When I would tell people at home that I would be traveling through Thailand on my trip, a lot of them would immediately say “Oh, you just have to ride an elephant!”. And then I would cringe. I already knew from reading travel blogs and doing my own research that riding elephants is really, really bad for them and elephants in these sorts of camps have been horrifically abused. This is particularly prevalent in Thailand–especially with the huge amount of tourists the country sees–but luckily there is a safe haven for these adorable pachyderms in Northern Thailand. Elephant Nature Park, outside of Chiang Mai, works to rescue and rehabilitate abused and distressed elephants. For 2,500 baht ($68 USD) you can volunteer at the park for one day. The price includes transport to and from the park, an amazing lunch, and a full day of volunteering with the elephants. I have absolutely no complaints about my day spent here. It is a good reminder of the importance of traveling sustainably. I visited the park on July 4th, which is Independence Day for us Americans, and it was by far the best 4th I’ve ever had!