The first two days of the Thailand Couples Trip will give us a glimpse of Buddhism and the history of Siam/Thailand, as well as delicious street food, shopping, a Thai Massage, and meaningful discussions.
Worldschooling, in essence, is learning about something, someone, or somewhere because it's relevant.
Many places in the world have a long, complex, and unique history. You could spend a lifetime studying one locale -- for example, United States or European History.
Which is where many of us focus our attention and schooling -- on learning the history, culture, and practices of our own people.
Travel provides an opportunity to look outside of our 'little corner of the earth.'
As I'm planning an Adventure and Romance Couples Trip to Thailand, I can't help but discover little tidbits about their culture and beliefs, simply because it is relevant to my trip planning.
A Google search of 'Must See Bangkok' reveals top attractions. On Days 1 and 2 of our trip, we will be visiting:
Grand Palace (and Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
You naturally wonder why these places are a 'must-see' attraction, and what makes them unique and special.
A small amount of research provides basic answers that I know will be expanded once I actually visit the place in person -- the most exciting part of worldschooling!
Amazingly, there are more than 31,000 Buddhist temples in Thailand.
The Thai name for temple is wat.
Wat Arun means Temple of the Dawn, named after Aruna, the Indian God of Dawn.
(While some scholars do not consider Buddhism to be a religion, but instead a way of life or a philosophy, many cultures do incorporate religion and polytheism with their practice of Buddhism.)
This temple is one of the most well-known landmarks in Bangkok, perched on the edge of the Chao Phraya River.
The architecture of the temple itself is meant to represent Mount Meru.
What is Mount Meru, you might ask (as I asked myself)?
In the mythology of Tibetan Buddhism, Mount Meru is the place that represents the center of the universe, as well as single-pointed concentration (aka mindfulness) that Buddhists seek.
We'll visit Wat Arun soon after arriving and checking into our hotel/Airbnb in Bangkok.
The adventurous ones will have the chance to climb the center spire (prang in Thai). From the viewpoint at the top you'll be able to see the Grand Palace and Wat Pho on the opposite side of the river (which we'll be visiting on Day 2).
Then we'll cross to the opposite side of the Chao Phraya River to have dinner, with a clear view of Wat Arun from our table.
If we're lucky, we'll see the sunset behind this temple as we hold our 'Welcome & Get to Know You' devotional and discussion, (led by my amazing husband and life coach, Greg Denning) -- setting the tone and theme for growth, learning, and mindfulness throughout the trip.
Discussions and devotionals are one of the activities that make our trips so unique and transformational.
We're not only having incredible experiences intentionally designed to challenge you and help you grow.
We're also providing an opportunity to process what we've learned, felt, and experienced, and to discuss it with others in the group. This is often the favorite part of the trip for participants.
The Grand Palace
The morning of Day 2 takes us to the Grand Palace -- the official residence of the King of Siam since 1782. (I loved watching The King and I as a child. Did you know that movie is banned in Thailand and may not be entirely accurate?)
The current king of Thailand (yes, Thailand still has a king, although not an absolute monarchy) still uses the Grand Palace for official events, but the royal family and court has not resided here since 1925.
The palace complex is roughly 2,351,000 sq ft! There are several amazing temples and gardens we will explore before we walk toward Wat Pho, and grab some street food for lunch.
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
One of the first public universities in Thailand, Wat Pho was a place locals came to study traditional medicine and Thai massage.
The Reclining Buddha was built in 1848 and is the largest Buddha in Thailand. This temple is also home to a Bodhi tree that is believed to be part of the tree under which the Buddha became enlightened.
After exploring this temple, those who are interested will have the chance to get a famous Thai massage.
If this idea makes you uncomfortable, no worries. Thai massages are done with your clothes on in the same room with others. They are a very social experience and extremely therapeutic. If you still aren't interested, foot massages are also available.
Chatuchak (aka Jatujak or JJ) Market
This market in Bangkok is the World's Largest Weekend Market!
There are more than 15,000 stalls spread across 35 acres divided into 26 sections ranging from food to art to antiques and fashion.
This is a 'must-do' place to grab street food, so we will be eating dinner here. We'll be able to choose anything from Coconut Ice Cream to Grilled Honey Roast Pork -- whatever grabs our fancy!
After we've explored, eaten, and shopped to our heart's content, we'll return to our hotel/Airbnb where we'll have an evening discussion about the day's events.
There will be a chance to share what we've felt, experienced, and learned. These discussions are powerful and transformative! There's no pressure to contribute. You can just listen if you'd like.
We will also discuss one of our themes for the trip -- topics that will help you to improve your marriage, parenting, and personal life.
This is NOT a Vacation -- It's Travel With a Personal Coach
We are not tour guides. Our intention is not to take you on a nice vacation so when you return home you'll say, "Oh, that was nice and fun."
Our intention is to be your personal coach as we travel and experience another culture together. We want to transform the way you think, open your mind, help you to see things differently, and identify simple improvements that will make a huge, positive impact in your life back home.
Through years of experience working with thousands of people on five continents, Greg has become a master at leading powerful discussions and asking the right questions.
He will help you to identify what blocks are holding you back and what simple tweaks you can make to unleash your inner power -- making you a better spouse, parent, and person.
As parents, we've personally experienced the power of taking a 'time-out' away from children and the daily stresses of life to 'reset', reconnect as a couple, and to get clarity on where our life is and where we want it to go.
It's something we've committed to doing every year (not to mention smaller trips we take throughout the year.) It's an investment in ourselves and in our marriage -- the foundation of our family.
We are inviting you to join us on our 'get-away' over Valentine's Day in 2020. Let us coach you in life, parenting, and marriage while we explore exotic Thailand together!
You can reserve your spot now with a deposit. See you in Thailand!