Posts Tagged With: colombia

Five Countries on My Bucket List!

            As you probably know by now, I live for travel. Like so many travel enthusiasts, I miss the glory days when we could freely travel around the world. It has been the biggest thing for me to swallow during the COVID pandemic. But when it’s over, I will be poised to travel again! Many of you are likely planning where you will go first when travel restrictions are lifted. I am too! I’m not exactly sure where I will go, but it may be one of the many countries on my bucket list. And fortunately, I have a South African girlfriend who is as passionate about travel as I am!

Today, I want to share with you the top five places I want to visit at some point post-COVID!

  1. Colombia
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This one may not be everyone’s cup of (insert drink). A few years ago, I visited South America for the first time and fell in love with it! I currently teach English at a school where 70% of my students are Colombian, and they have inspired me to visit their country. I’m hoping to visit Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s hometown in Santa Marta. Another attraction to Colombia is that it is one of the biggest producers of my all-time favorite drink: coffee.

2. Japan

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I owe this to the many Japanese students I have taught English to over the years as well as the fact that I once dated a Japanese girl. I’m fascinated by the unique culture and history. Of course, I cannot deny my love for Japanese food, especially sushi. My Japanese aspirations include riding the famous Shinkansen (bullet train), visiting the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, and spending a night in a capsule hotel. I also hope to visit a sento, which means bathhouse. I have been told that this is a must-do for any Japan visit. The sento, as I have learned, was once the only place where the Japanese could wash themselves.

3. Norway

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I’ve been captivated by this nation since I was eleven. The Vikings, the fjords, etc. I am hoping to visit Norway during the winter months. I once befriended a Norwegian in Spain who commented on how special it is to be there during winter. Being from the Great White North, this won’t bother me a bit.

4. Australia

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My friends from New Zealand would probably jeer me if they read this, but I have wanted to go to the Land Down Under for ages! Venturing through the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as gazing at the 12 Apostles. Then, of course, there is sitting in a Sydney outdoor café after the exhausting long flight over there. And speaking of the incredibly long journey, Australia is worth it, IHO! And to keep my Kiwi friends happy, I’ll be sure to stop by NZ on my way home.

5. Kenya

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I’ve always wanted to go on an African safari, and I feel that Kenya is the place to make that happen! I also once did a project on the Maasai group, which first sparked my interest in Kenya. My girlfriend speaks highly about Kenya and she is more than willing to return there for my sake!

Which of these countries am I hoping to visit first? Everything depends on when travel restrictions are finally eased. It would likely come down to either Colombia or Japan. We shall see!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , ,

Who Should You Root for at the 2018 World Cup?

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Here’s a little random fact about me: I love soccer! I watch Spanish, Portuguese and English league soccer during the season, I played competitively in high school until I got injured during my senior year, and my dad was a professional back in England for a couple of years. Soccer is in my blood; it’s religion for me. And you can bet I’m eagerly awaiting the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which begins next week.

So what’s it all about? Every four years, 32 of the best footballing nations compete for soccer’s ultimate crown. This year it takes place in Russia, and sadly many of perennial soccer nations won’t be there: Italy, Netherlands, Chile, Ivory Coast and the USA. With the United States not in it, you might think the World Cup isn’t worth passing up baseball games, BBQs, etc. However, the World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet! It seems the world stops for the beautiful game. Sports Illustrated claims “the Super Bowl will never match the World Cup for global attention, no matter how many games the NFL plays on other continents.” Pretty interesting if you ask me!

Interested in watching the World Cup? Not sure who to support? I suggest my five picks (feel free to take or leave):

  1. Spain – winners of the World Cup in 2010, Spain return after a disappointing performance four years ago in Brazil. Spain qualified in a group featuring Italy. They come with a youthful players from Real and Atletico Madrid. With a strong desire to make up from their early exit in Brazil, Spain will look poised to go all the way to the final in Moscow. They will be in Group B with Portugal, Iran and Morocco.
  2. France – Finalists at Euro 2016 and World Cup winners in 1998, France are a good bet. With players like Griezmann and Mbappe will likely go far in the knock-out stages. Their group features Peru, Australia and Denmark.
  3. Argentina – They’ve won the trophy twice, and made it to the final in Brazil only to have the title snatched by Germany. They will be hungry for revenge, and with Lionel Messi as their star player, who would bet against them? They will take on Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in their group.
  4. Germany – The Germans come to Russia as defending World Cup champions. Last year, they won the Confederations Cup in Russia, thus proving their worth as favorites for this year’s tournament. They open their group with Mexico, followed with Sweden and South Korea. With players such as Muller, Ozil, Hummels and Ter Stegen, Germany will be a potential soccer juggernaut in Russia.
  5. Colombia – If you’re familiar with James Rodriguez and Cuadrado, you’ll know that Colombia will be no pushovers. They already proved that by reaching the quarterfinals in the last World Cup. And they’ll be ready to go further this year. Colombia plays with heart and won’t go down without a fight. Their group includes Poland, Japan and Senegal.

 

So who do I think will win? Hard to say. Every team that’s made it will offer something special. We will also see a few surprises, and that’s what makes the World Cup so fun to watch. Of course, I will be supporting Spain, England and Egypt. Wherever you are, whoever you are supporting (even if you’re just watching the game for the hell of it), enjoy the beautiful game!

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