Kyoto Pagoda

I love to travel, particularly to other countries. I enjoy learning about and immersing myself in foreign cultures. I'm a big fan of history too, so whenever I go to another country, I try to find those places that can give me a feel for a country's past and values. When I went to Thailand I visited Buddhist temples, in Japan I found a number of Shinto shrines, and in England I lived on a hill overlooking the Canterbury Cathedral. I've visited seven other countries so far, and I greatly look forward to checking as many more off the list as I can.

Here's a full list of the countries I have visited and a little info about my time there:

I visited Canada a couple of times as a youth to play soccer and a couple of times as a young adult to drink. Ok, and by Canada, I really mean Windsor.

At the end of my sophomore year in college I visited an ex-girlfriend for two weeks in Thailand. She had been teaching at an elementary school in Bangkok for a year. The trip was amazing. For one, she was a great guide. We spent a week in Bangkok and a second week hopping between the islands in the south and the mountains in the north. I highly recommend a trip to Thailand for anyone and everyone.

I spent the first semester of my senior year in college studying in Canterbury, England. While I didn't travel around Europe as much as I might have liked (I was broke), I made some really great friends that I keep in touch with today. London is an awesome city, although ridiculously expensive. Canterbury is beautiful, the people are warm and welcoming. Those were just a really, really good three months.

Ok, if Canada was a stretch, this "trip" is advanced yoga. A friend and I went to Calais for a day during my time in Canterbury. That said, the number of memories packed into that little trip is pretty impressive. The trip itself has become a part of personal lore, involving a bridge of death, police, trash can fires, a stolen car, hail and whipping wind, and of course a bit too much alcohol. Aaahhh college...

I graduated college and knew I wasn't ready to start into my real grown-life, so I found a job teaching English in Japan. The job was awful, for a number of reasons, not least of which being the company going bankrupt about seven months into my contract because the president was a crook (seriously, look up NOVA or Nozomu Sahashi on Google). But the country was incredible. I lived in Osaka, Japan's second biggest city. I worked with people from around the world, including Australia, England, New Zealand, Ireland and of course the U.S. to name a few. Every other weekend I took the 45 minute train ride to Kyoto, which is now my favorite city (2. London, 3. Bangkok, 4. Miami).

Some might consider this one an out-and-out lie, but my passport got stamped so I say it counts! Basically on my way home from Japan I had a layover in Shanghai. I can say that the airport is massive and really nice, so I've got that going for me...

Costa Rica
My girlfriend and I took a trip to Costa Rica a couple of years ago, and I only have good things to say. We stayed in a beautiful little hotel on the west coast. We had our own little villa right on the beach. The hotel workers were all charming but not in your face. We got along so well with a couple of them that after a drunken night of poker (betting sea shells and slamming tequila) we headed out with them to one of their local haunts where they opened the club basically just for us. Food was awesome, as were the drinks. And all of it was cheaper than most Marriott's I've stayed in. And I haven't even gotten to how beautiful the country is! We hiked up a volcano, through verdant rain forest and into a sheltered lagoon. I just can't say enough good things. Go to Costa Rica.