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Surfing Soapbox: Exploring Thailand

May 19, 2011|By James Pribram

It's truly amazing how different each trip I take is and how some trips can be short in duration but long in experience. Getting home yesterday from Thailand was one such trip, mainly because just getting to my first destination took nearly 24 hours. Arriving at 3 a.m. to the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort & Spa in Pattaya threw my sleep pattern off like never before.

Later that day I was giving a keynote speech regarding my ECO-Warrior project and the importance of preserving our oceans, beaches and the overall betterment of our environment. It was a great surprise to find out a couple of days before that I had been invited. The weather was smashing hot and humid as expected. The food was unbelievable and the resort was nice with an unbelievable breakfast buffet each morning.

After a couple of fun-filled days at the beach doing some stand-up paddling, it was on to the capital, Bangkok, which is one of the craziest places I have ever been. With more than 8 million people in the city, just getting somewhere is an experience in itself. On some streets there are no lanes, with people driving as they please with not much order.

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I spent two days training and testing new race boards at the Starboard Bangkok headquarters, which was awesome as there was a lake right outside the offices. One day we took a little field trip to the mall, which was like something out of the movies with nine floors of huge stores filled to capacity. Strange how nice the mall was, but just outside and in surrounding areas, it was the complete opposite. The juxtaposition reminded me of how lucky some are just to be able to enjoy clean water and hot meals. Life is short, and I am convinced of just how lucky we are here in Laguna Beach.

JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha SchoolofSurfing.com.

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