Adventures,  Tips,  Travel

The Land of Smiles

Flapping my wings again, finally, for my adventure to the other side of the world – The Land of Smiles, grinning from ear to ear.

I begin this blog on the first leg of my 3 day journey to Thailand for my yoga teacher training and scuba certification. I go from DTW (Detroit) to LAS (Vegas), 5 hour layover, LAS to SFO (San Fran), 5 hour layover, SFO to NRT (Tokyo), 1 hour 45 minute layover, NRT to BKK (Bangkok), 10 hour layover, and finally BKK to USM (Koh Samui). Discount flights equal lots of layovers. Tho, mine wasn’t so discounted anymore after my Covid changes over and over again. It ended up being double 🙁 But, I’m finally on my way 🙂

I accomplished a lot while in Ohio. I feel lighter in more ways than one. It warmed up shortly after I arrived 🙏 I’m back in the sun, lifting, walking, running, etc., so I’ve gotten my waste line in check. I also emptied out my storage unit. I sold everything at rock bottom prices, but it had to go and it’s gone, so I feel freer to roam the world and not worry about returning. It’s slightly depressing, because I loved all my things, but at the same time they found good homes and someone else can enjoy them. Plus, they are just things and I don’t plan on returning long term to the US, so wherever I end up, I can replace them. I’ve learned to minimalize like most of my generation. Lastly new passport so I can roam for another 10 years.

Most importantly saying my goodbyes to my family and friends. I wanted to spend time with my mom after her devastating loss. She is doing amazing after losing her best friend of 45 years. My brother is and continues to be her rock. I will miss them all dearly, but she is in good hands as she continues to navigate her new life.

My last couple weekends I went out with my favorite couple, spent time with my fam (canoeing, boating, and cooking out), visited friends at the Orchard (as well as my old band crush) and one last day (drinking heavily) at the Bay before my return to Sobriety. Every few months I need to remind myself why I don’t drink. I just hate how it makes you feel (foggy, sluggish, and undetermined to do anything ).

My yoga retreat looks absolutely amazing, a little slice of paradise in Koh Phangan (an island on the east coast of Thailand). I may never want to leave. Orion Healing Center is right on the beach and I have my own cute little bungalow.

It is a combination of classes, hands-on workshops and group sessions – 200 hours of peace and serenity with expert teachers, sunny skies, and pure relaxation. I’ll be living a vegan lifestyle. I may enjoy a seafood dinner now and then on my days off. The menu looks delicious at their cafe, the location appears perfect, and the training top notch, so I think it going to be a very peaceful month

I am arriving 2 days early, now 1, and staying in Koh Samui at the Escape Beach Resort before transferring via ferry to Koh Phangan for a month. Then, transferring again July 30 to Koh Tao for my open water scuba certification. Scuba makes me a little nervous, so that’s why I need to do it. It will look great on my yachting resume and will be an eye opening experience. If I take to it, next step is ship wrecks.

I finally return to Koh Samui for another 2 days of soaking in the sun before heading to Antibes to become a yachtie in the Med for the rest of summer.

That’s my current plan anyway. We’ll see how that goes in August when I am hopefully writing about the yoga life and my fabulous job on a yacht.

First hiccup LAS (Vegas) – My luggage was supposed to go straight through to San Fran, but after checking the Delta App (not a Delta fan) my luggage arrived here in Vegas. Then, after an hour of hastle changing terminals the delta baggage office was closed, but I peeked in and didn’t see my backpack in the long line of lost luggage. I gave up and headed back to terminal 2 disheartened. My luggage was lost again :/ Then after checking the app over and over trying to figure out what I do next, it said it was rushed to SFO. It never got on my plane. The craziness made the time go by I guess. I’m dead tired and ready to go to San Fran and see.

I loved my flight on Alaska Air. The seats are so spacious and you get boxed water instead of the stupid paper cups. The group of male flight attendants were awesome and the pilot quite humorous.

2nd hiccup – What a day. My luggage finally arrived in San Fran while I was waiting to get tickets. I met a kind man and we chatted for a bit about our travels. I got the text that my luggage finally arrived and he offered to hold my place in line. I got back and I get up to the woman from Japan air, show her my info (passport, flight, visa) and she asks for my Thai Pass which I didn’t do because I arrive in Bangkok at 11pm on the 30th. I figured they would let it slide. since I’m just in the airport for a long layover before getting to Koh Samui on the 1st and according to Thai embassy updates everything ends on the first (Thai Pass, Insurance, etc.). But, apparently I needed it, so I tried desperately to apply then and it wouldn’t accept my passport picture because every spot I tried had a glare and it asked a ton of ??s that I needed to fill out over and over again. Then, when I finally got done I needed approval which they said could take days. And, I had to buy $80 worth of Covid Insurance. Ugh. But, she waited until the very last minute for me because she said sometimes they are quick. I even suggested she just give me the ticket to Tokyo and I could wait on the plane (11 hours). She said she couldn’t. I’m super stressed, almost in tears, and finally the kind woman switched my flight for the same flights the next day 🙂 It actually is better. Thank you again God. I searched for cheap hotels in San Fran (none) and then I thought, “oh my Hilton points.” I called and I had half the amount I needed, but she could apply them. So, I booked the hotel, got a good nights sleep, a shower, and a $15 food credit for $110. It cost me a bit, but I feel so much better today 🙂 Ready for my long trip ahead 🙂

I have a thirst for adventure. Always Have, Alway Will. My tag line is YOLO (You Only Live Once) or in my case ++++ times, yet I continue to live my life to the fullest. Since, we're here for only a short time, I take advantage of everything that comes my way. I want to seize every moment, see and experience all can. I have been very blessed. So far I've had the opportunity to travel to over 30 countries, fought (in a cage) yes fought, lived through a tragic head-on collision with a semi, strut my stuff on a stage in 4" heels as a bodybuilding bikini girl. (I'll get more into those later) Yes, most would say I'm crazy, but I continue to push the button. My new, crazy obsession is to travel the globe taking on and conquering new challenges. I want to surf in Sayulita, Mexico, run a marathon in Greece, bungee jump in Macau, etc. (My bucket list is long). As I embark on my challenges, I plan to share with you my trials and tribulations leading up to these challenges, budget travel tips & tricks (I'm a very thrifty traveler), fun exercises to prepare me for the task ahead, new exciting things to see and do in the locale I'm in, restaurants to try, the people I meet, etc. Join me in my adventures :)