All posts filed under: Experience

Hitching a ride on an elephant in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Okay, I’ll admit it. I am a total scaredy-cat. My cousin had to taunt me into riding the California Screamin’ roller coaster at Disneyland (her words, I believe, were, “Don’t be such a pussy”). My legs shook as I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge (they kept shaking even after I hit solid ground). And I nearly backed out of paragliding in Austria (only I had already coughed up the money for it and was halfway up the mountain). One of the funniest things I’ll admit to being scared of was mounting an elephant. Bareback. All by my lonesome. But more than three years ago, I did it. Here’s how it went down. My sister (“Ate”) and I stayed in Bangkok for a few days before flying to Chiang Mai to meet her friend there. Along with checking out its temples and cultural spots, Ate deemed that we couldn’t leave the city without visiting an elephant camp…and riding one of said elephants. I’d promised myself I would try something new every time I traveled, so I went along with the plan. An …

Last week, I learned how to save a life

*cue in music by The Fray* No, I’m not being dramatic. I did learn how to save a life…theoretically, anyway. That’s because I took a class on CPR, AED, and first aid for adults. You probably know what CPR is — cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or revival techniques like chest compressions and what we often call “mouth to mouth” — but if you’re anything like me, you’re might be going “huh?” about AED. It stands for “automated external defibrillator,” that handy device that “shocks” a failing or irregular heart into proper rhythm. But more about that later. I’d never planned on attending such a class, but when my brother invited me to join him and his team, I figured I might as well give it a shot. You never know when it’ll come in handy, right? They hired a team of licensed medics, and we all gathered bright and early on a Saturday morning for a full day of lectures and exercises.