Hello sweet friends,
You haven't heard from me in awhile because I just returned from an unforgettable 22-day trip to Asia!
My travels took me to four beautiful countries. My husband and traveling partner, Brian, had the most amazing time. This was a "bucket list" trip, for sure.
We traveled 29 hours to Singapore where I was fortunate enough to speak to the Association of Image Consultants International
chapter on "How to Outshine the Competition and Build a Better Brand." We stayed at the luxurious Regent Hotel
and were treated like royalty. We even got to have fun and taste the local cuisine by visiting the hawker stalls at Newton Food Centre
. Yes, I tried spicy crab and stingray!
Our next stop was Chiang Mai, Thailand. One of the many highlights of our trip included spending a day with our very own elephant at the Patara Elephant Farm
. These elephants are rescued from unsuitable conditions including circuses and illegal logging camps and are nurtured back to health by a kind and caring staff.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience allowed Brian and me to clean and feed our elephants, ride them in the jungle and through the mountains, and even bathe them in the river! We spent the entire day bonding with these gentle animals.
Another highlight was visiting the wondrous and holy temple of Wat Phra That
, which is located near the top of Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai. Built as a Buddhist monastery in 1383, it is still a working monastery today. We marveled at the splendor of our surroundings and by the beautiful music and dancers.
Our third stop was Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I spoke to another AICI Chapter on "How To Develop a Thriving Etiquette Business." It was an educational experience for me to teach women and men of various backgrounds, cultures and religions. I now have a greater understanding and appreciation of international etiquette. The members were so gracious and made us feel right at home.
My husband departed for the U.S. and I went on to Shanghai, China to spend the next 10 days visiting my friend and colleague, Lisa Wan. This was a trip I will never forget.
I was awestruck by the friendliness and hospitality that I was shown by the Chinese. I was also flattered by all the attention I was given. It's not every day that the locals see a blonde-haired, blue-eyed American woman, so I got a lot of stares on the streets. I even caught a few people taking my picture!
Lisa and I traveled to the small and tranquil city of Hangzhou
. Also known as the happiest place in China, we teamed up to speak to a group of consultants on how we started our own etiquette businesses in the U.S. and China. Each student received a certificate of completion after the weekend was over. We laughed and celebrated, and made long-lasting friendships.
I'm so grateful for all the many experiences I have had this year and I look forward to many more. I hope you will also take time this season to count your blessings and give thanks for everything that brings you joy!
In the spirit of Thanksgiving,