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Archive for the ‘Vacation Destinations’ Category

The African Safari. For many it’s the pinnacle of a lifetime’s worth of wanderlust, wrought in the childhood dreams of far away places and exotic animals. Like a magnet, the pervasive pull of the cradle of life draws people from around the world to its savannahs teaming with life and its breathtakingly endless African skies.

While each of our dreams about African varies from person to person, I would guess that the spirit of all our dreams remains the same: the opportunity to encounter some the rarest, most beautiful and dangerous animals in the world, the Big 5. But the safari promises not just an encounter, for any of us could get that at our local zoo, but an encounter with the Big 5 on the animals’ terms, in their habitat, in their home.

But as I travelled across that mighty continent, I realized that there was a catch, one that put a damper on my entire experience: Safaris can’t always deliver on their promises.

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I sat on the front porch of my small island bungalow, sipping a Piña Colada served in a fresh young coconut and watching the soft waves of the turquoise ocean lap gently over the golden sands of the pristine beach. Nestled comfortably among a lush and thriving coconut plantation, on the back side of the world-famous Thai island of Ko Phi Phi, I had discovered a small and secluded resort, away from the ever-present din of the bustling city life; a place that seemed to naturally exude a sense of relaxation.

In that little corner of the world, where luxurious massages, world-renowned dive sites, amazing snorkeling adventures and some of the finest Thai cuisine were available only a few feet away from my front door, I found myself truly in a paradise on earth, a veritable Garden of Eden reborn. It was one of the first times in my life when I felt no concerns pressing on my time, and the only worry I had weighing on my mind was to avoid getting brained by falling coconuts on my way to dinner.

But while the indescribable beauty of Ko Phi Phi has left an indelible impression upon me, the image I just can’t shake from my mind’s eye is what I found when I accidentally stumbled out the backdoor of that island paradise.

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