From Turkey to Thailand

As I mentioned my mother is paying for this fantastic, once in a lifetime trip to Thailand for me and my sisters. And it’s a good thing she did because the last time I went on an actual vacation where you get on a plane and go somewhere that you don’t have to clean up your own dinner dishes was in 1998. It must have been on a train because I’m not sure air travel was even invented then.

And even that was a working vacation. Actually it was pretty much all work, no vacation. I was sent to Portugal to tape my television show from there for a week. We worked every day from morning until night, but if you’re gonna work, hosting a television show is pretty much the easy way to go and if you’re going to host a television show, doing it from a castle in Portugal is the even easier way to go.

So when my mother declared she’d like to take me and my sisters on a trip I wanted to make sure it was a real vacation.  No tv crew, no microphones.  My mother’s first wish was to go to Turkey because she felt it was exotic.

I quickly talked her  out of that explaining there was a bit of civil unrest in Turkey and it might be a bit dangerous.  She fought me kicking and screaming but finally relented and decided if there was civil unrest she could live with going to Thailand.

Where there is currently civil unrest.


A very short lesson in the politics going on here. There are 2 factions in Thailand. Those who support the protestor side and those who support the government (the Prime Minister). The protestors feel the government is corrupt and want to restore democracy to Thailand. Those who support the government feel they’re doing a good job and are working in the best interest of the people of Thailand.


The people in Bangkok are 90% in favour of the protestors. The people in the outer provinces like Chiang Mai are 90% in favour of the government.

I’m safe, Betty’s safe, everybody’s safe, and as you can see … I’m working. I have issues.

We were a bit worried about coming to Bangkok because of the protests here and you know, the travel advisory and all, but we’re the adventurous type.

Plus I already bought a new bathing suit.

We left Bangkok just prior to the demonstrations becoming violent.




  1. Chau says:

    You could have picked Vietnam and hired me as your tour guide :-) No civil unrest in VN, cheaper and just as beautiful. Can’t wait to hear about your experience. Thailand is on my Bucket List.

  2. Anne says:

    Missing your posts, but also wishing you a fabulous vacation! Who knows, if this vacation goes well, you might just go on another. :-)

  3. Carole-ANN says:

    Hi Karen,
    My heart skipped a beat for you when I heard you were in Bangkok.
    First, because it’s BANGKOK for heaven’s sake …. beautiful, beautiful part of the world.
    Second, because of the political distress and damn it all, I hoped it wouldn’t interfere with your blissful holiday!
    Happy to hear that everyone is safe and sound.
    I HAVE to share this most remarkable spa since you’re in the “hood! in Koi Samui, should you be there and if you’re not GO!
    You can thank me later.
    And tell us ALL about it. Nothing like it … nothing!
    Hugs from snowy Ottawa

  4. Mickey says:

    Betty…no going off by yourself. Stay with the girls.
    And enjoy!

  5. kelliblue says:

    If you get tired of just TOO MUCH relaxation, you can just say “Phuket.” And come on home.


    Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  6. Grammy says:

    A friend of mine took her mother, sister, and her two young sons (ages 7 and 9) to Turkey two years ago. When I expressed dismay at the destination she said, “Well, Kevin read a book about Troy and he wants to see it.” So, yeah, they had a fabulous time and returned home safely.

    It’s true that there is civil unrest throughout the world, but some places are more unrestful than others. So be careful, hold hands crossing the street, and have a wonderful time. Bring us a a present when you return!

  7. Pati Gulat says:

    Karen…Turkey is FANTASTIC ! I used to live in Izmir and have gone back to visit since then. I love it and the people are very friendly…we lived right on the Aegean Sea . MAGNIFICENT…and I plan on going again in a couple of years.

  8. Barbara Harvey says:

    Enjoy your time away, but come home safely.

  9. Barbie says:

    Looking forward to more pictures! Be safe and enjoy your girl-time with your mom and sisters! How fun!

  10. Cathy says:

    You’re so adventurous and I’m so jealous. I’m just an old lady who wants to relax on a beach somewhere. Rambunctious patients coming out of anesthesia is about all the drama I can handle.

  11. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I MISS YOU!!!!!!! OK..have fun..take care of Betty..

  12. Janet says:

    Please don’t tell be you were waving a sign, with a meat cleaver on it!
    Have fun, be safe, watch your back….you just never know who might pick your pocket.
    Have a blast!

  13. toekneetoni says:

    glad you ladies are informed, aware and safe. Continued safe travels!

  14. Eve-Marie says:

    lol! Turkey would have been amazing. Went to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Efes, and Pamukkale last year and had a fantastic time (see link if interested). Went when the situation in Syria was just getting started and was very volatile. Not a whiff of unrest or danger the entire trip.

    Anyways, be safe, and have an amazing time! xox

  15. Sherri says:

    “…spruce up your hootenanny…” Lynne, you killed me with that phrase! All I can say in response is, it’s a good thing I had an empty bladder and a full cup of coffee.
    Stay safe, Karen, and (for God’s sake) get thee to the beach and sit on your ass for the rest of the trip.

  16. Lynne says:

    Have a hoot and don’t forget to spruce up the hootenanny if you are going to be wearing a slinky bather – suit :)

    So happy that you are having a rest amongst the unrest :))) Only you can pull off such magnificence.

    PS. Aren’t the people in Thailand just so beautifully happy and friendly? D’best !!


  17. Keep Betty safe and of course the rest of you! Any food adventures?

  18. Kelly says:

    When I was a kid living in Montreal, the FLQ crisis happened. We went to visit relatives in Manitoba who were all totally concerned for our safety, living in this area of civil unrest. They refused to come to visit us, as it was too dangerous. We never saw a single thing that was dangerous, unless you count the occasional soldier on the streets in the downtown city core. I’m not downplaying being smart and sensible, but the media do seize on dramatic/violent events because they are important and because they sell papers. But those events are rarely huge scale, ongoing and unavoidable. So we can’t sit at home in our little bunkers; better to go out and explore the world, with eyes wide open and a brain in your head. Enjoy Thailand. And personally, we loved Turkey – favourite place on the planet along with NS & France :)

  19. Rondina says:

    Reading these comments, I thought—this is everywhere. “There are 2 factions in NotCanada. Those who support the protester side and those who support the government (the GuyinCharge). The protesters feel the government is corrupt and want to restore democracy to NotCanada. Those who support the government feel they’re doing a good job and are working in the best interest of the people of NotCanada.”

    Possible upside. You aren’t visiting the Ukraine or Venezuela or Sochi outside of the “ring of steel.” : )

  20. Gretchen Sexton says:

    So very exciting! And interesting! But then again, that’s you–even on your most boring days. (You really don’t have them….) Keep safe and enjoy!

  21. Anita says:

    I am glad to hear that you got out before any violence! I hope you can enjoy the rest of your vacation. Sounds like Betty knows how to take care of her girls. :)

  22. Ruth says:

    Please be safe. Ooh-la-la….

  23. Sally A. says:

    I’m torn between telling you to stop working and focus on yourself and your vacation, and wanting to know everything that’s going on! I’m a little selfish. Thank you for your post! Be very careful and have fun!

    Also, does anyone know when booking through a Travel Agency if they are obligated to inform you of areas that are risky or unsafe? Or is it “buyer beware” and you must find out for yourself beforehand?

    • KiwiKat says:

      I don’t know about in the US, but in NZ as a travel agent, we would advise clients to check the Safe Travel website (a government website that gives current information about travel advisories issued for different countries). On a personal level, I had a fairly wide knowledge of destinations, so would make sure I passed on anything I knew and would either continue with the booking (if the person wanted it) or we would look at alternative destinations.

      We also advise people to get insurance at time of booking. A lot of people wait until last minute, but that can be some time before travelling – I had one client who took out the policy at time of booking and the next day political unrest (street protests, riots etc) kicked off – because she had the policy before everything kicked off, she was covered. If she’d left it until the next day, insurance would not have covered her for any rebookings (which had to happen in this instance because the travel advisory when from “safe” to “do not travel” overnight).

  24. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Praying for safe travels! ENJOY

  25. jainegayer says:

    Glad to hear you all are safe, Karen.

  26. Tigersmom says:

    Stay safe! Have fun!

  27. Nan Tee says:

    So very glad you and family are safe. Have a great trip, wherever you end up. We’ll be back here waiting for you. :)

  28. RosieW says:

    Tell us about the fabulous foods, Karen. Sorry this is inserting itself into your vacation and sending prayers.

    I don’t have a Betty nor $$s and travel vicariously. Bring it on with news of your days.


  29. Marti says:

    I’m glad to know you’re doing ok. Bangkok is a massive city, so I wasn’t too worried about you. (I have also been to Israel and Egypt, so apparently, I like to vacation in war zones.) I’ve heard Phuket is the most amazing gorgeous beach imaginable. I’m sure the photos of Betty in a Brazilian bikini will make it all worthwhile. Have fun!

    • Karen says:

      It is massive but the protests are everywhere! And we happened to be in the middle of them at all times for some reason, lol. ~ karen

      • Janet says:

        Please don’t tell me you were waving a sign, with a meat cleaver on it.
        Glad you are safe….watch your back though, you just never know who might pick your pocket.

      • Debbie says:

        Stay safe. I’ve been in a country at war while on vacation. It is good to keep your eyes open. That said, have a great time and relish being with your family.

  30. Laura Bee says:

    The world’s your oyster. . .

  31. Tracie says:

    I would like to say that I am surprised, and that I just knew you would embrace the idea of the relaxing “spa retreat” type of get-away. Truth be told, however….I totally saw this coming!! HA! You are such an over-achiever-relaxer-type-person…..I love it….xo

  32. Raymonde says:

    I’ll just paraphrase “Hill Street Blues” : Hey! You be careful out there!!!
    (that tells you how old I am…)

  33. Angela says:

    And that is why we are completely avoiding Bangkok. We’re hitting up Chiang Mai and Phuket, we don’t even have a layover in Bangkok. I can’t wait to read all about your adventures… when you get back! I can live with out my ‘Stuff’ long enough for you to enjoy time with Betty and your sisters!

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