In chronological order most recent first.
Patagonia & Chile
This fall we are going to Patagonia and Chile. It’s been my dream to visit Patagonia for some time. I can’t wait to check out the natural landscape. I’ll add some more details after the trip wraps up.
France - Paris (Honeymoon!)
The last leg of our honeymoon. We explored all over the city and grabbed food from side street bakeries to Michelin star restaurants! I thought the city was quite pricy for what you got in terms of food and space, but what it lacked in value it made up for in history. The building we stayed in was built before George Washington was even born just to give it some context. There is no shortage of incredible architecture. Beyond the famous sites like Notre Dame, which we were fortunate enough to see before it was destroyed in the fire, I was struck by the consistency of the city. Every block looked similar in terms of materials, height and even colors. It gives one a warm cozy feeling that they’re never far from home no matter which neighborhood you are in. I was impressed by the number of men’s fashion shops in the city, you don’t see the same density in the US. By the end of our Paris trip we were ready to go home and get back to our lives. We had been away from home for a month at this point and were getting tired of being tourists!
France - South of France (Honeymoon!)
We went all over the French Rivera during our relaxation leg of the honeymoon. We stayed in Nice and did day trips within Nice as well as to Cannes and Monaco. There were not a ton of Americans here, most visitors were actually French! While we were in Nice, France won the world cup which was just crazy!! People were rioting in the streets, jumping on cars, climbing monuments and street poles and even riding on the back of an ambulance! The food was not particularly flavorful and was pretty expensive for what you got. We had a ton of fun relaxing at the beach in Nice. We payed to be on the private beaches which I was hesitant about at first but it was totally worth it. The extra level of comfort and accommodation dramatically increased the quality of our beach days. My most vivid sensory memory is listening to the noise of the rocky beach tumbling over itself with each wave, smoothing the rocks as well as settling my mind, while sitting next to my new wife taking it all in.
Italy - Rome (Honeymoon!)
We started off our honeymoon in Rome! We got an incredible top floor AirBnb with a huge terrace that had a full 360 view of the city. While in Italy we lived the Italian life! Traveling via vespa and stopping for espresso and gelato along the way. We got to explore the Vatican, colosseum and too many other sites to list. The food in Rome is inexpensive and so amazingly tasty! We traveled 60 miles north to a small Italian village where we made pasta as part of an AirBnb experience. It was incredible to be in Rome and witness the same sites and symbols that so many others before me have seen, it gives you a sense of smallness and an appreciation for how much has happened before you as well as how much will happen after you.
My wife Catherine and I went to Japan for a trip over Thanksgiving. We had amazing food and learned a ton about Japanese culture. We bounced between a few neighborhoods in Tokyo as well as Kyoto. We saw Kabuki, ate ramen and sushi, visited the emperor’s palace, visited temples and shrines, saw the golden palace and traveled at 200 MPH in the green car of the bullet train! Although English was seldom spoken by locals we found Japan an easy and safe place to navigate. The density of Tokyo was mind blowing. It would take us significant time for us to find what we were looking for once we “arrived” to a destination! Something I’m not used to being from the states. I love the design and architecture, cleanliness and organization of the Japanese people!
I stayed in a rural village outside of Arusha, Tanzania. This trip was an incredible experience on many dimensions. Experiencing rural Africa was something that I was completely taken by. Lifestyles are different in a way that is difficult to appreciate without a personal encounter. The people I interacted with were kind and helpful, they also helped us stay out of trouble. While in Tanzania, I traveled to the site of the oldest known human footprints, snorkeled in the Indian ocean and took a camping safari through the Serengeti. Ever since I’ve recommended a safari as something to do before you die.
In May of 2012 I traveled to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to participate in the Plus3 engineering study abroad program. While in HCMC I grew tremendously as a person as I experianced a totally different way of life. We toured many domestic and international companies and learned about their operations. We took courses at our partner university, the University of Economics and Finance (UEF), and we got to spend countless hours with our Vietnamese peers who attend UEF. Most importantly, I gained an international perspective; I learned how similar all of humanity really is. I learned that people all over the world can work together to achieve a common goal. If you are interested in reading more about my trip, view my blog where I have detailed postings on my activities each day. Tôi yêu Việt Nam (I love Vietnam)!