Before I moved to Suphanburi, Thailand to teach EFL in October 2012, I attended the week long orientation with CIEE (the study/teach abroad program I went through). Part of the orientation included riding an elephant.
In Minnesota, the largest wild creature you’ll encounter is probably a moose or caribou if you venture north enough. And they will certainly not let you ride them.
It was awesome and terrifying.
I have mixed feelings about it. I am confident that if I travel back to Thailand I will not support the elephant tourism industry, and perhaps visit a reputable elephant rescue organization.
But I don’t regret riding the elephant.
It reminded me that the world is big and full of beauty. And to have a healthy respect for the wild things in it.
Especially the ones that can crush you.