons to take a vacation but at the same time there are so many excuses that come to stop vacation plans – no money, no time, etc.
Last year’s vacation was back to Thailand. This was my 3rd trip to the “Land of Smiles” and it was the best one yet. My wife and I flew into Koh Samui where we spent a week at a beautiful resort called “Zazen”. Koh Samui is a small island that is a tropical paradise. Beautiful ocean, nice people, great food – what else could you ask for?
Mummified monk from the 70's at a temple on Koh Samui
From there we went on to Bangkok – the capital of Thailand. Traffic is a mess here and it’s not too clean, but I still really like this city. It’s very metropolitan and very easy to get around if you use the skytrain. I typically don’t enjoy shopping, but in Thailand even the shopping is fun. Cheap clothes, shoes, and just about anything else you might want.
Girly boy show that happened to be playing at our hotel
If you don’t know the magic that is called Thai Massage, you are missing out. For a few bucks, you can get an amazing massage that some people call “assisted yoga”. Your body is pulled, stretched, and rubbed in a way that I think is the best in the world. After walking around all day, a Thai massage session was on our list about every other day.
Giant reclining Buddha at Wat Po (largest temple in Bangkok)
Our last stop in Thailand was Ayuthaya – which is a town an hour or so North of Bangkok. This was the old capital of Thailand and there are lots of ruins here from temples that were destroyed in wars past. I found it fascinating that tourists can walk and climb all over the ruins. I saw others having picnics and even a wedding amongst the ruins. I like this interactive approach and the fact that everyone seemed respectful of the historical sites.
Temple ruins in Ayuthaya
After a couple weeks in Thailand, I was completely refreshed, recharged, and ready to go back to work and life as normal back home in So Cal. Short weekend trips are great, but for me longer (and by that I mean at least a week) vacations are the best way to recharge. We all get used to our daily routine and for me it takes a few days for my body to get out of that routine. After a week of doing completely different things than the norm, my mind and body are invigorated and stimulated by all the “newness”. Then when I come back home from the trip, I have a whole new fresh perspective on things.
Yes vacations are expensive and they take time to plan, but they’re worth it. The memories of a good vacation are yours to own for the rest of your life. Don’t wait until some time in the future when you retire, hit the lotto, or some other far off date. If you can manage to, start planning that vacation now – your mind and body will thank you for it.