Last spring I fulfilled a lifelong dream of traveling to Asia for the first time. I will write another post in the future with links and travel information about my experience traveling to Thailand with a toddler and two teenagers. Today I simply want to share the joy of our trip through images. I’ll never forget the natural beauty there.
A definite highlight was experiencing the Thai New Year. They celebrate by having a massive water fight. In some areas the festival lasts three to ten days, but we only participated for one day in Aonang, Krabi. I had no idea we’d have so much fun!
In order not to bring bad luck into the New Year, it is a tradition that all houses are completely cleaned a day before the celebration. The Songkran Festival is a period when Thai people splash water on themselves, which they believe will cause plenty of rainfall in the coming year. Water is used to cleanse themselves of those bad things and also a symbol of fertility.Quote from Expert World Travel (see link below for more)
Everyone participates and there is literally no way to stay dry. I bought water guns for each family member. We decided to walk from our hotel into the village for dinner. It was hot- I’m guessing 35 Celsius (95 F). There were water stations all along the route so we could refill. Basically you squirt anyone you can! Cars, motorcycles, and trucks loaded with people (young and old) made a steady procession along the road. Music was blaring and people were dancing everywhere. Some folks smeared white powder on our faces, part of the ritual. Just when you’d start to dry out, someone would soak you again. Everyone was very good natured and avoided spraying directly into our faces. We kept our phones in plastic bags tucked away safely so we really don’t have many photos.
I pushed our stroller most of the way and realized later that it kept me pretty protected. (No one wanted to upset a small child). Thai people are very modest and we were advised not to walk around in just our bathing suits. I wore mine under a flimsy sundress that would dry out quickly. As we neared our destination a couple of hours later, I was almost dry. At that stage my toddler was in his stroller and his dad was pushing him. They walked ahead of me with the teenagers. I trailed behind as we approached an Indian restaurant.
One of the staff smiled at me and said not to worry, just keep walking, nothing to fear… What could I do? I had to pass by to catch up with my family. Just then about six men circled me with mischievous grins. I closed my eyes as I sensed what was coming ( I was wearing contacts and didn’t want them to get washed out). I was lifted in the air at one point and bucket loads of water came pouring over my head!!! My teenagers were absolutely thrilled to see me rendered helpless: a wet, sopping mess. I think my partner was delighted too, judging by the look on his face when I finally opened my eyes. All I could do was giggle and wait to dry out all over again. By then the sun was going down and I did start to feel a little chilly. Thankfully I brought a beach cover up that I could throw over myself while we ate dinner.
Honestly, it was an experience I’ll never forget. For one day we all became like children again. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. I should mention that everyone we encountered was sober. Who would have known so much fun could be had simply with water play? To learn more about Songkran, including its religious origins, click here.
There were many aspects of Thailand that I enjoyed. (I’ll go into more detail the next time I write about our month long trip). The food was extraordinary. Some of my happiest moments were sitting around an outdoor table, trying new dishes, and chatting with my family about the days’ events. We looked forward to fresh fruit smoothies made with ice every morning.
I also enjoyed the cocktails! On one deserted beach in Koh Lanta, Happy Hour seemed to last all afternoon. As you can see in this photo I’ve truly gone to my happy place… Mojitos, sunshine & sand between my toes. Plus a good book. What more could a woman ask for?
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do. While we won’t be able to go on another adventure like that for a while, I do hope to explore more new places in the coming year. My most joyful moments, I’ve noticed, have occurred in nature and usually with my family.
What made you happiest in 2019? I’ve saved my favorite image for last. Watch this video and I guarantee you’ll smile by the end. Laughter is, after all, contagious!
This post was inspired by the prompt for Day 3. To participate or find out more information about #Manifest20 click here: What made you feel joyful in 2019? What steps can you take to create more joyful moments in the coming year?