Thank you to Stephen of Bohemian Traveler
for passing on the proverbial blogging relay baton to me. I now join the Green Team train of travel bloggers, led by the folks at Overyonderlust
Our task is to choose our three favourite travel memories and tag another travel blogger when we're done. The team with the longest running chain of bloggers will win a small prize from the Lowcost Travel blog, as well as major travel blog gloating status.
It is always a challenge to narrow down and pick favourites, but after a while looking back on travels, I realize the moments below are some of my happiest, craziest, and simply best moments on the road.
1 - Finding the diamond at Schwedagon Paya, Burma
Walking up to Schwedagon Paya is the closest I've ever felt to heaven. In a land of curious smiles and cawing roosters, the paya glows bright like the sun. Once up close to the pagoda, I lost myself in the magnificence of it all. When a guard approached me and gestured to see my ticket, I was so in my own world of gratitude I couldn't even find mine. Worried I would be kicked out, I apologized frantically. Clearly not a problem, he pulled out a ticket from his pocket and pointed to the writing on the back of it. In English, I read to myself an explanation of the diamond-encrusted top of the pagoda. Squinting to the top, I couldn't see a diamond from a reflection of the sun, and the guard could see my struggle. He pointed to a particular spot on the tiled ground, stood on that spot, and then pointed up to the top. Following him, I stood in that precise spot, and I saw the sparkle of a blue diamond come into view. I'll never forget that kind guard, or the way that diamond sparkled all the way from the top of the pagoda.
2 - Having my ear ripped off by an elephant, Thailand
In keeping with the theme of Shaun's pink dolphin bite, I present to you my second travel memory:
When you're at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, it's very easy to feel like fast friends with the elephants. Within minutes of arriving we were feeding the elephants sugar cane right into their mouths with our bare hands. In hindsight, it's obvious that I thought I had a little more of a bond with the elephants than they felt toward me. After an elephant reached out its trunk to check me out, I ended up on the ground with dirt and mud all over me, and a severed ear. Three countries and two rounds of stitches later, I still have my ear, and one helluva story for the grandkids.
To read the whole crazy story, you can read the blog post
3 - Feeding pigeons in Piazza San Marco, Italy
I love pigeons. People say they are dirty and diseased, but I find them charming. For a traveler, the sight of pigeons is familiar, and it can feel like a tiny taste of home when you're feeling miles away. Pigeons also don't discriminate between a rubbish bin or the statue of a saint - they will go anywhere. So when I was in Venice, and a man offered me a bag of birdseed for a Euro, I happily paid him. The pigeons flocked to me in a dusty, feathery flurry, and I maintain it was the best Euro I spent in all of Italy.
And there you have it, another successful post of travel memories for the Green Team!
Team Green: As jam packed with surprise and zest as the green limes of Colombia!
I now tag my travel partner in crime ThisBatteredSuitcase
to share her top three travel stories. I'm sure she'll give the Green Team something to be proud of.
Let the relay continue with every memory!