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  • Writer's pictureTravelOctopus

Trading Thailand for Texas

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Once upon a time, before there was this #virus going around, #thailand was high on the list as a December #holidaytravel destination. We were working up a whole thing that was going to start in #phuket and #kohsamui for a good Christmas #beach thaw out & James Bond sighting, and then fly up to #ChiangMai to visit the Elephant Nature Park. Touching, bathing, and connecting with an elephant was so high on my bucket list I could cry. (And then we were going to end in #Bangkok for New Years Eve to finish out the itinerary).


Then Covid came, blah blah blah.


So one morning on my trip around the internet looking for alternative places one could potentially take a safe pandemic Christmas trip, I discovered The Preserve - an elephant sanctuary experience in Fredericksburg, Texas - about half way between Austin and San Antonio. Christmas 2020 was saved.


The Preserve was an educational, fun and completely safely-managed wildlife experience that let you bathe, hug, and learn the wisdom of these elegant elephants. As an enrichment activity the elephants are often given paintbrushes and canvas to create their own elephant art, and while some of that smacks of gimmick, I'm here to tell you I didn't care and bought one instantly. Plus, doing so got me a one-one-one with my Elephant Artist Rosie, and if you haven't been hugged by an elephant while you're holding her painting, well, there's a little piece of you that is still incomplete.


I went on to round out the trip with pandemic-safe, mostly outdoor #history and #wildlife itinerary through #Texas #HillCoutry, which included The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch & Caves, and the LBJ Ranch.


So while Thailand remains on the list of somedays, there is no reason you can't still have fantastic wildlife experiences closer to home! Other amazing domestic wildlife adventures exist in #colorado, #montana, #Arizona and #California, let us know if you want help finding them!

The Preserve Elephant Sanctuary Texas

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