Courtney Lohmann

Courtney Jo

Courtney Lohmann

Travel is embedded in my heart and soul. I think the more I travel, the more addicted to it I become. I know, this is a common problem! I think the best part about traveling is opening your eyes/mind to new experiences, people and outlooks on life. If you go into a country with an open heart and an open mind, you find a warmth in everything around you. In so many ways, the world is so similar and in so many ways, each place I've been is incredibly unique. Traveling has changed my approach to most things in my life. And with every trip I take, I look forward to the next that much more. My advice to travelers setting out for the first time...soak it all in! Don't be afraid to take your adventures to the next level and challenge yourself. Some of your best adventures will come from nothing more than the exchange of your first name and a handshake. Enjoy life and soak it all in!

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Fort Lauderdale International Travel Examiner -

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Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Wiang Pa Pao July 15th 2015

Wednesday 7/8/15: Slept great last night and woke up with a lot of energy. Apparently the clouds did as well. During breakfast it ended up absolutely pouring down rain. Due to the weather, we were not going to the pre-school for the morning session. Kate said that Thais don't like the rain. I interpreted this as, they don't like to drive in the rain. So, as an alternative we loaded up into the back of Aum's pick up truck, rain coat on and drove to the White Cup Coffee shop. This was quite a treat! We settled in on the patio and I ordered an espresso and chocolate mouse cake. I'm definitely a girl that can't resist cake! As we ate and chatted we enjoyed the laid back atmosphere. I wrote in blog, some read, some ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Wiang Pa Pao July 15th 2015

Tuesday (7/7/15) morning I'm up super early again but am finally able to go back to sleep. I sleep until almost 7 am and I'm so happy. The little things in life. We have breakfast and the a teacher picks us up. We're now just 3 volunteers so we are all going to the same school to teach today. It's a planned full day and I'm excited about it! We drive about 15 and then arrive at a big school. When you enter there is an elaborate wall and gate. Some of it is made out of colored stone. Other parts look like a temple woth the white walls and decorative red and gold tops. The grounds are beautiful! There is a massive tree on one side and plenty of medium size trees to fill in ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai July 10th 2015

It’s Friday and I can’t believe the first week has flown by so quick. At breakfast we find out that we can’t go to school today due to a teacher conference day. The group votes to head into Chiang Mai for the night. In reality, this is the last thing I want to do knowing that I’m spending 5 ½ days there with my siblings in a week, but I’m also in a group and out voted. So, I decide to make the best of it. We’re going to stay at Allen and Stassi’s house in the city. The cool thing is, on our way into the city, we’re going to make a few side trips to see some sites. So we pack up a bag for the weekend, lock up our rooms and load up ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Rai July 9th 2015

Today I was pretty excited. New things were on the horizon. I was happy to head back to the pre-school that I had been to earlier in the week. This time I was going there by myself. I knew this was going to be challenging because the teachers didn’t speak a lot of English, but the kiddos are just so cute! The teachers picked me up and we exchanged hellos. It’s a fairly short drive to the school and when we arrived all the kids were out in the grass playing in their playground area. So many smiling, happy, screaming faces. Once inside the big room, all the kids started to gather. Many of them remembered me from earlier in the week and were running up to say hi. All of them with these massive smiles ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Wiang Pa Pao July 9th 2015

A big part of this trip is to dive into the cummunity and give back. I decided to donate my time and volunteer with Tree Top Country in the Chiang Rai province in Northern Thailand. So bright and early on Sunday morning I woke up and headed out for the airport. I took a mini van shuttle to the airport and literally thought I was going to die. The driving is tailgating so close on the freeway and driving so fast and weaving in and out of traffic like a crazy man. After 45 min of this, I'm very happy to arrive at the airport. I get all checked in and have plenty of time prior to my flight. This is the older airport in Bangkok and I enjoy the funniness of the food. Starbucks. McDonalds. ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand July 7th 2015

Friday morning I got up at my leisure and tried out a new place for breakfast. Got fresh squeezed orange juice which tasted so good and was back off to the commuter boat dock for a ride back down the river. This time I pay on the boat with no issues, hop right on and off and the grab the ferry to cross the river to Wat Arun. This temple completes the trifecta of temples in Bangkok and I'm excited to go and see it. Only sad part is its under major reburb and much of it is closed. So my photos are not the best, but it was still a joy to see! Built in the 19th century, what makes this sit eso unique is that the entire temple is covered in broken pieces of ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand July 6th 2015

It's now Thursday in Bangkok and I'm up early for a day trip that will take me about 2 hours outside of the city. I'm heading to Ayuthaya. This city was the capital of Siam from 1350 to 1767. The history here is incredible. 33 kings ruled this city. 70 wars were fought between 1350 and 1767. It was a major hub for trading. It was a city rich in pride, traditional and culture with merchants visiting from all over the world. In 1991 it was declared a Unesco World Heritage site and said to be something not seen anywhere else in the world. For me, places lime this are the reason to travel. I load up at 7 am in a small tour mini van. We make our way around Bangkok picking up a few ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok July 5th 2015

Day 3 and still not sleeping well. I. get over how messed up sleeping is on this trip. Normally after a couple of nights I'm fine. Not so far on this jaunt. I grab breakfast, banana crape and honey, and head out on the days adventure. Whenever I travel I always end up on some sort of public transportation. This trip is no different. I make my way to the river and plan on hoping on the local express canal boat or commuter boat and make my way down to Wat Pho. I end up missing the narrow walkway to the boat pier and stumble upon a very pretty park in my neighborhood. I spent some time wondering around and then discover the walkway along the water and make my way to the ferry dock. I ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok July 3rd 2015

After sleeping on and off all night long, I finally just stayed awake around 5 am. Today I had quite the agenda. I ended up grabbing breakfast at the hotel restaurant and it was so good. Thai traditional breakfast of broth, chicken, rice and scallions. I loved it so much I wanted to order another bowl! Then I headed out to see Golden Mount or Golden Temple. I picked up a Tuk Tuk. For those of you that don't know, this is a 3 wheel cart of sorts used all aound the city. The driver was so nice and the rode was fun! I arrived at Golden Mount and it's a little off the beaten path. It's a large temple built on an artifical hill. The top is all gold and glows in the morning sun. ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok July 3rd 2015

Flying to Asia is no joke but also interesting. I flew Newark to Hong Kong non stop. Prior to boarding the plane i was trying to figure out what the routing was going to be. I was excited to see that we would be flying over the arctic! What i was not prepared for was that our entire flight was in daylight. 16 hrs of daylight. Sometimes so bright i couldn't lift the window shade! The highlight was flying up the coast of Greenland. All the mountains snow covered and fjords with floating chunks of ice. At 35,000 ft that's what it looked like! I was able to grab a few photos but my seat was on the wing so they aren't the best. Arriving into Hong Kong was cool. The sun was settling and i ... read more

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