A year ago, Ligeia was battling dengue fever while getting vaccinated for rabies after a monkey bit her in Lopburi. Thankfully, that wasn’t an omen for the 12 months to follow. Let’s take a look back at 2013, a year full of wonderful and exciting events!
It was in January when we officially launched Bounding Over Our Steps. Of course, we had been actively blogging for 7 years prior, but 2013 was the year when we took the leap into the world of official travel bloggers. We’re thrilled to have a supportive and growing base of “Bounders” on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as our blog subscribers!
In March, we celebrated Ligeia’s 40th birthday (actually in January) with a 3-week vacation in the Philippines, after Mindy had been planning the surprise trip for over 8 months. It was a perfect surprise, and thankfully, all caught on video:
We were back in Chiang Mai, Thailand in time for Songkran, the traditional New Year’s festival. Famous in the world of backpackers, Chiang Mai’s celebration of this holiday extends into a 5-day water fight. We participated for all of 2 hours, which was about 90 minutes too long for us, but it’s clearly a major tourist attraction and something everyone should experience at least once.
Near the end of the hot season in May, about a month before the relief-bringing monsoon rains were scheduled to arrive, we decided to volunteer for a week at the Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia. The heat was extremely close to unbearable, but the jungle walk with Kham Lin made the week’s worth of sweat worthwhile.
A major highlight for Mindy came in July, when she represented Canada on the women’s softball team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. It was an amazing experience, and winning the silver medal made it all the more special.
On that same trip to Israel, we traveled all across the country, somewhat tracing the footsteps of Jesus. We also ventured into Palestine for a day, visiting Bethlehem and the supposed birthplace of Christ. And to wind up the vacation, we crossed off a major bucket list item when we explored the jaw-dropping ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
In September, we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary with a luxurious overnight in traditional Lanna style. And, as it has become an annual tradition, we renewed our vows in the tranquil surroundings of Wat Umong, our favorite Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai.
Winding down our year, Ligeia spent the entire month of October in the United States. She saw New England wear its colorful Autumn wardrobe, relaxed by the pool in Florida and traveled all around Puerto Rico, making sure to visit the town where her grandparents volunteered during World War II.
Late in November, we once again celebrated Loy Krathong and the northern Thai festival of Yi Peng, a breathtakingly beautiful ceremony where 10,000 sky lanterns are simultaneously released as they carry wishes to the heavens.
In December, we celebrated Mindy’s birthday with an overnight stay at Elephant Nature Park. Spending time with her two favorite ladies – Ligeia and Dani, the 55-year-old elephant – was spectacular.
As 2013 goes into the history books, and a new page is turned to begin the chapter of 2014, we wonder what this new year will bring. Our travel plans are unknown, but we hear Indonesia, Bhutan and Myanmar calling our names. We hope you stay tuned and follow along on our adventure this year!