Kenneth has been on several Zoom Vacations tours, but it was on Zoom Thailand where he fell in love… with an elephant. Kenneth spoke with us about his recent experiences with Zoom Vacations, Thailand, and finding love..
Zoom: What do you like about traveling by yourself on a Zoom Vacations tour?
Kenneth: I’ve taken three trips with Zoom, always alone. I love the mix of traveling with a group and having my own time whenever I feel like it. The hotels we stay at are often very luxurious and it’s a treat to get the whole room to myself. Interestingly, everyone on my last trip to the Maldives (perhaps perceived more of a couples destination) was single and we all had an amazing time.
Zoom: What are the other people on the trip like? Have you found it easy to make friends on these tours, and have you kept up with them back home?
Kenneth: I don’t think there is any particular “type” of person who travels with Zoom. I’ve traveled with people of all ages and backgrounds and have become firm friends with some back in New York. Bryan and Joel are always incredibly kind and inclusive with all their tour guests so it’s easy to join in or not, depending on how you feel on a particular day.
Zoom: Why did you want to go to Thailand?
Kenneth: I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Asia but I’d never visited Thailand. The timing was good for me and the itinerary looked like it gave an excellent introduction to the country. However, when I saw that we’d be bathing elephants as part of the tour I booked the same day!
Zoom: What was your highlight of the trip?
Kenneth: Highlight 1. I arrived into Bangkok after a very long flight, and when I got to my hotel room, my name was beautifully embroidered on the pillowcase on my bed (a gift from Zoom Vacations). I then went to the welcome event, and suddenly found myself on a chair getting a wonderful back massage, and then a glass of champagne was placed in my hand, as we took a sunset cocktail cruise on the river in Bangkok, and passed the Temple of Dawn. We ended the evening with a gorgeous dinner outside.
Highlight 2. Staring into Kanika’s eyes for the first time! Kanika (Little girl) was the elephant that I took care of for a few hours in Chiang Mai.
Zoom: One of the unique things we do on our tour is visit the Sukhothai archaeological site. What did you enjoy about this experience?
Kenneth: Sukhothai was a wonderful contrast after Bangkok. A small rural town that felt authentic and off the beaten path. The bike rides around the historic park were a perfect way to visit each of the sites. We were fortunate to be in the town during a local holiday and were able to witness a Buddhist candlelit ceremony on one of our nights there. Beautiful and Unforgettable
Zoom: What have you enjoyed about Thailand in general?
Kenneth: Thailand has a wide diversity of things to see and do. I try not to make generalizations about whole populations but the Thai people have been incredibly kind and warm in every interaction I’ve had with them. This really is a very special place.
Zoom: You also came with Zoom vacations to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. What parallels have you drawn amongst these destinations?
Kenneth: When our guide in Sukhothai explained about the other SE Asian influences on the sites we were visiting I started to immediately make connections with sites I had visited in Cambodia and Sri Lanka. The previous trips I’d made with Zoom provided me with real context on what I saw in Thailand. It hadn’t been intentional but was a great experience nonetheless!
Zoom: What keeps you coming back to Zoom Vacations?
Kenneth: I travel extensively both independently and with other tour groups. I keep coming back to Zoom because of the quality and consistency of the tours, the balance of touring and down time, and the amazing accommodations at some of best hotels in the world. Zoom’s attention to detail and “little surprises” along the way always make for a fantastic trip. I work in a deadline driven environment thats often exhausting. Knowing that everything is taken care of makes it really easy to relax quickly and enjoy my trip.
Zoom: Where would you like to go next with Zoom Vacations?
Kenneth: Up next. Rio, perhaps India or a Caribbean cruise!