Brazil fills you with a type of lachrymose energy at the sheer awe and beauty of the world. A collective of millions breathing, moving, and prattling in densely packed cities flowing all around you but not suffocating. Not like New York, where everything is on top of you all at once. The experience here is like being in the water, a school of fish creating a cyclone of swimming bodies around your floating one, but none of it touching you at the same time. A wonderful cacophony of sounds, smells, colors, and vistas.
Over two cumulative months of time in the Motor City exploring all of its nooks and crannies. I can assure you, it truly is a comeback city. A model of my idealist vision of the redemptive power of American ingenuity and determination.
This trip was long overdue and kickstarted by a Destination Wedding for my brother-in-law and a long time wish to see my wife’s home country. She had not been back in over 20 years and I have never been to Asia. From the moment we landed, our simple expectations for what we were getting into were blown away. At the time of writing this, Vietnam is now the most rewarding trip I have ever been on. Everyone needs to visit it and Asia in general.
This was a destination wedding trip. We have also had a long time desire to see the United States Territory of Puerto Rico which comes from a scene in one of our favorite movies. Arecibo was the backdrop for one of the early parts of the movie Contact. So, we’ve always been intrigued to learn more about the island.
Since the very first time I went, I have had a great love for Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. It’s a beautiful place with expansive sandy beaches paired with warm ocean waters. My wife and I got married there and have spent many summer days there, soaking in the sun and finding peace in its serenity. Whether traveling in a small or big group, there is a place in Hilton Head for everyone.
Vancouver is hands down one of the most beautiful and well planned cities I have ever been to. It has a pedestrian and bike first design. In fact I would say it is the most accessible city I have been to for anyone needing wheelchair or similar access. I can’t imagine staying indoors in such a thoughtful city. While out, you can visit many of the seaside sights, catch a boat race, sail, fly in a seaplane, or head to the mountains for hiking and snow sports. I am surprised not more people know about and visit Vancouver. It’s geographic position, probably has a lot to do with it.
This post is a recap of a recent trip to Spain that I took with my wife. I’ve tried to put together a scrapbook and guide that catalogs and combines my own research before going, experiences during our stay, and recommendations from friends who’ve also visited Spain. I hope this list of places to stay, see, and dine at comes in handy to you if you are considering a trip to the Iberian peninsula. I am only going to cover the more popular areas of the country. I hope to make a return trip in the future to explore the Basque region, Canary Islands, and more. I would also love to come back and watch the Running of the Bulls in mid-summer.
What a week we had in Barcelona, Europe’s Modernista architecural marvel. Followed by a train ride to and a few days in Madrid. The US really needs to embrace the low cost air carrier, regional airport, and train transportation options that Europe has. So many of the fellow travelers we met, who were from Europe, were in Barcelona on some ridiculously low airfare trip from London, Germany, etc. We are almost intentionally limiting social mobility and economic development by not opening up our transportation options.
This week we embarked on our longest vacation as a couple. Two weeks traveling around Spain. It’s so hard to be away from home, our family and routines for so long. But no growth comes from being complacent or an unwillingness to step outside of your comfort zone. This trip I am trying a project where I take all the notes I put together before the trip, tips given to me, and experiences along the way into one long blog entry under that will be my travel guide on visiting Spain. It’s a great way of being really engaged in the trip, creating some great content and perhaps helping someone else put together a memorable trip. I will have it posted by the end of the first week in May.