The Steves Kids Head for Southeast Asia...and They're Taking You Along

06/18/2015 07:32 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2016

As a father, I am so excited that our two 20something children, Andy and Jackie, are embarking on a one-month adventure in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Jackie is a great writer, and Andy is an expert at stirring up fun with his video camera rolling. Together they'll be reporting on their Southeast Asia vacation over the next month in our Travelers' Café. Check in on their fun if you're curious about how college-aged American travelers backpack around Southeast Asia these days.

Jackie had an overnight layover in Hong Kong on the way to Bali. Here's a bit of her report. Click through for the whole story to see how young, thoughtful Americans find constructive challenges to their long-held perspectives.

From Jackie Steves in Hong Kong: "I wandered down a thoroughfare of Kowloon to the city's famed harbor. The "Avenue of Stars" is a double-entendre -- a tribute to the stars of the silver screen, and a salute to the bright lights of Hong Kong Island's skyline across the water. My Chicagoan ego suffered a bruise. We boast tremendous, glimmering skyscrapers, but I'm afraid Hong Kong still outdoes us. It made me feel like a member of the humanist Enlightenment; rather than focusing on a God who, on the seventh day, looks upon His creation and says "It is good," this manmade spectacle inspires any human to say, "Damn, we did good."

And even as a liberal who loves to disparage the drawbacks of capitalism, I had to acknowledge that this massive symbol of modern materialism -- riddled with names of corporate brands and massive banks -- was just plain beautiful."