Elephant Nature Park – Chiang Mai, Thailand

We were the last to be picked up in a large, plush 12 passenger van heading an hour and a half outside of Chiang Mai. The ride was amazing as we passed rural farms where water buffalo were grazing and chickens walked alongside them.  Our education about Thai elephants began on our journey to the Elephant Nature Park. Elephants are a huge part of Thailand’s tourism trade and also play a crucial role in the logging industry. Recognizing the unfortunate impact tourism has had on elephants, the Elephant Nature Park created a place for rescued elephants to call home. Most of these amazing creatures are too old to perform or too injured to log. They need a break from their difficult lives. Elephant…

Scuba Certification – Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Having a year to travel is giving us the time and flexibility to think about picking up some new skills. First on our list? Scuba diving! For years David has been trying to convince me to join him in this adventure. With Thailand’s warm water and great dive sites, I was convinced to give it a go. We signed up to for Open Water Certification, a three-day course, which would enable us to dive up to 60ft completely independently. The class included 5 quizzes, a pool dive, six open water dives and a final exam. Trust me those three days…

48 Hours in Phuket, Thailand

We ended up spending 1 week in Phuket, but really figured out the best stuff to do. So if you only have few days here – you’ll be able to hit all the highlights! Day 1 8am- Rent a Car. You can pickup a car most placed for around 1,000 Baht (~$30) for a day. Be sure you’re comfortable with driving on the left side of the road (and are okay with motorbike mayhem). 10am – Visit the Monkeys on Monkey Hill As mentioned in our previous post, you can get up close and personal with wild monkeys.Purchase peanuts before reaching the…

Monkey Hill – Phuket, Thailand

Whether you’re looking for a good hike or just a way to make new (furry) friends, Khao To Sae (Monkey Hill) is worth a visit. The drive up is gorgeous…shaded by mini pergolas with intertwined vines that have, over the years, wrapped themselves between each wooden plank. Many dogs have traveled miles up to this place probably to enjoy a little rest from the intense Thai sun. The drive (or hike) is a steep 4 mile climb ending in an amazing view overlooking Phuket Town. This alone is worth the trek…but it gets better! At the top of the to-do…

So you want to travel for a year? 23 things to do pre-takeoff!

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way!”-Dr.Seuss This is enough to make me want to jet set around the world! But before you take this big leap here is a to-do list that will help set you up for a fantastic year ahead. 3 months out ✓ Budgeting/saving money…the earlier the better! ✓ Itinerary…we decided to wing it. If this is not your cup of tea, consider an around the world ticket. ✓ Visit the doctor…be up to date on ALL appointments just in case you need to call…

Chicago USA – The Marathon

Kelsey and I really started getting into running half marathons right after we got married and have run 8 to date. Our friend from college Joel had trained and ran the Chicago Full Marathon last year. He told us how amazing the run was and that if we were ever thinking of doing a full, we had to do it in Chicago. We knew Chicago was a popular race and that you had to enter a lottery to even get in. So 10 months ago, figuring we’d let fate decide, we put our names down and pre-registered. A few months…