Regent Singapore 

When you’re traveling overseas and don’t want to rent a car, being in a central location is key. That’s one reason my husband and I opted for the Regent Singapore, a Four Seasons Hotel. It’s a close walk to all the shopping on Orchard Road (comparable to Beverly Hills) and just a few minutes from the gorgeous Singapore Botanic Gardens (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Travel Woes: When Things Go Wrong

When I used to travel by myself, I never worried about getting sick in a foreign country. But now that my husband and I are parents of a young child, we’re more cautious. While most of our vacations have been drama-free, there have been a few incidents that caused us a bit of worry. I talked to some travel industry experts to get their advice on what to do when things go wrong.

Sleepless in Seattle

I know that it’s cool to say that you don’t like to visit tourist traps. But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I enjoy tourist traps, which is why when we took my mother on her first trip to Hawaii, we went to Honolulu. And when you’re traveling with a little kid to Seattle, it’s fun to re-visit attractions like the Space Needle through their eyes.

Passports: What you need to know

This is the time of year many people start planning their winter vacations. If you want to travel out of the country, it’s important to have a valid passport. But, what many people don’t realize is that depending on which country you’d like to visit, your passport may not be “valid.” Confused? I hear you.

Family bonds locked in time at Seoul tower

The main characters in K-dramas often demonstrate their love by attaching personalized padlocks on a fence on the tower’s observation deck. Tens of thousands of “love locks” can be found here. It’s a trend well established in cities such as Paris and Prague, but the tradition has taken on an added dimension in Seoul. While couples still attach locks to declare their love for one another, the fence has become a popular spot for adoptees and their adoptive parents to leave padlocks honoring the day they became a family.

Chicago (My Kind of Town)

Our kid likes to travel. He has taken high-speed KTX trains in Seoul, played in New York City’s Central Park and fed dolphins in Paradise Island (Bahamas). All of that was amazing. But it’s wonderful having a first-rate destination with skyscapers, museums and all the dining choices right in our own back yard. We’ll be back, Chicago, because we can’t quit you.

Korean cuisine beyond barbecue and kimchi

When I was young, I went through a phase where I hated Korean food. My mother would make fresh, home-cooked meals from scratch. And instead of realizing what a treat that was, I would ask why we couldn’t just eat TV dinners like all my friends. But these days, there’s no cuisine I enjoy more than Korean. And if someone else is willing to cook it for me, all the better! So when my family and I traveled to South Korea this fall, eating well was a top priority.

That time I climbed a glacier in New Zealand

So, I was having a conversation with some people the other day about coincidences. And I started off my story like this: “Speaking of coincidences, I ran into someone from my hometown when I was climbing a glacier in New Zealand.” Yeah. I sounded obnoxious. Even by my standards.

Staycation is all I ever wanted

Every year around my birthday, my family and I like to enjoy a staycation in Chicago. For me, it’s a chance to return to my stomping grounds in the city where I grew up. Before my parents realized their immigrant dream of buying a house in the suburbs, we lived in Chicago. I went to school, learned to parallel park and got my first big newspaper job there. For my husband and son, spending a long weekend in Chicago is an opportunity to visit some of the world’s first rate museums, dine at some amazing restaurants and go for a swim with a view of the city’s gorgeous skyline.

Komodo Dragon Attacks Tour Guide

Remember when Sharon Stone arranged for her then husband, Phil Bronstein, to pet a Komodo dragon at the Los Angeles Zoo? And remember when dragon bit him on the foot, completely crushing his big toe? I thought about this when my husband and I were on the eastern Indonesian island of Komodo, touring an area full of the dragons for which it’s famous. There were experienced guides leading our little group, and they carried large, pointy sticks. I remember asking the lead guide if that’s what he’d use if a Komodo dragon were to attack, and he said, “Yes. It’s very effective.”

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