Traveling Tuesday: Early Inheritance

We are “traveling” back in time today…!

Now that I carry my SLR around me most everywhere I go, my shoulder bags and totes just aren’t cutting it any more. It’s literally a pain in the neck to keep it from sliding off my shoulder while trying to capture THE shot that requires the use of both hands. Thus, I decided a crossbody bag would better serve my purposes of shlepping my possessions around with me — a tan leather crossbody bag to be precise. While I really like this bag, tan leather will better round out my modest handbag collection and I like that it’s a timeless look that spans seasons as well as decades. Proof? I was admiring these at the Coach website

when I recalled that my mom carried something similar around at one time. I rang her up and hey, not only did she have a tan leather bag, she had THE ORIGINAL Original Rambler’s Legacy bag by Coach! In tan! See it up there in the top row? The best part was that she was thrilled to give it to me because it’d been neglected in the back of her closet for the past 20 years. It’d been a gift from my grandma to my mom 40-something years ago and now my mom was handing it down to me. :D

**Okay, I lied. The best part wasn’t that she was thrilled to pass it along to me and it was mine (for free!) just a week later. The best part is when it arrived… You know how they say scent is a powerful way to trigger memories? After being tucked away in her closet for years, the bag smells just how I remember my mom smelling from my childhood in a really lovely way. It particularly reminds me of all her hugs because I’d literally be enveloped in that scent, in her arms, feeling safe and loved. And that makes me happy to carry this bag around with me wherever I go now :)

{The author and her mother circa 1986.}

You can still travel with children…it’s just different.

My husband and I both have a love of traveling, it was one of the things we loved to do before we had children.  We traveled throughout Europe together and around the states. Then came our first daughter and we wondered to ourselves if our days of travel were going to soon be over.

We made a pact together that just because we had children we would not stop traveling and we both felt it was important to introduce our child(ren) to new cultures and expose them to people all over the world. Neither my husband nor I had traveled much as children and wanted it to be different for our girl(s) childhood.

We took the big plunge when our first daughter had just turned one. We headed off to Vietnam and Cambodia (my husband does business in Vietnam) so we were able to turn a business trip into a vacation. I have to admit I was nervous about traveling in Asia (I had not been before) but my husband had been countless times and was very comfortable with his surroundings. I thought the worse part would be the plane ride; it was 13 hours to Taipei and then a couple more into Saigon. I packed SO many things, but the only toy she wanted to play with was her Wikki Stix, which as a parent I thought they might be the greatest invention ever! Another tip: Only bring new toys (doesn’t have to be new from the store but new to the kid) and introduce them for the first time on the ride. We also got REALLY lucky and she slept for a good portion of the trip as well. I think this is one of the major benefits of traveling with the kiddies when they are younger.

We had an amazing time the three of us and we are talking about taking another trip next spring when our youngest daughter is over a year but less than 2 years. Don’t stop traveling because you have children, just change your attitude. It’s worth it!

Lantau Island, Hong Kong Day Trip

I realize that the logical thing would be to write about what I did and saw in Hong Kong in chronological order, but what I like most about blogging is the ability to share stuff that I’m really excited about whenever I want, and I’m really excited about what I saw on Day 4 in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong consists of a series of islands and Lantau is the largest and – aside from Disneyland Hong Kong and the international airport – the most undeveloped. It is in stark contrast and yet only a few minutes’ MTR ride away from the bustling Hong Kong metropolis. The mountainous terrain is rugged and wild with jungle-like natural forests while the coastline is dotted with tiny old-time picturesque fishing villages still in operation. We visited both.

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Prepping for Hong Kong

I recently returned from vacationing in Hong Kong and am ready to swoon about what a fantastic time I had:

The architecture!

The cultural sites!

The food!

The shopping!

And of course, the people! All truly amazing. Though, if you’d told me three or four months ago that you were going to Hong Kong I would’ve merely feigned polite enthusiasm. Due solely to my own naivety, Hong Kong was not even on my radar as a top vacation destination until the invitation to travel with a friend (and her parents who were born and raised in Hong Kong!) presented itself. The more I read up and heard firsthand from friends who’d visited, I realized this was truly an opportunity of a lifetime.

Before I go into the highlights of my trip, first things first: preparation and packing. I’m a bit of a Type-A planner and enjoy making lists and checking things off. A little peek at my list of to-dos for international travel:

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