Jed and I knew that we wanted to take an extended vacation, preferably somewhere far away that is more conducive to couples rather than families. Once we have kids, we know we want to travel, we just think that dessert camping and Mexico beaches might be more our flavor at that point. We spun the globe often, usually ending up in the middle of the ocean somewhere. South America was top on our list for a long time, but one day Jed said to me, "Thailand sounds more exciting to me." I agreed, and just like that, our decision was made.
My aunt, Deb, retired from Delta after a life long career. She is not only a wonderful travel resource, but also offers us "buddy passes" for flights. These are less expensive tickets, the catch is that you have to fly standby. Being that we don't have children, and we had nothing planned except for SCUBA diving once we got to Thailand, we were up for the adventure. I think this is a good place to tell you that if you are thinking about traveling from the States to Thailand, be ready for an extremely long road trip. Granted, we took a slightly longer route by choosing to fly standby, but non-the-less, be prepared. From Durango to Bangkok, I believe we spent 28 hours between driving and flying (this does not include layovers or sleeping in the truck before the flight). On the way, back it was something like 36 hours from airport to airport, but well worth the journey!!!!
I expected us to be surrounded by people at all times, since we were in Southeast Asia and the most popular tourist destination in that particular region. However, that was not the case at all. More often than not, Jed and I found ourselves alone on the tops of mountains, swimming in waterfalls, hiking through the jungle, lounging on the beaches and exploring abandoned cities. Each time we ended up in a new place was simply due to chatting with people who had been there, people like us, who wanted to see things, but wanted a bit of piece and quiet as well.
If you would have asked me a couple of years ago if I wanted a smart phone I would have scoffed at the idea. After this trip, that glorious handheld device is worth more than gold to me! Tripadvisor became a lifeline for accommodation. I followed our location religiously on my map, navigating Jed on the motorbike and making sure that the taxis, tuk tuks and buses were taking us where we needed to go. But most importantly, my nice camera decided to fail less than a week into our month long getaway. All we had was my iPhone camera and Jed's trusty point and shoot. I'm not heartbroken about it. I enjoyed every minute of our trip, not once thinking, I wish I had my camera. There were moments when it would have been nice to choose how to expose an image, but we captured our memories and that is what is important!