Yes! I am leaving on Sunday to travel to Asia for the first time. The wonderful people of China Southern Airlines and Tourism Authority of Thailand Los Angeles are inviting me as their guest along with seven other travel writers.
Pinch me now, I am over the moon excited to see this part of the world! Just imagine walking through Bangkok and the Chang Chui Market, shopping at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, visiting majestic temples, and a bike ride through the inner city oasis of Bang Kra Jao… maybe even a Thai Boxing Class!
Please welcome back Guest Adventurer, Angela Light, my college roommate and dear friend. She and her husband Jon are avid world travelers and the minute I heard about their most recent travel adventure, walking through Japan, I asked her to share it with you! Thank you Angela!
Walking Through Japan ~
Last year my then-59-year-old husband announced, “I don’t want a big party for my 60th! I just want to go somewhere with you. “ Jon is an avid sushi fan and a lover of the Japanese culture, so Japan it was. We decided on a three-week journey around spring break that would include two weeks in Japan and a “relaxation” week in Hawaii on the way home.
We had hiked with Backroads in Iceland the summer of 2015 and absolutely loved it. Jon wanted to duplicate that kind of experience in Japan. We love resorts, cities, fancy restaurants and hotels, and lots of culture, but we had recently discovered that we also enjoy another kind of adventure.
A New Discovery ~ Gourmandly
With a name like Gourmandly I knew immediately that we would have a great deal in common! Let’s see… “Gourmandly is here, crafting the world’s best gourmet travel programs. We believe tasting the distinct flavors of a place is the best way to intimately experience its culture, traditions, and people. Join us around our table and around the world.” Sure sounds like us, don’t you agree?
Since creating AdventuresofEmptyNesters.com, we have had the opportunity time and again to connect with so many like-minded people! I get so excited to share all of the wonderful things we find with you!
When you come across a great article or fantastic restaurant don’t you enjoy sharing it with others too?
Planning a romantic getaway for your sweetheart?
February is here and maybe you are thinking about a romantic getaway with your sweetheart? Maybe you are not… but just maybe you should think about it? I recently participated in a fun post with Expedia where fourteen travel bloggers offered their best ideas for a couples trip somewhere in the U.S. I was super flattered to be included and you can click ==> here to read the article! There were so many cities to choose from and I thought I would add to the list here.
Please welcome our newest Guest Adventurer… Yvonne from the blog Escaping the Empty Nest. Yvonne has quite an adventurous back story! She and her family sold everything to travel the world and then are settling in Paris. How exciting is that? To learn more about her inspiring story check out her blog. Thank you Yvonne for sharing this interesting & helpful guide to Shanghai.
Why is Shanghai a good place to go if you’re visiting China for the first time?
Because China is a big, fascinating, overwhelming place, and you need to start someplace that’s user-friendly. Shanghai’s your town.
Here are a few reasons why ~
People there are used to Westerners, so you won’t get stared at much and most people know some English. There is less air pollution than in Beijing, less military presence than in western China, and the plumbing is sturdier. It’s less crowded and more Chinese than Hong Kong, and the weather is pretty mild. There is plenty of beautiful, familiar, European style architecture (thanks to colonialism).Disclaimer: I’m not saying colonialism is good. We’ve figured out that taking over other countries is bad. But the Chinese are happily using all those nice buildings that the Europeans left behind, so it’s ok to appreciate them.
China is rough, but rewarding. Let me explain.
China is like my Aunt Myra. Feisty lady. She had some indiscretion before I was born and moved to California when she felt that the family wasn’t treating her right. (Leaving Texas is a huge deal. She might as well have gone to the moon.) We heard rumors both about her wild exploits and about her heroic deeds. Then, in her old age, she moved back to Texas and started showing up at family gatherings. Always prickly, she hurt people’s feelings and offended them, but she also made toys for the kids and told great stories. Pretty soon, she was back in the fold, occasionally telling stories about her California years, or refusing to tell and hence mystifying everyone. But she was one of our people, and we took her back, warts and all.
That’s how China is. We heard about China’s glory days in the past, but then it disappeared for a while and rumors flew. Now China is back, trying to get a seat at the table, and we’ve got to welcome it back. If you’re a human being, China is your people, too.
Just like Thanksgiving dinner once a year with Aunt Myra was a treat, Shanghai is a treat. It’s a limited dose of China, and taken in small quantities it can be thrilling.
I advise one of these three ways for you can to get to know Shanghai. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably arrived at that point in life between backpacker and Elderhostel: an adventuresome person who is willing to hike, but places a high value on a good night’s sleep and regular meals.
1. Your cushiest option is the full tour, booked in the US (or wherever you’re from, thanks for reading from distant lands!). You’ll stay in a western-style hotel, eat in safe restaurants, and have day trips to beautiful places. If you get sick or injured, they’ll get you a doctor. The drawbacks are lack of freedom and confinement with strangers. However, this is a popular option and there’s no shame in taking the road most traveled. You’re still getting out of your comfort zone and seeing new things.
I have never taken a tour, because I am not a caged bird and because I think the smell of buses is repulsive. Something about that diesel/vomit combo just doesn’t work for me. However, ask me again when I’m a senior citizen or if I suddenly get a whole lot of disposable income. Many’s the time I’ve watched an air conditioned coach disgorge its passengers into a restaurant’s sparkling private room, cool wet washcloths at each place setting, while I try to keep my dirty exhausted starving family members from killing each other while waiting for our table next to the bathroom. No judgement. I might join you someday.
A walking tour in Laguna Beach… yes please! Not only did I have the privilege of leisurely walking and eating my way through the charming streets of Laguna, but I learned a great deal of the history of the area as well.
Although I lived in South Orange County for 27 years, I must admit that my knowledge of the history of Laguna Beach was rather limited. However, Jeanne Lange of Savor Laguna dazzled me and the enthusiastic group of my fellow travel bloggers with wonderful stories of the founding fathers (and mothers). You will have to take the tour in order to learn of the original settlers, movie stars, artists and entrepreneurs who established this amazing beach town.
Find Adventure Luggage Tags! Yes! It’s our turn to do what we want, when we want to do it. Let’s start a movement and encourage creative, out of the box thinking and allow today to be the beginning of a new adventure. I have even named a hashtag after this idea ~ #findadventure. Not only …
The #findadventure campaign has got legs! The four-legged kind! Do you enjoy traveling with your pets? Taking a canine companion along is one creative way to mix it up, keep the family together and add a different kind of adventure to your travel! Our goal with the find adventure challenge was to inspire everyone to be creative …
This post is sponsored by Hurtigruten, but all of the opinions are my own. Adventure is the name of our game and I really want to investigate all of the possibilities! Please click on the sponsored links and photos so you can learn the details! When the representatives for the intriguing travel company, Hurtigruten, asked me if I …