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Big Elephant Magic Thailand-A Journey Well Taken

Nowadays we see the words “if you can dream it, you can do it”, written all over the place. Social media memes, popular books and blog posts all seem to be saying that anything you decide you can do, by golly, you can do it! The Universe in her infinite wisdom will open her arms and plop you into the life of your dreams!

I have nothing against the power of positive thinking, goal setting or even big dreams, but I do take exception to this pervasive notion that great things are accomplished by wishing for them. Heck if that were the case, I would have been a rock star in 1992!

What is frequently left out of the “if you can dream it” catchphrase is the staggering amount of work, sweat and fortitude that accompanies the “do it” part of the plan.

Accomplishing anything in this wild and unbalanced world takes an infinite amount of hard work, a nearly debilitating daily slog over self doubt an iron clad fortitude in the face of constant obstacles and set backs. Few things of value have ever been accomplished by less than earth shattering commitment and more than one sleepless night.

Very occasionally however, work, success, fear and hope get on the life bus at the same time and somehow, someway, dreams happen.

Last year, after coming off a very rocky season of Arte for Elephants, I sat down and dreamed of harnessing all of the things we’d learned, our love of travel , business skills, tourism experience, commitment to making a difference and sharing them with like-minded people.

After months of research and planning (and no small amount of nail biting), Big Elephant Magic Retreats were born!

We knew we didn’t want our retreats to be just another tour (yawn), or anything too structured, we wanted to strike a balance, encouraging exploration and inspiration in a unique setting, inviting ideas through gently directed art projects, supporting compassionate people through shared community and of course, the ability to see amazing sights including elephants in a 100% ethical way.

Painting Elephants in the Rainforest! (Photo. D. Rutter)

Most of all, we wanted it to be fun!

Now, several weeks after getting home and finally saying adios to jet lag, I am ecstatic to report that our Big Elephant Magic Retreat- Thailand was a huge and overwhelming success!

Was it 100% flawless and perfect?

Not by a long shot, but (and our participant surveys back this up) Big Elephant Magic Thailand, succeeded in it’s goal of crafting a community, igniting creative spirits, forging friendships, visiting elephants humanely, experiencing breathtaking wonders and, of course, it was FUN!

Ultimately, the true joy of achieving this dream, would not have been half as sweet, or success half as fulfilling without the monolithic stress and hours of terribly hard work that went into it. Those are what made it worth doing.

So the next time a big idea or dream pops into your head, take a moment, think about all of the delightful, consuming, frustrating, rewarding things that go into making it happen. Take deep breath, get out there and get that dream going.

You got work to do.

Big Elephant Magic Guest! (photo L. Broughton)

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