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Monday, April 14, 2008


My husband immigrated to the United States from Thailand when he was two years old, and he hasn't been back. We keep meaning to go, but there is never a convenient time to spend 24 hours straight on an airplane. Now he has decided that he wants to see the village where he was born and meet his relatives before he turns 40. We are 38, so we'd better get going. We're planning to spend ten days there next year.

Luckily we have a built-in guide and translator going with us. My sister-in-law didn't come to the United States until she was 18, and she's been back to Thailand six times. Already she has given us the three top tips for Americans traveling to Thailand:

1. It is hot.

2. It is hot.

3. The hottest day of the year is whenever you are there.

It's all very difficult for me to imagine. I'm going to start reading up, but I know the experience will be wildly different from what's described in the travel books, especially since we'll be out of the tourist traps and off the beaten path more than half the time.

Have you ever been on a vacation that wasn't just a trip, it was an adventure?


Anonymous said...

I haven't, but I'd love to go to Egypt. (Actually, Ancient Egypt, but that's not possible. Yet.)

taltebrando said...

This is going to be so amazing for you and your husband! Italy isn't quite as adventurous as Thailand but my husband and I went there a few years ago and knew he had some relatives who owned a coffee shop. So we looked it up in the phone book in Milan, walked in, and had a very funny time trying to introduce my husband, Nick Altebrando, to the owner, Nicola Altebrando, who didn't speak a word of English. Once we got our point across--by showing Nick's passport and rattling off the names of grandfathers and great grandfathers--we were welcomed with wine and, um, potato chips. :)

Have fun planning your adventure! I'd love to go to Thailand someday but to have a personal connection makes it even better.


jennifer echols said...

Slayground...good luck. ;)

Tara...that is so cool! Caridad's heroine in It's Not About the Accent has a similar experience looking up her Cuban relatives in Miami.

We are excited about Thailand. It's one of those trips you really do need to plan for during an entire year.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip, Jenn! One of my best friends is teaching in Vietnam right now and it is my dream to go visit her. We'll see though!

Victoria Dahl said...

Hot, hot, super hot? Sounds like my worst nightmare. But I'm THRILLED to live vicariously through you. Hey, how many times do you think I'm going to tell you to be careful in the next year?

Anonymous said...

Before I'm 40... is this my attempt at a pre mid-life crisis??? I feel Thailand calling me back, thirty six years later to get to know the person I would likely have become and reach out to the family that loved me and said goodbye to the two year child I was then. Thailand is known as "the land of smiling faces"....we'll see.

Kelly Parra said...

Sounds like it will great! My only adventure experience was when I visited Washington DC from California. I experienced plenty in just a week. :)