Recommendations for a Romantic Getaway

Yes, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but keeping a list of ideas for romantic getaways close at hand for other special occasions – anniversaries, proposals, birthdays, or just to show a loved one a little special appreciation. What makes a destination romantic is as different as every person is. Whether your idea of […]

Read Great Books When You Travel

Like most travelers, I read a lot. Part of the reason I purchased a Kindle years ago, and the Paperwhite Kindle just a couple years back, is because even on the shortest of trips, I pack two or three books to read. And I can’t begin to count how many books I’d pack for a […]

Sip Up! January is Hot Tea Month

January is hot tea month, a celebration of the second most popular drink in the world (the first is water). Even here in the U.S., where we don’t often embrace the many rituals surrounding tea, our consumption is on a rapid increase. I tend to agree with British writer Henry James when he said:  “There […]

Tips for Planning Your Universal Orlando Vacation

I thought I was a pro when it came to visiting Universal Orlando. After all, I’d been to Halloween Horror Night last year and had been to Universal Hollywood just a few months ago. But with the ever evolving attractions, hotels and restaurants, and coming soon a waterpark, it sometimes feels like I’m at a […]

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A Complicated Update of My World Map

macau photoOn my most recent trip to China, I also visited Macao and Hong Kong. Politically, both of these destinations are in China – a fact that I was reminded of numerous times in the phrase “one country, multiple systems.”

However, when going to Macau from mainland China, you need to exit one “country” and enter “another.” And, when going from Macau to Hong Kong, the same exit/entry process applies, as does going from Hong Kong back to mainland China.

Let’s further complicate it with the fact that U.S. passport holders need a visa for mainland China (now valid for 10 years), while we don’t for Macau or Hong Kong (subject to length of stay, but not an issue for most casual travelers).

It’s a political distinction, I get it, but the reality is that transiting between mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong is like traveling between three different countries. So while I’m updating my map of “countries” visited, I know that it’s a complicated count. (The country counter I use counts them as two different “countries” while acknowledging that politically they are all mainland China. The Travelers’ Century Club also counts them as separately under their definition.)

There’s still so much of the world left to see!

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