Do you love to travel? I do. I love exploring new places, trying new foods and meeting new people. There’s so much to learn from visiting new locales and getting to know other cultures.

I’ve been fortunate in this regard. After meeting my husband 10 years ago, we’ve traveled often and all over the world. Most recently we went to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates with a large group of friends. We visited gold and diamond markets, went to the world’s tallest building and I dressed as an Arabian princess in the desert. It was extraordinary.

What’s also amazing is the great state of Texas that we call home. Our state is so large and varied that you can find some pretty unusual places right here, with no need for an international flight.

Thanks to TikTok, I’ve found three new places I’d like to visit that are in Texas, but feel like another country.

First up is Mission San Jose in San Antonio. You’ll feel as though you’re not only in another place, but another time.  Known as the “Queen of Missions,” this is the largest of the missions and was restored by the WPA in the 1930’s. There are four missions that make up the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park today. They were part of Spanish Colonialism in Texas and Mission San Jose recently celebrated its Tricentennial in 2020.

Next Up is Adriatica Village in McKinney. This place looks and feels like Europe. According to a post on TripAdvisor, the original developer patterned the design and feel after Dubrovnik in Southern Croatia. It is a housing development intended to create a village lifestyle. There are shops, dining and a sense of community.

Finally, for a trip to Japan within Texas, head to San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden. The park was originally constructed between 1917 and 1918, but closed in 2007 for renovations. The area began as a rock quarry, before it was donated to create a city park. It is open to the public daily from dawn until dusk.

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