For Mrs. Michelle Balan, it was so happy when she was accompanied by her beloved husband to discover this beautiful world. While after her husband left this world, will she plunge into sadness and stop discovering thereafter?
The answer was uncertain at first. As a 59-year-old lady, she was reluctant to travel solo. But as a song sings, "there is no cure like travel". She finally decided to try her first solo adventure.
There's no cure like travel
To help you unravel
The worries of living today.
When the poor brain is cracking
There's nothing like packing
A suitcase and sailing away.
-- There's No Cure Like Travel by Anything Goes
She took Southeast Asia as the first stop, because it was one of the common dreams of herself and her husband. Considering that the previous trip with Odyssey was so wonderful and memorable, she chose to travel with Odyssey again trustingly. Odyssey never let her down by taking care of all the challenges and details.
She encountered a group of lovely students in Vietnam.
"Planning my trip to Southeast Asia has been a wonderful experience. Cherry Weizhouhong, my travel agent at Odyssey Tours, has modified my personal itinerary numerous times to accommodate every request I've made. I'm confident we have all the details ironed out. Cherry even emailed me weather forecasts for the regions I'm visiting. Now I'm counting down the days until I leave. Thanks Cherry for putting my mind at ease."
-- Michelle Balan reviewed on the Facebook page of My Odyssey Tours before the trip
Feeding Elephants in Ban Noon's Elephant Camp in Laos
She thoroughly enjoyed her solo adventure. She admired the calming "Khmer Smile" in the magnificent ruins of Angkor in Cambodia, explored the gigantic underground network of Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, rode a sightseeing sampan along the picturesque canals of Mekong River, took an exhilarating elephant adventure in the impressive Ban Noon's Elephant Camp in Laos, and also met many people along the way, some of whom she will continue to be in touch with for years to come…all of these are exactly what she expected, but also far more than she expected.
Cruising along the canals of Mekong River by sampan in Vietnam
According to her, she was well looked after throughout the trip, just like Odyssey's slogan says, "You are not alone with Odyssey!" On Valentine's Day and her birthday, she was presented with a long stem rose and a lovely personalized birthday cake courtesy of Odyssey. Her travel consultant kept in touch with her throughout her tour via email and/or text messages to make sure she was enjoying her trip and everything was what she expected.
Birthday surprise prepared by Odyssey
It was the attention to details and real service that impressed her. Every time she returned to the car after spending hours in the heat visiting temples in Cambodia, the driver would magically give her an ice cold rolled facecloth that smelt of eucalyptus to wash face and neck to cool down. The guides were extremely knowledgeable, caring with excellent English skills, and took care of her every request without the need to ask a second time. They always keep a smile.
She looks so gorgeous in front of the majestic Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Odyssey did a great job to make her trip special and stress-free. According to her review in TripAdvisor, this was the most amazing tour and everything went off without a hitch, and she has never taken a vacation that was as perfect as this one.
She smiles so sweet in the fairytale Khouang Si Waterfall in Laos.
Now, if you ask again the question "will she stop discovering?", the answer is definitely no! She will keep traveling the world and enjoy every minute of it.
"Solo travel is a wonderful adventure. It's an opportunity to not only learn about the places you visit but more importantly, it's an opportunity to learn about yourself. I can't wait to take another solo trip with Odyssey!"