International Domestic Travel

I recently went to LA for a conference. It was a medical conference and not all in all that exciting. LA, on the other hand, is pretty amazing. It is as diverse as any major city in the US, and I would argue most US cities are more diverse then the rest of the world.

My conference was in Torrance and the company recommended I stay at the Miyako Hybrid Hotel (no affiliation). So I booked a room with no consideration as to what I was getting into. And boy was it awesome.

I went on line and checked out their website. On the site they claimed to be a hotel inspired by Japanese Culture. They were going to give me the opportunity to “experience the modern elegance and hospitality of the Japanese culture. So I was hooked.

 

Was it possible to take a trip to Japan without leaving the US?

The short answer is yes!

I showed up to the hotel, and from the front desk I could tell that this was going to rock. A Japanese clerk bowing greeted me at the desk. Now I am not an expert on culture, but this is definitely not American custom. I check in and go to my room.

In my room I find a bidet. Not just any bidet, but a fancy bidet. One of the main ways you can tell where you are in the world is both by the toilets, and supposedly how the water spins as it flushes down the toilet. I have seen toilets in South America, in Asia, in Iran, and even in my own backyard. They are quite different all over the world.

Yup that’s a fancy Japanese bidet!

From there, I decided to get a massage at the hotel spa. This further made me feel like I was in Japan. I had to take off my shoes before entering the spa, given a robe and slippers, and greeted with green tea and a warm bowl before my massage. Nothing crazy different, but all slightly different than the spas I have been to at other hotels here in the US. It is the small differences in the world that make us who we are after all.

Emergency preparedness…In Japanese!

So far, so good. If I had just stayed in my hotel, I could have easily been in Japan. The other aspect that made me feel like I was in Japan was that 95% or more of the guests were Japanese business travelers. Everywhere I turned, people were speaking Japanese.

By the end of my stay I felt that I had taken a trip across the Pacific Ocean and ended up in Japan. I had in essence taken a trip to Japan without leaving the US. Can this experience be recreated in other places throughout the US?

 

International travel on a national budget

If you want to save money or the idea of an overseas flight does not appeal to you, here are some places you can visit domestically to get an international feel.

  • Miami, Florida – A Cuban journey without the government worries. Over 54% of the population of Miami is Cuban. You can stay in Little Havana, eat good food, and dance the night away.

 

  • San Francisco, California – While Chinatown is changing, it remains the largest Chinatown outside of China. Stay there, eat some dim sum (it is quite delicious), and practice some Tai Chi.

 

  • New York, New York or Boston, Massachussets – While both are quintessential American towns, they both have a descent-sized Little Italy. Go for the pasta and stay for the cannoli.

Those are just a few places. You can travel throughout this country and find interesting cultures. See Acadian culture in Louisiana or German culture in Leavenworth, Washington. The world is your oyster in the US, so go try it out.

So forget the credit card hacking. If you want to travel internationally, pack your car and go to a city in the US. Culture without the jetlag.

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DadsDollarsDebts

I am a Dad and Doctor trying to find financial freedom by owning my dollars and debts. Helping dads with their finances so they can focus on the family.

12 thoughts on “International Domestic Travel

  • December 12, 2017 at 9:32 pm
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    LA is a great melting pot of culture! I didn’t know that hotel existed. Now I do.
    P.S. Once you used a bidet, you can’t go back again.

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  • December 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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    Bummed we didn’t know that you were in town, especially since Torrance is right next door to us. Next time you come down to LA, definitely hit us up. We got a bunch of good breweries!

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    • December 9, 2017 at 5:45 pm
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      Oh man! Good to know and will definitely hit you up next time I am in LA. I do like a good brewski.

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  • December 9, 2017 at 11:12 am
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    Interesting experience

    A little off topic, but when I travel domestically I like to check out restaurants featured on Food Network shows in the cities where I go. It’s a chance to experience something unique and so far has been a lot of fun. Also if I’m with my wife I always look for a hotel with a “Chef’s table” experience where the Chef prepares and curates a special “off menu” meal for you. Courses are also paired with the appropriate beverage. Great for special occasion.

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    • December 9, 2017 at 5:47 pm
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      That’s a good method. Check out the places and see if it lives up to the hype…I have never done a Chef’s table but have had tasing menus before. They are always delicious and a robust food menu.

      Reply
  • December 9, 2017 at 10:11 am
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    Great idea. I want to make it to Japan so bad, but with kids it’s not in the cards for a decade. But LA I can do, although I don’t really have a strong desire to visit LA, this post makes me think I mean be buying into stereotypes about LA.

    Glad to see Acadian culture made it on your list! Bienvenue dans le sud de la Louisiane. Hint: visit South Louisiana, I’m partial to my hometown of Lafayette. North Louisiana above I-49 is amorphous and more Texas/Arkansas/Mississippi than Acadian.

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    • December 9, 2017 at 1:32 pm
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      Agreed. The kids make it tough for sure. LA is what it is. Has some amazing spaces and if you find your niche then great.

      I love Louisiana and lived in NOLA for years. The music fest in Lafayette is a must see from what my friends tell me.

      Reply
  • December 9, 2017 at 2:38 am
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    We have both a Little Italy and a China town in philly. While it’s definitly more local then Tex mex and Panda Express it still is not quite the same.. he says from a restaurant in Beijing while he waits for his food…

    Reply
    • December 9, 2017 at 5:46 pm
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      A restaurant in Beijing…seems like you are enjoying the high life and thanks for reading my post all the way on the other side of the Pacific. What has been your favorite dish so far?

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      • December 9, 2017 at 5:50 pm
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        Just got here for a business trip. Fourth and final trip to China this year, also the third city. Last night was Dim Sum and roast goose. I do enjoy a good hot pot though as well.

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  • December 9, 2017 at 2:19 am
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    I’ve been to Leavenworth it’s pretty cute but very small. It’s not the same as visiting Munich and having a huge beer during Oktoberfest 😉

    Bidets are awesome, that sounds like a really cool hotel.

    Flights to Japan are super cheap nowadays. Sometimes they are under $600 even, from Vancouver. It’s cheaper to go to Asia than to fly to Toronto.

    As a travel addict I agree that it’s similar but not the same as going to that country. 🙂

    Reply
    • December 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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      Isn’t that nuts. That a international flight is cheaper than Vancouver. I have always wanted to spend some time in Japan but the cost has dissuaded me this far…oh and the toddler.

      Reply

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