My globetrotting ambitions should have been clear to my parents when at age 13 I chose as my bat mitzvah theme “Around the World with Liz.” The place cards looked like miniature passports, and each table represented a different country. Now that I’m twice as old as I was when I was called to read from the Torah for the first time, I decided to look back on that fateful day and count off how many of those “tables” I’ve actually visited:
1. United States – So far I’ve traveled to 23 states (not including those I merely drove through), plus Washington, D.C. More homegrown American adventures are definitely in order.
2. France – My family lived in Paris for two years when I was very young and I moved there on my own for a year after college, not to mention a handful of other trips to the city and other French locales in the years between and since. I can always find new things to discover in Paris.
3. Israel – I missed out on a Birthright trip, but my family and I spent 10 days in the Holy Land in October 2011. Though our tour guide took us to all the major sights (Wailing Wall, Dead Sea, Masada), we also stopped in places not everyone might think to visit, like a restaurant in a Druze community.
4. England – My first trip to London was during the Gulf War, when Britons were ecstatic to see any visitors. Subsequently, I participated in a summer program at Cambridge in high school and a semester in London in college.
6. Canada – So far, my only trip north of the border was to Montreal for the Jazz Festival a couple of years ago. My Canadian great-grandfather would be so disappointed.
7. Australia – One of my best friends from my time in Paris is from Sydney, and she’s coming to visit in a few weeks. I’m going to have to return the favor.
8. Japan – I had planned to visit Japan in March 2011, but clearly Mother Nature had other ideas. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make it there soon to see how this remarkable country has bounced back stronger than ever.
9. China – Though I’ve visited Chinatowns from Boston to Portland, OR, I’ve never made it across the Pacific. Perhaps I can convince ShermansTravel to send me there next…
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