Mark JohnstonHAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THAILAND! Britnee Johnston January 1 Thailand, Travel 3 Comments Happy holidays from the Johnstons! Although we dearly missed our family and friends this holiday season, Thailand has taken good care of us while we’re away from home with sunny beaches and warm weather. Here’s how we spent Christmas and New Years, and a look at our plans for 2015: Christmas Eve While families put on their matching pajamas and set out cookies for Santa back home, we were at a Thai boxing match in Ko Phi Phi. Specifically, we were at Reggae Bar in the middle of a party town where we watched Thai boxing demonstrations and laughed as mostly drunk tourists volunteered to fight each other. All volunteers received a medal while the winner would also be given a free bucket of alcohol. The highlight of the night was when two drunk female tourists battled it out in the boxing ring for three violent rounds. It was good entertainment for the whole crowd that evening and made me forget what day it was until Mark announced this was his strangest Christmas Eve yet. Christmas Day Christmas Day was a little more low-key. We had booked a day tour to Maya Bay, the famous filming location of The Beach. Unfortunately, Mark came down with food poisoning that morning and our tour had to be postponed for another time. So we just relaxed in our hotel room for most of the day. Then later that afternoon we saw the sun peek out of the clouds and decided to walk to a nearby beach since Mark was feeling slightly better. Donning our Santa hats, we enjoyed the beautiful view and warm weather for the rest of the evening, even as the occasional rain shower passed overhead. New Year’s Eve We ushered in the new year at Ao Nang Beach with foot massages, sky lanterns, and fireworks. We arrived at the beach early around 3:30 p.m. and, to be honest, struggled to keep up until midnight! We wished our hotel was closer so we could take a break in between, but we were staying 15 minutes away by taxi in Krabi so we had to stick it out. Hour-long foot massages helped pass the time and as soon as it was dark, sky lanterns starting to float above the beach. I had always wanted to light a sky lantern and this was my one chance to do it since they’re illegal back home. Along with hundreds of other tourists on the beach, we set free our sky lanterns along with a wish into the night sky. At midnight, fireworks were set off along the entire beachfront with several exploding right over our heads. Although we struggled at first to stay awake through the evening, (we’re getting old!), I’m glad we made it to enjoy the great atmosphere at midnight. 2015 Plans It’s no surprise that 2014 was a monumental year for Mark and I. In a nutshell, we quit our jobs and have been on the road for seven months, visiting 20 countries. That’s a whole lot we squeezed in such little time and we’ll both admit that we’re exhausted. It’s all been worth it though, for the wonderful people we’ve met around the world, seeing family and friends overseas and getting to experience a different way of life at every new destination. As for the future? In the first five months of 2015 we’ll explore more of Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America. We’re excited for these new adventures, but miss home at the same time. This time last year we were anticipating leaving home, feeling slightly anxious about the unknown that lies ahead. Now, a year later, we’re anticipating coming home and again are feeling slightly anxious about what lies ahead! We hope to be home at the end of May as planned, but after that we can’t say for sure what’s in store for us. Only time will tell. We wish everyone the best for 2015 and hope to see you all soon! 3 Responses Svenja January 1 Happy 2015 guys, always safe travels & keep up the great work with your blog and your photos! Britnee Johnston January 1 Thanks Svenja! Hope your 2015 is filled with travels.