Your Home & Garden editor is finally having a vacation and reporting to you from Thailand.

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, or other exotic hot spots like Vietnam or Bali, there’s one important thing you need to know. They’re a long, long way away. I’m in Thailand right now and getting here was brutal.

Last year, as I faced breast cancer and wrestled it to the ground, I decided­­ I was going to reward myself with a trip to somewhere I hadn’t been. Since my daughter, Dimity, was backpacking around Southeast Asia, Thailand seemed a good place to meet.

I'm not a fussy traveler and have been on long journeys before, but the flight to Thailand was excruciating. Fifteen-and-a-half hours to Hong Kong, three hours wandering aimlessly in the airport, then another three-hour flight to Bangkok. If you're tall, or a little over your ideal weight, do not travel in the cattle car. You won't fit in the seats. I hoped we’d get some interesting food since we were flying on Cathay Pacific, but sadly it was just your typical rubber chicken and gloppy pasta. It’s amazing what you’ll eat when you’re trapped in a seat with nothing to do but watch movies.

Thailand is 11 hours ahead of New York, and having your internal clock turned upside down takes some getting used to. We arrived at midnight, Bangkok time, and there was Dimity waiting for us at the airport. Gosh, it was good to wrap her in a big bear hug! We found an ATM at the airport and took out some Thai baht (30 to the dollar) and headed into town.

I’m not sure what I had expected of Bangkok, but it certainly wasn’t a smoggy metropolis spread over an area that looks larger than New York. The whole city seems to be under construction, and the traffic is unreal. Maybe tomorrow, after some much-needed sleep, things will look brighter.

Have you ever been to Thailand? Got any tips for me?  Email me at .