I hope everyone has had a nice start to 2017 despite the inauguration of Emperor Trump. I am celebrating Chinese New Year for the first time in Taiwan with my extended family. We’ve paid our respects to those ancestors who came and went before us by burning incense and paper money, as well as offering all kinds of food and alcohol. Dad, Alex, and I have played two full rounds of mahjong with dear 100-year-old Grandpa already. And we’ll be eating a crazy awesome dinner tonight for Chinese New Year’s Eve. While waiting for the food madness to begin, it’s a good time to reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m planning to go.
If you have an unlocked GSM phone, you can easily avoid buying and carrying around a bunch of SIM cards with you especially if you’re traveling to a bunch of different countries by subscribing to any T-Mobile Simple Choice plan. They include unlimited data and SMS, and phone calls are 20 cents per minute. (I use my Google Voice number to get around that.) Check out the full list of supported countries, but I’m going to be keeping a running tally of how well the service really performs in each city I visit.
This post covers a special request topic from Aja who wonders, “What do you take with you when you are out for the day? You seem pretty minimalistic, and it would be an interesting insight to how you actually travel.”
Whether I’m out for an hour or eight, I pretty much carry the same stuff every day. Check out this comprehensive list of what I bring with me.
Visiting the Nagasaki Peace Park and Atomic Bomb Museum moved me to shed tears. My heart grew heavier as I listened to the testimonials of the bombing survivors. Tomihisa Taue, the major of Nagasaki, delivered this speech on August 9, 2016, the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing during World War II. I think it is worth sharing with a wider audience than those who can make it to the museum.
Curious about the breakdown of the kinds of accommodations I stayed in during the first three months of my round-the-world trip? Check out the tally and photos in this post.
Would I fly with them again?
I had a mixed experience, but since they’re pretty much the only airline that flies to the Azores Islands, I guess I’ll have to fly them again someday to get there.
I can never get enough street art, no matter where I am. Some is thought-provoking, while other pieces are amusing on an otherwise dreary day. Portugal has some creative street artists exhibiting their craft. See their work as shown in Lisbon and Porto.
Many lovely patterns are everywhere you look in Portugal, whether you are strolling through the winding, narrow streets of Porto or crossing a large plaza in Lisbon.
Porto is a treasure trove of culinary delights, not only because of its famous port wine. I tried not one, but two francesinhas. There are also less widely known local delicacies to discover, such as the sande de pernil.
Lisbon is the first place I’ve tried Portuguese food, and I’ve become a fan! Each region has its own specialties, and Lisbon offers a lion’s share of different kinds of seafood. It’s also where pastéis de nata were invented by the monks of Jerónimos Monastery.