Interview by LaToya Allen || Images by Amanda Brimmage 

What is your name, and what do you do?

 My name is Amanda Brimmage. I am a full-time Doctor of Physical Therapy student at Hampton University and a part-time traveler.  I created my blog to share travel, physical therapy, and lifestyle tips as a source of inspiration to those who share the same interests as me

What made you fall in love with Thailand?

The Thai people were warm and welcoming, the country is filled with so much culture and history,  and the food.  Don’t get me started on the food or I’ll be here for days EVERYTHING WAS SO DELICIOUS.  And the weather was amazing…Everyone needs to experience Thailand at least once.

What are some things we should think about when planning a trip to Thailand?

Avoid high season and go during low season!  High season generally lasts from November-February, while low season generally lasts from June-September. The locals told us during high season, the prices of everything immediately spike up and becomes more crowded. We went during low season and stayed in an awesome Airbnb (with a king size bed) for only $16 a night!  We were worried about going during this time because it is also considered rainy season”, but the weather was still perfect. We did see some rain, but it never lasted long.  
Travel to more than one place in Thailand.  We were able to travel to Koh Chang, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok.  If you want to go to multiple locations in Thailand, you can either take a bus or a plane.  We chose to take a plane to each city and each ride was no more than an hour. Use one of the local airlines such as Bangkok Air or AirAsia. Some people will country-hop to neighboring countries as well.

When we get there, what should we do?

You MUST visit one of the beautiful islands.  We visited the island of Koh Chang during our visit, but there are literally hundreds of islands you can choose from.  While you’re there, be sure to go snorkeling.  We only paid 750 baht ($22.50) to snorkel at 4 beautiful islands around Koh Chang.
Elephant Nature Park. We specifically chose to volunteer at ENP because they take in previously abused elephants and do not support elephant riding.  We had the opportunity to feed the elephants, learn some of their personal stories, and watch them bathe in the river. They even fed us a yummy vegetarian lunch, because elephants are vegetarians.  This was one of the best experiences of my life!
Sign up for a Thai cooking class.  What better way to experience a culture than through its cuisine?  It was also a great opportunity to meet people from all around the world.  We paid 800 baht ($24) to cook 4 delicious dishes, visit a Thai market, and receive a Thai recipe book. 

What’s the best way to get around when you’re in the city?

While in the city, you can use the Grab app, Uber, or the red trucks (Songthaews). The Grab app is Southeast Asia’s version of Uber and it is much cheaper.  There are also Tuk Tuks and taxis, but they’ll try to overcharge you so be careful. Another option is renting a moped.  We paid about 250 baht ($7.50 USD) to rent one for one day. Make sure you’ve practiced enough before taking off and don’t forget they drive on the left side of the road! 

What is the one piece of travel advice you wish you had 5 years ago? 

JUST BOOK IT! Never let fear hold you back. When you see a deal, go for it. Everything else will fall into place. It always does. I started traveling so late in my life because I was always worried I wouldn’t have enough money, but I refuse to live in fear now.

How do you keep your skin glowing after so many flights?

 I honestly don’t do anything special besides trying to drink plenty of water! I also bring my travel size cleanser and argan oil on the plane during long flights. Argan oil is the truth! I love it because it’s very light and absorbs quickly.  It’s been great for hydrating and keeping my skin smooth.

Where can people connect with you online?

You can find me on Instagram @travelustpt, Facebook, and on my blog

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