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Big Red: How I Learned Simplicity from a Suitcase

The long-awaited Elephant Safari Ride! I have a dramatic vision of the elephant scooping me up with its trunk and deftly placing me on its back, just like in the circus. Instead I step onto the platform with the help of my mahout, or elephant driver. He tells me her name is Mumbai as I cautiously step into the basket. He situates me close to the elephant’s head, straddling her with my legs, […]

Big Red excerpt: Alone in the jungle!

The Jungle ride As we head back to the resort, my guide asks if I want to ride Mumbai back to home base. I assume he means for me sit behind him on the elephant’s neck. Although this isn’t on my bucket list of things to do before I die, being in the moment, I respond with a yes. I realize my guide is making no attempt to join me. […]

Big Red: How I Learned Simplicity from a Suitcase.

May 12, Punakha/Wangdue Phodrang, Bhutan Because I’m not traveling with a group, we are graciously invited in for a visit. It doesn’t matter that the farmer has been out in the fields or that his family is busy with household chores. Everything comes to a halt so that they can welcome us into their home. It’s the kind of hospitality many Westerners have forgotten in the hustle and bustle of our […]