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The scent of home in Hong Kong

We’d been in Hong Kong for a week and always noticed a particularly strong aroma of something faintly spicy, with vanilla overtones, on a walkway near our apartment.  We thought that whoever lived there must be an excellent cook. It smelled like whatever they were making was also tinged with a subtle amount of coriander or […]


A slice of home in Hong Kong

Since I grew up in New York I admit that I am somewhat picky about my pizza. I also had the added benefit of a Sicilian grandfather who ran a bakery on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village. Every Saturday he made the pizza that he grew up with in the old country. He lived to be 100 […]




So you want to chuck it all and travel the world?

Our friends tell us, “You’re living the dream.” Well . . . yes and no. In 2011, when Larissa was 52 and Michael 51, we walked away from our jobs in, respectively, life sciences and commercial real estate. Heartbreaking personal circumstances made our careers, and even our home, seem irrelevant and we needed a major […]


There’s no place like Earth: The world as home

We were at the other end of the globe: literally. The opposite spot on the planet from Philadelphia (known by map geeks as the antipodal point) is Perth, Australia. We were 12,000 miles from home, as far away as we could possibly be. Going a mile in any direction would actually bring us closer to […]


The surprising best pizza in the world

Pizza is our go-to food on the road, our favorite is New York-style. And when we return from a trip it’s usually the first meal we eat. On our year-long journey we tried pizza on six continents, including at its birthplace in Naples, to seek the best pizza in the world. But what surprised us most was […]


How to travel for a year: Picking destinations

The second most popular question we get about how to travel for a year has been: How do you decide where to go? (We’ll tell you the most common question later.) Trip planning is different for everybody but here’s how we did it. We knew there were certain sites that were “must sees.” Our top […]


Rooms with a view

We’ve generally rented apartments with some hotels thrown in. A few of them have had incredible views of either city scenes or country landscapes. The picture above is the view from our flat of the Sky Tower in Auckland. This being New Zealand, naturally they allow people to bungee jump off it. Throughout the day we’d […]


Airing our dirty laundry in China

Before we left for a year one of our friends asked us what we would do about our laundry. Since our first month was in China we figured finding a laundry wouldn’t be a problem. We were wrong. By the time we arrived in Shanghai three weeks into the journey we still hadn’t found a typical “Chinese […]


Food tips in a Shanghai taxi

It was a dreary, rainy day and we were sitting in a taxi that was stuck in traffic on the way to the Shanghai airport.  A car breakdown had caused the traffic to flow to the pace of a toddler. As the minutes ticked by we worried that we would miss our flight to Hong Kong. The […]


Book Reviews: Lost on Planet China and China Road

Lost On Planet China: One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mystifying Nation By J. Maartin Troost   Lost On Planet China by J. Maartin Troost is one Westerner’s take on the riddle of modern China. The country that Troost explores is not all that appealing. It is obviously crowded, 1.3 billion people have to go somewhere, but it is also incredibly polluted. […]


How to read TripAdvisor and Yelp reviews

Yelp and Trip Advisor are our go-to web sites for finding reviews of restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions. They are usually pretty accurate but it’s important to weed out the reviewers whose opinion you shouldn’t trust. Also be aware that Yelp viewers skew younger than TripAdvisor so take that into account when comparing places. Here’s […]