Sà Wàt Dii Pacific Discovery Thailand Team!!
The start of our adventure is approaching quickly and we'd like to start getting to know each of you so we can hit the ground running when we meet in Bangkok. I was born and raised in Tennessee , USA. I studied Business Marketing at the University of Alabama. After college I moved to Seattle. I wasn't completely sure about the direction of my life and I decided I needed an adventure and wanted to see more of the world - maybe the same reason many of you decided to embark on this journey with Pacific Discovery.
For the past 4 years, I've lived and worked half the year as an outdoor education guide in China - the other half of the year, I've had my own adventures, working as a dog sledding guide in Canada, cycling through South America for 8 months, and traveling on buses, trains and planes (as we will be doing), to find places that challenge and inspire me. Throughout my travels I've been particularly interested in minority cultures and people that live and thrive in harsh natural environments. I lived out of my backpack for most of the past 4 years - I love it - and I'm so excited to share anything I've learned, to help you through this journey, and help you plan your next.
I congratulate you on making a tremendous first step by deciding to take a break from your busy lives and the comforts of home to see the world. Thailand is an amazing place, a sensory overload of things much different than many of the countries where we grew up. The food is fantastic. The people are open and friendly. You will be changed by what you see and these experiences will stick with you for the rest of you lives. Hopefully this trip will be a stepping stone to the many adventures and beautiful places you will see in your lives.
Our program is not only about having fun (although we will have plenty - elephants, monasteries, rock climbing, caving!!). Some of the most memorable and impactful experience will be the ones that challenge us and might not seem fun in the moment. We will have plenty of times to process all the wild and wonderful things we see, talking over a cup of coffee in the morning or writing in our journals while watching a beautiful sunset.
While making the decision to travel is an important first step, it's also important that we focus on traveling in a way that's respectful to the cultures and local people that we meet, whose home we will be visiting. We need to respect big and small things, dressing appropriately, learning simple greetings in their languages, taking our shoes off in temples we visit. Thailand is full of examples of good and bad tourism. We will be a part of the good - working to have a positive impact on the places we visit.
It's completely natural to be nervous before the start of a big trip. Focus on the things you can control; follow the packing list, start to read about the history and the stories of the people in the places we will be visiting (my personal favorite is The Fortune Teller Told Me So); but the most important thing is to show up with an open mind.
Use this blog, our private Facebook group, or our email to contact us about anything; questions etc