As several travel stories begin… We were sitting on a plane. I don’t recall exactly where we were traveling to but most likely back and forth between Atlanta and San Diego. I was flipping through SkyMag when I read a very interesting article about being an elephant owner for a day at Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I showed Grant and made a mental note to add it to the bucket list. Little did I know, only a few months later I would be there! Opportunities like this always seem to unfold for us. I think it has a lot to do with being receptive to good energy! (Reminds me of a recommended read: The Surrender Experiment)
After doing some research, our dream elephant adventure was cheaper than I thought! (approx. $160 USD) So we booked a day at Patara and then traveled to Thailand with our siblings and a friend in September 2014.
I seriously fell in love with my elephant. They match you based on personality and size. I was paired with Jean, a “teenager” full of energy and spunk! Our group consisted of the 5 of us plus 3 others so it was a very intimate vibe. We spent all day getting to know and taking care of our new 5000 pound friends!
Things you do:
- feed and bathe your elephant
- inspect their poop
- ride them (bareback) through a jungle to a waterfall
- eat an AMAZING traditional Thai lunch by the river
Things you don’t do:
- watch them perform tricks
- ride them on a big wooden box/saddle
People are often skeptical about these types of excursions but trust me, these elephants were HAPPY! They are so well taken care of and loved. Unfortunately we saw other elephants in Cambodia who were not receiving the same loving care. I am confident that Patara is a trustworthy company who reveres the sacredness of these special animals.
Everyone in our group agreed that it was the best day of our lives. I will never forget falling in love with Jean and having the experience of a lifetime!
Bonus: A DVD of photos is included so you don’t have to worry about taking pictures the entire time but can instead focus on living in this very special moment.
For more information on Thailand, grab this Lonely Planet guide book.
Extinction is Forever,
Inspired Recipe: Chopped Thai Salad from Pinch of Yum
I made this for the first time last week and I can already tell it is going to be a consistent favorite in my go-to meal rotations. It is the perfect side dish for an Asian dinner, or great by itself for lunch! The contrast of crunchy cashews with creamy edamame = YUM. It is seriously a flavor / texture explosion!