The rescue of Lucky the Elephant

“Diana! Mindy! Get off of the truck!” We hear Lek yell from the ground below at us, as we sit huddled under a wooden bench in the bed of a truck beginning to fill up with water. We are soaked. And, the elephant standing mere feet from us on the truck, doesn’t look too thrilledContinue reading “The rescue of Lucky the Elephant”

To rescue elephants

It is pitch black when Lek knocks on the door of my room at the guest house. “Ok, we go,” she says softly through the wood. “The elephants are ready.” I’m up. Today — this morning — we are on a mission: to rescue two female elephants from their lives of work and deliver themContinue reading “To rescue elephants”

The Truth About Riding Elephants

I watch, happy tears swelling in my eyes, as the first of two rescued ex-trekking elephants walks off of the truck, backing out slowly and cautiously placing her hind legs, one-at-a-time, on the ground. It’s pitch black, save for a few flashlights and one camera light. Around us, cicadas, frogs and crickets all compete toContinue reading “The Truth About Riding Elephants”

The elephants of Instagram

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js // <![CDATA[ (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); // ]]> I often get asked what my life is like as an expat in Thailand. But, more than anything else, I get asked what my experiences with elephants entail. So, what is it like? Well, for starters, I don’t spend every day with them. I’m notContinue reading “The elephants of Instagram”

Back to the elephants

I can hardly sleep, even in my new apartment in Chiang Mai. My heart races and when I close my eyes, images of elephants dance under my lids. I am going back to Save Elephant Foundation’s Elephant Nature Park. Back to where it all started a year ago. Funny how much can change in aContinue reading “Back to the elephants”

Escape of the Week: Elephant Nature Park

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js // <![CDATA[ (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); // ]]> An hour outside of Chiang Mai is a sanctuary. A place where elephants from the elephant tourism and illegal logging industries go to live out their lives in peace. Here, there are no bullhooks. No one gets to ride on them. There are no tricksContinue reading “Escape of the Week: Elephant Nature Park”

Photo Essay: Life at Elephant Nature Park

For about one week, I was a volunteer at Elephant Nature Park. During that time, I did everything from shoveling poo to being blessed by a shaman to becoming part of the heard and spending time with elephants up-close, to singing “Que Sera, Sera” as they fell asleep. There were tears of joy and tearsContinue reading “Photo Essay: Life at Elephant Nature Park”

Travel Bloggers Give Back: The Elephant Nature Park

I will never forget the first time I reached my hand out and touched the pink-speckled trunk of an Asian elephant. Towering over me, this beautiful girl stood, flapping her large ears in the late summer heat of Thailand. She stood in front our little group of volunteers, all of us nearly speechless at ourContinue reading “Travel Bloggers Give Back: The Elephant Nature Park”

Feeding elephants

Within an hour of arriving to the park, I have met my first elephants. Our van is the first to arrive at Elephant Nature Park, so we drop our bags, and sit down. But, it is hard for any of us to sit still. There are elephants. Everywhere. Not just the actual animals, either. ThereContinue reading “Feeding elephants”

Tuk tuks, red cabs … and elephants: arriving to Elephant Nature Park

The drive from Chiang Mai to the Elephant Nature Park is nothing short of surreal: from urban to highway to jungle in about an hour. And from cars and tuk tuks to elephants and ox on the side of the road. We start our first day as volunteers, 23 of us ranging in age fromContinue reading “Tuk tuks, red cabs … and elephants: arriving to Elephant Nature Park”