When I was writing my book “Hug a Pink Elephant: Simple Ways to Add Adventure to Your Life” last year, I was so excited and it was pure joy for me. I had begun the greatest adventure of my life – international travel – and so many people were commenting on my bravery. But I didn’t feel brave at all, because I was just pursuing my dream – adventure.
Many people I know – especially women – would love to have a more adventurous life but really have no idea how. So, I’ve decided to print selected excerpts from Hugs right here every few days. Hopefully, someone out there will find inspiration and take on the adventure of their life. Or maybe they’ll simply begin to have adventures in their every day life.
You folks who are adventuring yourselves don’t need my thoughts on the subject. Carry on…
This is the beginning of the book.
“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.”
― Danny Kaye
HAVE YOU EVER HUGGED AN ELEPHANT?
The first question most people have asked about this book is what the title means. A friend suggested a title based on pink elephants and it took me a minute to get it myself.
In the beginning of my current adventure, the second country I visited was Thailand. I stayed in Chiang Mai for a month and, about two weeks in, I visited an elephant sanctuary in the hills outside this lovely town.
I had lucked out in finding a remarkable tuk-tuk driver, who spoke English well and took great pride in his work – Tony. He not only drove me out to the elephant camp, but walked with me, taking pictures along the way. At one point, he asked me if I’d like to go to the nursery, an area not on the regular tours. Excitedly, I said yes.
We trekked a bit to get to the area, secluded from the touristy part of the camp, and when we got there I was a tad disappointed there were no babies to see. But off to one side was a grown female, rocking agitatedly in her own pen. We found out she had recently lost a baby and was so distraught they were keeping her off by herself.
Tony asked if we could feed her. Her trainer hesitated and then nodded handing us a bunch of bananas. I went into the pen and fed her the fruit, which was quickly consumed. Then I began to rub her trunk, sides and ears. She quit rocking. Eventually, I stepped in close and hugged her several times. She was very gentle and sweet. Her Thai name, which I can’t remember, meant Full Moon. She was lighter than the other elephants and had a large pink patch on her face and some smaller ones on her ears. Full Moon was my pink elephant.
Even now, as I write this, I can see and feel her and I feel joy. In those few minutes I had truly made contact with something greater than my daily life, something beyond, and I felt an enormous affection overtake me.
On this trip, I have had many wonderful moments, but that one still remains the pinnacle of my search for adventure. I had hugged a pink elephant and it was wonderful. It was also unexpected and not part of any plan.
This is the whole point of this book. I will hopefully teach you how to find more of these moments in your life, whether you are still firmly dealing with the rat race or already on a journey of your own.
Let’s do this thing!