This photo of local children in Bhutan was among Diane’s favorites from her trip.
By Diane R., 5-time traveler from Clinton Township, MI
My first trip to Asia (and my first O.A.T. trip) was your fantastic tour of Nepal, which I loved. (I gave an elephant a bath!)
However, Nepal was my second country in Asia: The first was the pre-trip to Bhutan. So few people have even heard of Bhutan. I have to explain it to them. It was closed for so long. Our O.A.T. group was one of the last groups to be allowed in before it was closed for the King's wedding in 2011. We got to see preparations for that momentous occasion: children practicing for performances, the bridal outfit being woven, the decorations and renovations. The country was closed to outsiders because the wedding was a family affair—and all of Bhutan was the family. We learned of a life so different, not only from ours, but from the rest of Asia: Traditional attire is always worn during work hours, a form of Buddhism that sends blessing out to the world via prayer wheels. A beautiful and protected existence to this day.
It was the trip of a lifetime and will remain so in my mind even with all of the other wonderful O.A.T. and Grand Circle trips I have taken since.