What do you get when you take eight planes, six buses, four boats, three tuktuks, one cyclo-rickshaw, and an elephant? You have all the transportation you need for the trip of a lifetime!
Our journey across southeast Asia started in Cambodia on a refreshingly warm day after leaving the winter temperatures in Seoul, Korea. I was reminded of my dad's travel advice as a kid everywhere we went: "Look out the windows; you may never see this place again." Now that was usually on a 24 hour trip to Florida from New York, but it was definitely more applicable to all the views we were able to see and enjoy as we experienced the different cultures on our 16 day tour through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
Having never gone with a tour group on an organized trip, we were a little wary that it would all work out. Would the people in the group all get along? Would we be voting people off like on Survivor? Would we get to see everything we wanted on our schedule or would someone always be watching the clock?
The reality was we had an awesome time and it was because of the quality of the tour, the people we met, and the guides that we had. We used GateOne Travel, small group tours, a company I found surfing on the internet. It was pricier than we were used to, but with the specials, discount offers, and cash/check options, it was not too bad. The company took care of all the transportation, meals, transfers, local guides, and tickets. We never felt rushed, saw a variety of attractions, and had time to do our own thing as well.
Since we usually travel by ourselves, being in a group was new, but I have to say it was one of the pluses. Just like living and worshiping in community is great, doing life together on a tour was truly a fun experience. It was like grown up summer camp where you met "kids" from different places and got to know them as you hung out together. The variety of ages from 26 - 68 gave you lots of interests to connect with and people I would definitely travel with again.
Our trip was a blessing on many levels. We could see God working to watch over us and protecting us as we traveled from place to place. - He put people in our path to guide us when we were at the wrong airline - He kept us from not getting bitten by a single ant when we accidentally sat in an ant hill and they were crawling up my legs and on my hands - He kept us healthy and gave us a great sense of peace and relaxation as we enjoyed our time away with each other - He provided a great group of people and tour that we were able to share our lives with - He provided all that we needed when we didn't bring it with us - He got us through immigration in Vietnam without a second look when our visa paperwork had some issues
All photographs are copyrighted and the property of Cathleen L Carpenter Photography