I wanted to get as far away from "civilization" as possible. I thought riding an elephant in the jungle of Laos might appease that sentiment.
Our safety briefing: "You ride with her, jump on back, ride in river. Water is wet."
They usually ask most people to ride on the side-by-side chair perched high up on the elephant's back. But after he noticed my swollen calves and figured I could hold on to anything he had me slide down onto its neck. It actually felt more secure than sitting on that teetering chair. Riding through the lush river valley in water up to the animal's ears, listening to the deep thrum of the elephant's breathing, I felt I left civilization and arrived at "nowhere" simultaneously.