Where I’ve Been…

As a good way to keep track of where I’ve been, I’m compiling a list because even I sometimes forget I’ve been somewhere.  I’ll try to put my thoughts on each place. FYI I count a visited a country as having passed through immigration at the airport or land border and had at least one meal there.

  1. USA:  I was born here in Eugene, Oregon.  The USA has a lot to offer and though it has a lot of political issues, it is a great place to live and be raised.  With 50 states all having tons to offer – you could spend a lifetime here and never see everything.  States I’ve Been:
    1. Oregon:  Came here out of my mom’s womb.  I’ve lived in quite a few spots of Oregon and it is still one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  This state is one of the best.
    2. Washington:  This state resides above Oregon on the map and is very very green.  I’ve been here a number of times and see something new each visit.
    3. California:  A very long state that takes you through many different climate changes.  Too many people in the cities you want to actually and awful traffic.  Speed limits are high here though and that’s awesome.  Taxes are too high with both an income and a sales tax.
    4. Idaho:  Grand parents have lived here most of my life and though I’ve never spent much time in Idaho, it has a lot more than potatoes.  Recently went to Boise for the first time and enjoyed it much more than the rest of Idaho.
    5. Texas:  Came here for first time when I was interning for Mentor Graphics for a summer.  I’ve been to a few airports here, but for the five or six times I’ve been now, I’ve only really spent time in Austin.  That city makes Texas worth a damn in my opinion.
    6. Nevada:  Only really spent time in Reno and Las Vegas here until last year when I went to Burning Man for the first time.  Nevada is far more than just gambling in the major cities.  Lots of outdoor things to do if you get off the strip.
    7. Missouri:  Came here for an interview with Boeing before I graduated college.  When I went, you could still smoke in restaurants.  I have no desire to return to Missouri.
    8. Arizona:  Only really have been here for the Grand Canyon and am glad I came for it.  Totally worth checking it out.
    9. Colorado:  I’ve been here a few times now and really enjoy Denver and Boulder.  Had my first experience skiing in the Rockies this last January.
    10. North Carolina:  Visited my friend Stephanie who moved out here after college.  Had my first experience visiting the Atlantic ocean which was just a couple hours from her house.  I enjoyed my time here and would like to come back and check it out.
    11. Hawaii:  I’ve been here a few times now and just love the place.  It was my first real trip to a real tropical location visiting the Big Island and fell in love with it.  I’ve now also been to Honolulu which just felt like a big city and Maui which I had an awesome time being shown around.
    12. Florida:  Vacationed to the Florida Keys with my friends Jenny and Anthony.  Florida is old fashioned but I really had a great time in Key West.
    13. Washington D.C.:  First time here was on a trip for work to Virginia.  Spent time around the capital buildings and the museums.  Quite a site to see if you’ve never been.  Since then I’ve had a few friends move in and out of the place who showed me around the place.  Would like to spend more time here.  I quite enjoyed the hustle and bustle of everyone.
    14. Virginia:  I like Virginia, but I don’t like Harrisonburg.  Charlottesville on the other hand is a fun city I would like to spend more time in.  They’ve got some awesome underground tunnels before arriving into Harrisonburg that should be seen.  I liked my time out here because of what I spent my time doing which was flying in airplanes.
    15. Utah:  First time here was a roadtrip from Las Vegas to go to Zion National Park.  Utah is a great place to go for the parks, but I see no need in going to Salt Lake City or most of the rest of the state.
    16. New York:  Been here a couple times now to visit some friends.  New York City is a big place with too many people.  My bud Masood says I should move there, but I just don’t think it’s for me.
    17. Maryland:  I should spend more time here in Maryland.  I hear good things.  I have really only spent time going to a Target here to do some travel hacking stuff.  I also ate some food, so I check it off my list.
    18. Louisiana:  Came here for New Orleans Jazz Fest and had a blast.  Though only here for the weekend I was struck with the desire to come back soon.  Perhaps it was the beignets at Cafe Du Monde or the amazing brass music all over town, but either way, I will be back.
    19. Georgia:  I went here to do a sweet camp about fitness and being a nerd.  It was awesome.  Not sure about the rest of Georgia, but Clayton was cool.
    20. Michigan:
    21. South Dakota:
    22. Wyoming:
  2. El Salvador:  Outside of a few states around Oregon, El Salvador was the first country I traveled to outside the USA.  I came here when I was sixteen so I don’t remember it a lot.  I do remember crazy driving (right of way goes to whoever honks first), mud slides blocking roads, a bit of road carnage, six lanes of traffic shoved into a two lane highway, and lots of friendly people.  I came here two weeks for a missions trip in high school.  I’m sure it has changed quite a bit.
  3. Mexico:  I’ve been to Mexico a few times now and each time I go I realize just how different the regions are.  A great country to explore that isn’t too far with beautiful beaches and cheap cervezas.  First came here when I was 17, then again in Puerto Vallarta with a recent visit to the Cancun area.
  4. Canada:  My travels so far have only taken me to Canada by way of Vancouver and Victoria, BC.  British Columbia is a beautiful region of Canada and though I haven’t been since 2008, my desire to go is huge.  Victoria was a lovely island and a great place to bicycle.  I arrived by ferry from Vancouver with my bike.  After spending a couple days I spent some time around Vancouver with some river rafting on my way back to the states.  I need more time here.
  5. Germany:  I loved Germany.  Only went to Munich area for four days, but I had a blast thanks to my friend Huy’s brother for hosting me and showing me around.  I came for Oktoberfest and wasn’t disappointing.  My favorite part was the beautiful castles outside of the city.
  6. France:  I’ve only been to Paris and know that I need to come back for more.  In the four days I was in Paris, I did so much and had an awesome host.  From cliche drinking of wine, eating of cheese, and relaxing in the parks to exploring the streets and climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  Much more to experience here so I better keep working on my French.
  7. Ireland:  Came through here for four days exploring southern Ireland starting in Dublin.  Excellent hostels, beautiful green lands, fantastic music in the villages, with excellent savory foods.  Spent the majority of my time traveling around on a bus with people from all over the world; mainly Australians.
  8. Costa Rica:  My first solo trip was to Costa Rica.  When plans changed to go traveling with a friend, I ended up sticking with the trip to come to this lovely country.  I had an amazing time here and enjoyed all the beautiful places.  Though I had some rough times waiting around to get from one place to the other by bus, it was all worth while.  Made friends with a fellow traveler in my first hostel who I ended up traveling with the majority of the time.  First experience swimming in the Caribbean seas.  Will definitely be back to this amazing place.
  9. Spain:  Came here on a whim to travel with a friend of mine from the states.  My time was spent in Barcelona and Madrid.  Both great places but very different.  Barcelona was a beautiful city with a lot of history and amazing buildings.  For how large Barcelona is, I still somehow bumped into friends who I met in other travels.  My friend was living in Madrid, so my time was spent with her showing us around.  Would go back to Spain for sure.
  10. Portugal:  Spent my birthday here with my friend Masood.  Stayed in the number 2 hostel in the world and had an excellent time enjoying the libations of the city.  We got out of the main part of the city to explore some other areas that were just as lovely.  Great food, not too expensive, people offering drugs, but friendly overall.
  11. Morocco:  Never had I been to Africa before, and though it does count, I still have so much more to see here.  Morocco though was a great place.  Spent most of the time in Marrakesh exploring the city.  Stayed in a lovely hostel that actually served alcohol on the roof even though most of Morocco is dry.  I also spent some time on the coastal region of Morocco where we had fish straight from the sea.  A bit of a language barrier here and there, but we still managed to have an excellent time.  I also rode a my first camel.  Awesome.
  12. England:  I need more time here as I spent around eight hours exploring London since that was how much time I had before coming back to the states.  Spent a good amount of time riding the tube to the different iconic sites like Big Ben and London Bridge.  Cabs are awesome and worth riding around compared to the states.  Expensive city though as my hostel was way more than I had spent on my trip.  I will be back though.
  13. China:
  14. Vietnam:
  15. Cambodia:
  16. Laos:
  17. Thailand:
  18. Singapore:
  19. Indonesia:
  20. Australia:
  21. New Zealand:
  22. Fiji:
  23. Puerto Rico:
  24. Chile: My time in Chile was spent enjoying walking around Santiago, enjoying the beaches/nightlife/new years in Valparaiso, to getting as far south as I’ve ever been to enjoy the gorgeous views of Patagonia.  Enjoyed a four day backpacking trip around the W of Torres Del Paine.  Very friendly locals, good exchange rate from the US, and delicious wine and coffee everywhere I went.  My first experience of South America and I was blown away by how great it was.  Would go back again in a heart beat.
  25. Iceland: This country is breathtakingly beautiful.  I drove around the entire country from Reykjavik, around the Golden Circle, and continuing onto the Ring Road.  My favorite sections were the South West, the South and the East.  1600+ miles of driving, 100+ miles of hiking, dozens of waterfalls, many hot springs, and very friendly people.  Everything is pretty expensive there, but other than that, it is by far one of my favorites.
  26. Netherlands: Spent a week here right after celebrating Christmas in Portland to reign in the 2017 New Year.  Country is quite flat, but quite charming.  Spent time visiting my friend Melissa’s village an hour south of Amsterdam (saw a castle even), and then the last 4 to 5 days around Amsterdam.  Great international city that knows how to party.  The canals and the close together buildings really make this place something else.  Really should make some time to visit this place.
  27. Belgium:  This place is great.  Great chocolate, nice people, and fantastic beer.  I spent most of my time in Ghent with my last day exploring Bruges.  Though Bruges is quite beautiful, there was something about Ghent that made it my favorite of the two.  Very picturesque in both places with beer flowing.
  28. Switzerland:  This country is breathtaking with the Alps in the background.  I came here to finish up a trip by visiting a friend I hadn’t seen for some time.  Most of my time here was spent staying at Laurent’s place in Laussane.  Pretty city with a huge lake (Lake Ouchy).  I lucked out getting some blue skies while I was there, but the temperature was in the low thirties or colder (Fahrenheit).  On my last full day, I even got to go do some skiing in the Alps (checking that off from the Epic Quest).  If you get to the French side of Switzerland through Geneva, then take some time to check out Laussane.  Just keep in mind that Switzerland is VERY expensive.
  29. Nicaragua:
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