It is that time again. The two weeks every four years when we shift our attention from high paid athletes in team sports to lower paid athletes in lesser known sports. The time when television crews have to pretend they care about sports such as Equestrian, Synchronized Swimming and the Modern Pentathlon. The Olympics is upon us and because it is the most organized international thing which humans engage in, I figured I should add my thoughts to the already saturated opinions on the internet.
Located between Scottland and Norther Ireland in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man has a unique history and legal status. It is not part of the United Kingdom, nor is it a territory of the United Kingdom. It is a “self-governing British Crown Dependency” which means it is (in theory) a possession of the Crown and not of the country. Because of its location in the rough Irish Sea, the coastline can be very dramatic. I spent 4 days on the Isle of Man in late 2011. Here is a glimpse of what I saw.
Over the last five and a half years I’ve managed to visit 116 countries and territories around the world. Despite that, there are still many places I have yet to step foot. Most people are surprised that I’ve never been to these countries because they are so big and many are popular destinations for travelers.
Sure, I’ve been to Nauru, Vanuatu, Samoa, Liechtenstein and San Marino, but they are just specks on the map. There are some enormous holes on my list of countries.
So with all humility, here is my list of places I’m ashamed to say I haven’t yet visited:
In January 2012, I went with G Adventures to the Falkland Islands. It was the first stop on a trip which included South Georgia Island and Antarctica. The Falklands is one of the places you seldom hear about unless it is in a news story about its disputed status between the UK and Argentina (who called it the Islas Malvinas). I found the Falklands to be a wonderful if not isolated, remote and barren collection of islands where penguins vastly outnumber people and tourists seldom visit.
I hope you enjoy viewing the photos as much as I did taking them.
In February of this year I was invited by New South Wales tourism to attend the Australian Open of Surfing in Sydney, Australia. I’m not a surfer and I had been to Sydney several times before, so I wasn’t really that interested in attending and suffering through a 16 hour flight. However, having read my list of my 13 Most Wanted Destinations, they sweetened the pot by throwing in a trip to Lord Howe Island.
This, however, is not a story about Lord Howe Island.
This story is about Sydney and about how no matter the number of times you visit a place, you can never assume you have it all figured out.
From the Varberg Radio Station World Heritage inscription: The Varberg Radio Station at Grimeton in southern Sweden (built 1922–24) is an exceptionally well-preserved monument to early wireless transatlantic communication. It consists of the transmitter equipment, including the aerial system of six 127-m high steel towers. Although no longer in regular use, the equipment has been …
Despite 5 years of traveling around the world I think I am still fundamentally the same person I was before I started traveling. I’m kind of a smart ass and a bit cantankerous. There hasn’t been any sort of spiritual epiphany which has lead to a brand new Gary.
That being said, my attitude towards some things have changed. In particular, my attitude towards stuff.
Before I started traveling, you could say I lived a good life. I had a nice house on a lake outside of Minneapolis. It was 3,000 ft² (278 m²) and had all the stuff that a 20-30 something bachelor would want: I had a bitchin 106″ giant projection screen TV and a 175 gallon fish tank. I purchased the house with the idea in the back of my mind that I’d probably be getting married in a few years. That, however, never happened.
From the World Heritage inscription: The range of motifs, techniques, and compositions on the Tanum rock carvings provide exceptional evidence of many aspects of life in the European Bronze Age. The continuity of settlement and consistency in land use in the Tanum area, as illustrated by the rock art, the archaeological remains, and the features …