Six weeks. It’s been six weeks since I stepped foot outside our border. Crazy as it may sound, that’s something of a record for me in recent years and I must confess, it’s been somewhat nice. I forgot how much I really enjoy my own bed. I’d been so tired from travel that I often wasn’t invested in one of the things I love most: Exploring my own backyard. But not to worry, a couple days in Tijuana next weekend will break this streak. And then in November, things great really real. We’re traveling. A LOT. As in one trip to Rome, Budapest, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and maybe Kyoto then a month later a journey back to Hong Kong, a safari and more with Laura’s family in South Africa, a stop in Doha before a quick visit with my family in Chicago en route to El Salvador. This will be the most we’ve traveled since our epic jaunt through Asia in 2012. And here’s the thing: we need your help!
Europe and Asia trip in November
We’ll be slurping ramen and exploring sushi in Japan for Thanksgiving. This, after a quick trek through parts of Europe. We had planned to have three nights in Budapest and four in Tokyo but a dramatic schedule change on our flights changed that. After hours back and forth with the airline, we managed to get an added overnight in New York changed to become an overnight in Rome. So Thanksgiving week will be a busy one, but hopefully a fun one. Here’s what our itinerary looks like right now (fingers crossed that we see no more itinerary changes):
Rome: 28 hours
Budapest: 2 days
Amsterdam: a 6 hour layover that we intend to use to explore one of my favorite European cities
Tokyo: Four days if we want it, or two days in Tokyo and two days in… Kyoto?
Here’s the thing. I’ve been to Rome but Laura has not. Neither of us have been to Budapest and are most excited for this visit. And we both loved Tokyo and have a better idea of what we’re craving again (Ichiran Ramen, an introverts dream come true!). But nonetheless, we’d love some advice: What’s our go-to dinner in Italy? What’s not to be missed in Budapest? And in Tokyo, any sushi advice? Should we go to Kyoto or concentrate on Tokyo?
Hong Kong: We’re going back, back, to Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Alright, so it doesn’t flow as well as Cali Cali but you get the point. We loved Hong Kong. We loved eating in Hong Kong. So we’re excited to have a few days back in the majestic city.
South Africa: A visit to Johannesburg. Time spent with family, old friends, penguins, and wine in Cape Town. And our first ever safari in Pilanesburg National park!
Doha: Scouting the World Cup?
Not much is known about Doha to us other than it was the one city that solved our routing puzzle to give us a cheap award ticket (125,000 miles and $200 for each of us for business class all the way). We’ve got two days there to check out the Museum of Islamic Art and…?
Then it’s off to Chicago to freeze a bit but enjoy time with family, before dropping Laura off in LA where I’ll rest for 48 hours before getting on a flight down to San Salvador for a week with faculty and staff members from my university.
Yes, I love my job.
So what food spots are not to be missed in Hong Kong? What great activities beyond our epic safari we should be thinking of in South Africa? And in Doha, once we finish with the Museum of Islamic Art, what else should we be thinking of checking out or exploring? As excited as we are about their business class terminal, I don’t think we can hang out there for 48 hours. Well, I would be happy to, but I think Laura would go crazy.
What Advice Can You Give?
We have loved some of the feedback we’ve gotten on this blog. Several posts have come about not because of any great idea we had but rather because what you, our awesome readers have suggested. So if you’ve got an idea, leave it in the comment section below. If you’re shy, that’s ok–you can shoot us a private message via our Facebook page. But we’d love suggestions based on personal experience in any of the places mentioned or a heads up about anything you’ve heard about but haven’t had a chance to check out yourself in these areas. Thanks!
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