So whaddya do when The Man mandates NO VACATIONS during the summer months because of a work flow/technology upgrade? You have a quiet self-pitying weep, cancel your Greek Island plans and start hatching new plans for the fall. That’s what you do. But how do you decide where to go on this big beautiful planet?
Early Sunday morning–(just after I heard Beav come in from his late shift and I groggily made sure it was him so I didn’t have to make a big fuss and go all Rambo on a burglar–I dreamt I was walking along a wide expanse of white beach, calm blue water on the right of me and a jungle to the left. It was a sticky hot afternoon but I wasn’t miserable; the sun’s warmth was welcome, furthering the happiness and peace bubbling inside me. I stopped to look over my right shoulder, admiring the water gently touching the shore when at the edge of my peripheral vision I noticed something large on the distant beach behind me. I turned to see what it was. A huge elephant with elegant yellow tusks was lumbering towards me, his mahout ambling along, a guiding hand on the elephant’s side as he led the dignified old old fellow along the beach. I wasn’t frightened when I moved closer to the jungle to give the duo room.
Although I felt rested and at peace Sunday morning my dream had me close to tears: my throat was tight and my eyes were full. I pay close attention to my dreams and they are always prophetic when their effect is deeply emotional like this one. Besides this, between my father’s surprising death and a couple of unfortunate and tragic situations I’ve witnessed in the lives of my patients this year; the reality of how fleeting life is keeps reaching me up and smacking me in the face. Really! I get it! But the Andaman Islands wouldn’t be an easy trip and it would mean three weeks from home so it felt like a lot to ask–to make our next adventure all about my dreams–but I couldn’t stay silent:
“I want to go to the Andaman’s next fall.”
Fortunately, TG has lived with me long enough despite the fact we were only just awake she realized I was referring to an ongoing dialogue we’ve been engaged in over the last few weeks:
Mexico: the safe choice. I would be happy and content to return, maybe taking the bus to Palenque. Witnessing the Day of the Dead in San Cristobel. But TG owned she was up for a bigger and different adventure (me too, in all honesty)
Thailand: A week long island hopping tour with g adventures was our first choice. A catamaran tour with daily stops at the picturesque islands near Phuket sounded like heaven on Earth. We could learn to sail if we wanted or just drink beer and sunbathe. A respite before we traveled north and spent a few days with the elephants near Chiang Mai at the reserve. I even sent out inquiries about the sailing trip! (Sorry we’ll catch you next year!)
Italy: Rome, Florence, and Venice. October crowds sound more manageable than summer crowds and the weather wouldn’t be too cold. I’m more smitten with island/beach/sun vacations but I do want to see the museums and sites in these three cities. I spent a day in Venice but it wasn’t a pleasant day and I need to return because I have irrationally blamed Venice. (I know…weird…)
Finally, We had toyed with the Andaman’s, Tiny islands belonging to India but geographically closer to Thailand, honeymoon spot for Indians, the place elephants roam beaches. It’s been on my bucket list for a few years, but it felt too unmanageable:
India is vast and only 17 real days to see it. . .
Ragan (the swimming elephant) is retiring and might be retired by next October. . .
Even well-seasoned travelers say India is difficult independently. But I can’t find a tour which satisfies our particular curiosities so we’ll go it alone and hang on for the ride.
But I’m a woo-woo girl and this dream pointed out it’s time to see an elephant swim. Or at least stand a better chance of seeing an elephant swim than I would have in the cathedrals of Florence or the ruins at Palenque. Granted, after too many topside Singhas I probably would see elephants, dancing fanciful elephants.