It Would Be Wrong Not To

IMG_0121Here’s something you should know about me: I can be pretty spur-of-the-moment. It’s an attribute that helped get me invited recently on an amazing Caribbean getaway, but also may or may not be the reason why I ended up with so many kids.

It seems I prefer to let things happen organically.

Now, this type of life-strategy can be fraught with uncertainty. It can leave you wondering what you have in the pantry to feed your four children for dinner at 6 p.m. or whether you’ll be spending your golden years living in you daughter’s basement eating cat food.

But when it comes to vacationing, the what-the-hell approach really seems to be working out for me.

Don’t get me wrong: I’d love to be one of those people who can tell you where she’s spending her holidays through 2019. I have a girlfriend who’s already booked her all-inclusive stay in Mexico for spring break next year and Disney World the following summer.

I’d also love to be one of those people who has traditional annual getaways marked on her calendar. The Presidents Weekend ski trip you’ve been doing with a bunch of families since the kids were small or the end-of-summer beach house your extended family has been renting for years.

Sadly, I am none of those things. It’s expensive taking four kids on vacation. Throw in all their different schedules and the ten-year disparity in the children’s ages, and we haven’t all gone away together in years. I would also like to add that coming off a decade of having at least one teenager in the house might also be a contributing factor. Sometimes it’s hard enough sitting down to eat dinner together, much less paying to share a hotel room.

And since my divorce six years ago, the few traditional trips we did enjoy as a family have become a thing of the past (well, for me anyway). I loved our annual ski weekend at the Scooby Doo House – so named because the place was so dated it looked as if the Mystery Machine could pull up at any moment –with friends and cousins. While the house was pretty creepy, like I’d arrive bearing my own sheets and blankets, it was ski-on/ski-off and slept a ton of people and the mountain was manageable enough that the kids could go off on their own and feel like they owned the place.

For a few years towards the end of my marriage, I would accompany my husband to London for a long weekend in February. Say what you will about the man, but my ex can be super fun and for some reason, we were always able to push aside whatever strife was disrupting our stateside life and just enjoy those U.K. trips.

Nowadays when I travel it’s generally on the coattails of somebody else’s planning and often, arrives last minute. Which is where the benefits of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-life come in.

I just returned from one of those trips.

A few weeks ago, a friend texted and asked if I wanted to jump on her 50th birthday jaunt to St. Barth’s. Her husband had rented a villa so pretty much I just needed to get myself there. I knew that the trip had been planned for couples and tried to weigh the potential fabulousness of an island getaway with, once again, playing the part of the fifth wheel.

“We are so NOT couply,” my pal texted and when we spoke later, she explained that two of the couples had dropped out and she was trying to fill the open spots with girlfriends instead.

“Why wouldn’t I go?” I asked her, reasoning that I was also turning 50 this summer and didn’t really have anything planned to mark the occasion.

“Exactly,” she said. “It would be wrong not to.”

And just like that, a catchphrase was born.

Throughout the five-day trip, whether the question was whether to have a rum punch at 9 a.m., eat one of the little sugar-crusted donuts filled with Nutella that were delivered in a basket each morning, or take off our swim tops (See: starting the drinking day at 9 a.m.), the answer for all eight of us was invariably, “It would be wrong not to.”

In fact, had I not applied that way of thinking to a last-minute invitation I received a few years ago, I would not have met the birthday girl in the first place. Two friends from town were flying to one of their places in Florida for the weekend and they asked me to join them. We were going down on a Thursday night and would be joined the following day by the homeowner’s college roommate. But I was more than satisfied with the company of my hometown girls and didn’t really give much thought to the college roommate’s arrival.

Early the next morning, in walks the college roommate. We eyed either up and down. “I love your shorts,” she told me. “I love your shoes,” I gushed. And the rest, as they say, was history. It was love at first sight and we’ve stayed in touch well after that fateful trip.

Maybe another way of framing “It would be wrong not to,” would be: “When opportunity knocks, open the damn door.”

For my daughter, a recent college graduate, that meant saying “yes” to her first job offer following her very first interview. She came down from her bedroom to share the good news she had just received in an email while I was sitting outside on our deck drinking a bottle of rose with a pal. My daughter’s initial reaction was to reject the offer. It was so soon after graduation and she didn’t know if this is what she wanted to do with her life. And then my friend gently suggested, as only someone who is not the mother in that situation might do, that my girl had nothing to lose and so much to gain. A salary. Life experience. The opportunity to start figuring out what she really does want to do with her sweet, wild life. And before I knew it, I had a child with a Big Girl Job.

For my younger daughter, saying “Hi” to opportunity means juggling all-manner of odd jobs this summer, and it seems one gig has led to the next. She’s got a group of families for whom she babysits, taking kids to the beach or hanging out with them after a day at camp. She’s been helping a local caterer do some food prep as well as deliver dinners she prepares for customers. And someone in town hired her a few weeks ago to put together IKEA bedroom furniture. For someone who started the summer with not many job prospects, the girl is always working.

Last fall, my mom asked if my 13yo son and me wanted to join her for a November trip to Disney World. One of my sisters had dropped out and the villa she’d rented had enough room for us to tag along. Now, at the time, I was undergoing a financial downturn as I waited for the sale of my house to go through. I knew the villa was paid for and that my mom would probably treat us to most of our meals, but I still had to fly us there and pay for the park tickets.

But my youngest had never really been to Disney and none of us was getting any younger and, I reasoned, when would I ever have another opportunity to go with my own mother to Disney World? Or anywhere else with her, for that matter?

So I booked it. And guess what? It would have been wrong not to.

IMG_0378If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten to watch my 13yo son happily push my 4-month-old nephew’s stroller through the throngs of people at the Magic Kingdom one morning, pausing to stick his head under the stroller’s canopy to make the baby laugh. Or I’d have missed seeing my child walk hand-in-hand with his 4yo nephew. I wouldn’t have walked with that Tiny Husband down one of the side streets of Hollywood Studios, fresh off a spin on the Rockin’ Rollercoaster, and have him grab my own hand and hold it as we strolled towards the exit, happily chatting about what to do next. And, had I not said “yes,” I would not witnessed my mother – who is the opposite of me, a planner and always in control – deliriously out-of-control one night in Epcot.

We’d gone to the park after an early dinner to walk around and see if we could jump on any of the rides. We walked past spraying fountains timed to music and watched my 4yo nephew jump up and down when Nemo swam onto the screen in a darkened theater. Later, we strolled past the thrill ride Test Track and saw that there weren’t the usual long longs waiting to get in.

And maybe because she had just dipped and swooped over the majestic state of California on a ride called Soarin’, or maybe it was just being out of New Jersey and in Florida on a balmy November night, but my usually reticent mother seemed to be feeling a little more adventurous and before we knew it, six of us were on the line and moving towards the ride.

The last time I’d been on Test Track was when it first opened years ago and my only recollection was that it kept breaking down throughout so I guess we never really got the ride’s full effect. It’s pretty much like you’re pretending to test a race car – its brakes and steering, stuff like that – and in the end you kind of open it up and test its speed capabilities, but I didn’t remember it being particularly thrilling.

So we all climbed into our vehicle – my brother, 4yo nephew and his dad in the front and me, my mom and the 13yo in the back – and set off on our journey. The car jerked around the track as it went through its various tests and we were all laughing and pretending the 4yo was driving the car and yelling at him to stop being a crazy driver.

We twisted and turned through the course, dipping down sudden hills that gave our stomachs little jolts that made us whoop with delight, and about 3.5 minutes in were alerted that we’d arrived at the Barrier Test Area. The vehicle began flying down the track towards a wall that pulled apart at the last second and we sped outside into the warm Florida night. A light rain was falling as we whipped around the track and I turned to see my mom sitting next to me laughing harder than I’d ever seen her laugh – like, from deep within her belly – and her usually perfectly arranged hair flying in every direction. I’d never seen her so raw. So free. I sat next to her and tried to take it all in, imprint all the details of that moment – the rain, the force of the six of us hurtling down the track, my mom’s laughter – in my mental hard drive. I savored the sweetness of that moment like I do when I bite into that one perfect peach each summer. I know from experience that there will be plenty more peaches to come, but few –if any – will measure up to that one exceptionally juicy bite.

When I returned home I wrote about it in my journal, placing that moment at the top of my highlights from the trip. Seeing my mother from a new angle. Watching her let go.

Man, it so would have been wrong not to.

Planning a vacation and have room for one more? Obviously, it would be wrong not to ask me. In the meantime, you can sign up to get all of my latest posts sent right to your inbox by typing your email into the box below. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Part



In an effort to engage my children in conversation from an early age, I’d often go around the dinner table at night and ask my people what the best part of their day and the worst part of the day were. The “highs” and the “lows,” you might say. Generally, I’d get a lot of shoulder shrugs and eye rolls from my baby dolls, but this never deterred me. I’d press, “What was the best thing that happened to you today, buddy?” and maybe I’d get a, “Playing kickball at recess,” or, “Lunch,” and that was when they were still in grammar school.

Forget high school.

Usually though, the real conversations would come at night, in the dark, maybe after the millionth reading of Tikki Tikki Tembo when my child — softened by a tummy full of chicken nuggets and a long, hot shower — would start to open up and share some of the events of his day. Usually the worsts.

I miss those moments.

Nowadays I’ll get a call when someone has something sad to report and a text to share good news. But it’s just not the same.

I played the “Best Part/Worst Part” game a lot when I visited Hong Kong with my two younger kids last month. But honestly, there were really no “Worst Parts” on that trip. The challenge was sifting through all the cool stuff we did to pick the best “Best Part.”


We took the tram up to the top of Victoria’s Peak.


We ate delicious dim sum.


We pretended we were Buddhists.


We swam in the pools of a waterfall.


We had cocktails overlooking the lights of the city.

I think the “Best Part” of the trip for me was that of all the really cool things we did — jumping off a junk boat, riding waves on the South China Sea, swimming in the pools of a waterfall, spinning on a rollercoaster at an amusement park — my 12yo son’s “Best Part” of the trip was our visit to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island.


Tian Tan Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, Hong Kong.

It’s actually called Tian Tan Buddha and was built a little over 20 years old. The 200-foot-tall bronze statue sits high atop 268 steps and is part of the Po Lin Monastery. Around 20 percent of Hong Kong people are Buddhists so even though it’s a tourist destination, we got to see the reverence the site inspires among those who practice that religion.

Luckily the day was overcast making the 200+ step-ascent a little less terrible.

Luckily the day was overcast making the 200+ step-ascent a little less terrible.

Approaching the Big Buddha.

Approaching the Big Buddha.

The kids carefully watched monks walking around the grounds and Buddhists lighting incense using long, wooden sticks, placing offerings of fruit at temple altars or kneeling with heads bowed in prayer. As we walked up the long staircase to see the buddha up close, my son had a lot of questions about Buddhism.

Burning the long sticks of incense.

Burning the long sticks of incense.

Offerings in one of the temples.

Offerings in one of the temples.

Feeling it at Big Buddha.

Feeling it at Big Buddha.

“Mom, didn’t you used to be a Buddhist?” he asked.

“Did you say Buddhist or nudist?” I joked, as I’ve been neither and since I really don’t like taking off my clothes, would only consider the former.

I had offered to get each of the kids a souvenir from the trip and while my 17yo daughter chose a midnight blue silk robe festooned with colorful flowers and birds, my son chose a mini Buddha to bring home. Given there was a fair amount of weaponry — wooden swords and daggers — to have selected as his Hong Kong keepsake, I was pleased that my baby chose something so peaceful. It speaks to who the kid is.

Sampling souvenir options.

Sampling souvenir options.

While we were on Lantau Island that day, we had two other adventures. First, we hopped back on the bus — the same buses that took us to the Buddha from the ferry we took from Honk Kong Island — to check out Tai O fishing village. We careened along the windy road across the mountains to the edge of the island to the bustling tourist destination.

It’s pretty much a narrow alleyway you walk through to be assaulted with the sights, sounds and smells — wow, the smells — of a Chinese fishing village. I felt like we were on a movie set. The path was jammed with predominantly Asian tourists and lined on either side with shops and stalls displaying am impressive array of shit you can do with sea life. It hung dried from lines. It swam in colorful plastic buckets. It got formed into a ball and fried. It was beyond fascinating although some people in our party could not get out of there fast enough.

We hopped in taxis to get back to the monastery because we wanted to take a gondola that would head us back to our friends’ flat in Stanley.

As we approached the ticket counter for the gondolas, we saw that the line divided into regular ticket holders and those who upgraded to the “crystal cabin.” The grown ups looked at each other and I was like, “Crystal. Totally.”

I read that to mean “VIP.” I did that once for a ride on the London Eye. In that case, I think some booze might have been included and the upgrade expedited our trip to the front of the line.

In China, the upgrade brought instead a higher level of terror to our journey over the mountains and briefly over the South China Sea as the floor bottom of the gondola was glass. You could see straight down.

The secret to getting through about 25 terrifying minutes is to let go, which is what I did. Instead of imagining the cable snapping and our car plummeting through the treetops far below; or focusing on the fact that this would all be going down in China and isn’t that where lots of crazy things happen; I sat back and took in the breathtaking scenery we were gliding through.

Obviously, we survived.

It’s been about a month since we’ve returned from this life-changing trip and we’re already talking about where we’d like to go next.

My son came home from his first day back at school after Hong Kong and as he dipped his cookie into a glass of milk asked, “Hey Mom, can we go to England for spring break next year?”

And whether we can swing that or not a year from now, I love that that’s how he’s thinking.


That’s the best part for me.

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My Hong Kong Trip, Part 2


IMG_5352 (1)

When we last left this blogger, she had staggered off a 16-hour flight, spit out an expletive and proceeded to tour Hong Kong with her expat neighbors along with her two youngest children.

The China trip had always seemed so far away because we booked it so far in advance. I am usually pretty last-minute and willy-nilly about everything in my life so making plane reservations for the vacation six months ahead of time was a completely foreign concept (and really, setting the tone for the entire adventure). But we pulled the trigger in October, bought the tickets, and then started counting the days.

It turns out, I am not a great counter because all of a sudden — somewhere around mid-March — I realized we were scheduled to leave about two weeks hence and had done nothing to plan our itinerary. Zippo. I reached out to my girlfriend, who moved to Hong Kong last summer with her family, to ask her if she had any ideas and she messaged back, “Actually, what do you think about this?”

We were just a little busy.

We were just a little busy.

It was like a dream come true. We literally just had to get our asses over to the other side of the world, and our friends had made plans for the rest. It was like being on a tour or something.

The best part about the trip – well, one of the best parts about the trip – was that we had locals as our very own tour guides. And we were their first visitors, so things were still relatively new for them. It wasn’t like, “Oh, there’s that giant Buddha again (*yawn*).” They were as excited as we were.

Because we were with locals who don’t own a car, we not only got to experience the thrill of riding in a Hong Kong taxi, but we got ourselves some Octopus cards (Hong Kong’s equivalent of NYC’s MetroCard) and rode all sorts of public transportation, like the rollercoaster double-decker buses, the crazy little green minibuses and the MTR (or subway) all over the island. We also took a couple of gondola rides, but that’s another story.

We jammed a lot in during our week there, including breathtaking hikes, yummy dim sum, foot rubs, a twisty-turny rollercoaster ride above the South China Sea, a junk boat tour and a visit to the aforementioned Giant Buddha. And we ate at some outstanding restaurants but did manage to have a brush with some of China’s creepier food choices. Never — I repeat — never order a chicken Caesar salad for your lunch at a Chinese beach snack bar. Shiver.

Anyway, here are some of the highlights:

Hiking the Dragon’s Back

Since our friends moved to Hong Kong, they’ve posted lots of pictures on social media of amazing hikes they’ve taken around the island with their three young sons. I had indicated that we’d love to do some as well during our trip. So when I went to my local Athleta store to buy some fresh new tops for sightseeing and hiking (a goodwill gesture towards the Chinese people so that they would not subjected to seeing me in an item pulled from my old pile of stinky, pit-stained workout tops), I told the very enthusiastic sales woman that I didn’t anticipate any serious exertion. “They’ve got young kids,” I told her, “so we’re really just going to be going for walks and not quote-unquote ‘hiking.'”

So, it turns out that those expat friends of mine are fucking hiking with their kids. Like, strenuous stuff. Our first hike was the famous Dragon’s Back – named for the way the mountains the trail traverses resemble one of those fire-breathing creatures — which is part of the Hong Kong Trail. We climbed eight or nine miles of hills and steps, and it was kinda hot and we were kinda tired from the time change and maybe a tad dehydrated but then we looked around at the drop-dead gorgeous scenery and shut the hell up.

 Hitting the Beach at Big Wave Bay

The Dragon’s Back trail ends with about 1,000 steps down (literally) to Big Wave Bay, which is where we crashed (literally again)  for the rest of the afternoon. Who knew China had beaches, much less boogie boarding? Oh, and shark nets. That’s a thing.

Walking Around SoHo

We spent Easter morning in the SoHo section of Central — the big city on Hong Kong Island — and walked around a little after brunch.

Sailing Around the Island on a Junk Boat 

Later that day we walked down to Stanley Pier, right down the road from our friends’ flat, and boarded our very own junk boat. When my girlfriend told me before we left that they had made reservations on a junk boat, I envisioned we’d be on one of those old-fashioned Chinese-y sailboats with the red sails. You know, one of these deals:

Seen from our junk boat.

What I thought was a junk boat, as seen from our junk boat.

But, no. We boarded a lovely two-level sea vessel replete with beanbag chairs for lounging and a crew to make us dinner and sail us around the island. We stopped for a while off Big Wave Bay — outside the shark nets, I might add — to do a little swimming. Beer totally helped get me past the threat of sharks or the very large, red jellyfish we kept an eye on. As my girlfriend would say — and I began to follow suit — about a thousand times while we were there whenever we encountered something not-very-American, “Welcome to Hong Kong.”

Victoria Harbor Light Show

After dinner and a competitive game of Uno, we headed to the north side of the island to see the famous Symphony of Lights show. Asian countries — admirably, in my opinion — have a thing for lights. Like, the more, the better. This holds true in Hong Kong where all the crazy tall skyscrapers lining the harbor light up as the sun goes down and then at 8:00 each night, laser lights stream from the top and sweep across the harbor for the light show.

This is totally not my video. Thank you, YouTube.

Honestly, we had a hard time — sitting there on our junk boat in the middle of the choppy harbor — gauging just when the show started or stopped. We were a little underwhelmed. But we happened to catch the show a few nights later from a restaurant high above the city, and it seemed a lot better. But who cares? It was a spectacular setting.

Oh, and there was a full moon.

But Wait, There’s More …

I think we’re going to need a Part 3. There’s so much more to show and tell you about. We still haven’t even gotten to the Big Buddha, the insane gondola ride over mountains and the South China Sea or all the smelly fishing village we visited. Not to mention all the toilets I took pictures of. No, we’re going to need to do this again.

Stay tuned.

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My Hong Kong Trip, Part One

The kids and I at the top of Victoria Peak.

The kids and me at the top of Victoria Peak overlooking the harbor.

In the ten days or so since I returned from my spring break trip to Hong Kong, I have experienced the following: searing jet lag; a day-long road trip to visit my father who lives a two-hour drive south; lunch and a visit with my mom who lives much closer; the theft of my purse and wallet while walking at a local park with a friend and subsequent scramble to prevent said thief from making any further purchases beyond the $1,500 spent at Target and Lowe’s or from buying, say, a new car in my name; a visit with college friends in Brooklyn that gave me the impression I’d stumbled into an episode of “Girls” cast 25 years in the future in which I played the schlubby pal from New Jersey; and yet another college tour as the big decision day approaches for my 17yo requiring a total of about eight hours of driving, the consumption of two bacon cheeseburgers in 24 hours and lots of smiling.

I’m tired, and I don’t even have a banana in my house at the moment, much less ingredients to produce something for dinner later this evening.

I’ve also had a Jiminy Cricket of a hard time trying to wrap my arms around my Hong Kong experience to tell you about it. It hasn’t been easy summing it all up in 1,000 words. I think it may need to be done in a couple of posts, so I’ll begin with some overall impressions of the trip along with my thoughts on combining drugs and alcohol for air travel (spoiler alert: I’m a fan).

It seems trite, referring to a vacation as a “trip of a lifetime.” Like, until recently, I couldn’t have really told you what that meant. I mean, aren’t vacations — by their very definition — all memorable?

But now I know, some destinations stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. Like Hong Kong.

As we prepared to board our plane departing out of JFK and had our boarding passes scanned one final time, I actually started getting a little hysterical as the kids and I started down the ramp, toting our backpacks, neck pillows and assorted reading and viewing material.

“We’re going to China,” I cackled and proceeded to laugh uncontrollably as we neared the plane door until my 17yo told me to calm down. “You’re gonna get us arrested or something,” she hissed. Ever the alarmist.

But in the days leading up to our departure, I had begun feeling a little unhinged about flying half way around the world with my two youngest children. It had just seemed so – I don’t know – BIG. I mean, who goes to China for spring break?

Not a lot of people in my neck of the woods.

I know this because the nearby Billabong store was keeping track of where all of its customers were traveling over their various school breaks. The store had propped a piece of poster board behind the register divided into boxes bearing the names of the different destinations, and they used tally marks to keep track of how many customers were headed in each direction. We’d stopped in the store a few times before our own trip – to pick up a bathing suit and some shorts for the 12yo – and had mentioned on the first visit that we were flying to Hong Kong, which the Billabong folks happily included on their getaway chart. It seemed the majority of spring breakers were headed to Florida, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico but there were some other pretty exotic destinations listed on that poster board – like Ireland, Ecuador and Fiji.

As of the day before we departed, there remained only one check mark under Hong Kong.

But we made our way towards the back of the plane and settled in and one Valium and two (or maybe three) free plastic cups of red wine later (pour moi), we were landing in Hong Kong (my strategy for mixing drugs and alcohol to get through the long flight was to keep my intoxication level just under Judy Garland territory, so I refrained from singing).

Upon my return, the Number One Question – other than “How was the food?” – has been “How was the flight?” I’ll be honest, sitting for 16 hours in coach is no picnic, and I’m a lazy person who generally enjoys sitting around and doing nothing. Although I am not a tall person, my legs started freaking out at one point and I had to get up and walk around and perform some light calisthenics while waiting for the lavatory.

But for as kind of shitty as the flight was, I’d do it again in a second just to see our friends’ faces as we made our way out of baggage claim to where the five of them stood anxiously waiting for us.

It was an amazing moment and had I not been so delusional at that point, I might have thought of something more emotional/sentimental to say to them other than the first thing that popped out of my mouth, which was, “We’re in fucking China.”

And that brings us to Hong Kong.

It. Was. So. Worth. It.

(And visiting Asia was never on my bucket list of places to go. Who knew?)

Being cooped up on a plane for 32 hours (look, I’m doing math) is a small price to pay to be able to visit Hong Kong. It’s stunning – lush, green mountains alongside a dazzling skyline and surrounded by the greenish-blue South China Sea. And there is so much to see and do.

For those of you who don’t know — and really, until my friends moved there, I knew not one thing about Hong Kong (other than the whole British relinquishing colonial rule in 1997) — Hong Kong is kinda where East meets West. Everybody speaks a little English (except the Cantonese-speaking taxi drivers). You can find a burger and pizza alongside dim sum and fish balls, sometimes right next door to each other and sometimes on the very same menu. It’s interesting. There’s even a Hong Kong Disneyland.

Here are 10 facts, courtesy of USA Today.

Hong Kong at the bottom of China and is composed of four main territories. My friends live on Hong Kong Island in the southern section near the beach and to the north of the island lies the city and the bustling Victoria Harbor. Across the harbor is the city of Kowloon, which is at the bottom of China’s mainland, but still a part of Hong Kong proper. It’s actually where the tallest building in Hong Kong is located and where you can find markets filled with weird things you never knew people wanted to buy. Or own.

All this shiz is happening at the bottom of China.

All this shiz is happening at the bottom of China. We mostly stayed on the red part, Hong Kong Island.

Traveling to Asia let me experience something so unlike my life here in New Jersey – the sights, the sounds, the smells (and some of you more snarky folks might have thought New Jersey had the ripest odors of all) – that I think made the trip not only a memorable experience but an important one for all of us, especially my kids. I really think the journey will prove to be life changing for them because now they know just how big the world is. And kind of how small it is at the same time.

It was so satisfying seeing my two children — who are in their prime obnoxious teen years — just get it. They totally got how lucky we were and how special it all was.

Over the course of our week-long stay we did lots of amazing things, like jump off a junk boat …

This is how we celebrated Easter, jumping into the South China Sea.

This is how we celebrated Easter, jumping into the South China Sea.

… visit a giant Buddha …

The Big Buddha on Lantau Island.

The Big Buddha on Lantau Island.

… take a terrifying ride in a clear-bottomed gondola …

I shit you not.

“Try not to think you’re in China,” I kept telling myself during the 25-minute ride.

… and walk around a local fishing village.

Fascinating Tai O fishing village.

Fascinating and smelly Tai O fishing village.

I’ll share more pictures and all the details over the next few days.

In the meantime, here’s the bottom line: Do not let fear stand in the way of going to new places and doing new things. There is a whole great big world out there — and things to discover right around the corner, too, not just on the other side of the globe. The experiences and the memories more than make up for any anxiety you may feel bubbling within you.

I know they did for me.


Make this your motto. Credit:

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