catapult magazine

catapult magazine


Where have we traveled?


Feb 26 2003
12:36 pm

I was just wondering what places people have traveled. As a person passionately fond of far-off and exotic (and even non-exotic) locations, I’d love to hear where people have been—any recommendations on places to visit? (This is for future reference, when I’m fabulously rich and can afford to visit all the places on my list.)

Most relaxing and exotic place I’ve been: Moon Beach—on the Red Sea, in Egypt. Great windsurfing, if you’re into that type of thing. Dahab, on the Gulf of Aquaba, has great diving and snorkeling areas.

The Middle East is great for traveling if you don’t want to spend a lot of money—and if you don’t care if you share your room with ants, cockroaches, and various other six-legged creatures. :)

Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey . . . beautiful, rugged, deserty, full of ancient cities and artifacts and history. Syria’s very pristine and untouched by the West; Turkey is very Westernized but has some lovely mosques and mountains. And the people are incredibly hospitable; they love foreigners and will offer you coffee, tea, food, food, and more food, and probably even a place to sleep.

Other places: Ecuador, Ethiopia, Belgium, the Netherlands. Belgium has some great beer. And European public transportation is much more reliable than that of the Middle East, though not quite as exciting.

Other interesting places?


Mar 11 2003
05:25 pm

Henry (my husband) and I took three weeks to drive around Lake Superior this last summer. This is the kind of trip you can do now, and not have to wait till you’re a millionaire. It was amazing, especially once we got farther north than Killarney Provincial Park. (yes, you need bug spray, and I mean the cancer causing stuff, nothing organic or else you’ll be eaten alive). Highlights were discovering that we were following the fur traders routes, which was an accident. We loved Pukaswa National Park (the best bathrooms of any campground I’ve ever been to). We tried to go to Lake Nipigon Provincial Park, but when we got near there, it no longer existed (a forest fire had come through about two years before and it had never been reopened). It was a surreal experience. We also loved Pictured Rocks Lakeshore in the Michigan UP. Oh, and in Ely, MN there’ s the International Wolf Center— very, very cool. We also managed to buy a ton of books on the trip— some good ones Apologia by Barry Lopez (it’s about road kill, and it made me cry in the bookstore) and The Women’s Great Lakes Reader were two of my favorites.

As for “fancier” trips, I was in England for a semester when I was in school, and I loved that, but everything I can tell you, you can read in a guide book. I loved my mad dash through Geneva (it was so clean). Rome was interesting for all the history. Scotland and Ireland truly live up to their reputations. Gorgeous countries. Do go to Belfast if you get the chance. It’s a really interesting city.

I guess that’s about it, unless you count other North American trips, but I’ll hold off.


Apr 02 2003
05:02 am

Don’t wait till you’re rich to travel. First, you don’t have to be and second, you’ll never travel if you do. The summer I got out of school, I just delivered pizza for two months and was able to cover backpacking in Europe for about 7 weeks. We originally went to see sites, but those got boring fast and the people became amazing. We met some kids at a Christian hostel (The Shelter in the Red light district in Amsterdam, very cool) and they invited us to stay with them in Germany. At one point we found ourselves chopping wood with Germans in an old orchard. That was amazing and more memorable than the Louvre in a lot of ways. A lot of unexpected people to stay with showed up on the way and that made it great.

I got the opportunity to go to China this past fall and that was incredible. This was a research trip in the Yunnan province, so I basically stayed in the same village most of the time. I’ve never been that remote before and I really loved how alien things were. Europe had a real familiarity to it, but China’s a kick in the face when it comes to culture shock. (In a good way.)

America is also a big favorite. Even though we can get down on it, the midwest really is beautiful in the summer and it has it’s own leisurely feel. I got to visit Red Rock canyon outside of Las Vegas last summer and I loved bouldering in the desert.

So don’t wait till you’re rich. These are places I’ve gone in the last two years and I haven’t made over $8/hr since delivering pizza. It’s all about where your priorities are (and whether or not you have a family.) If you do have a family, try to travel around the states at least once a year with your kids. That’s what my parents did and it gave me a real hunger for the world.


Apr 03 2003
08:36 am

I grew up in South America, so I am a bit slanted.

Yes Ecuador is beautiful, especially the Galapagos islands. I would recommend anything that is located in or near the Amazon. Foz Du Iguazu is beautiful which is located at the connecting points of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Buenos Aires is awesome, and I would suggest checking out straights if you can at Argentina’s sothern tip. If you want to go to Chile, Arrica is really nice. Of courrse, La Paz Bolivia is something else having the highest lake (Titicaca) in the world. The remnants of the old Inca civilization is still found within Peru and Bolivia, and you find that people still speak Quichua which is the language spoken by the Inca’s spoke centuries ago. Brazil is quite spectacular, but try to stay away during the Carnival months. Place becomes a zoo and can be quite dangerous for tourists during that time. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and very cool…but I would suggest Bahia Blanca as a very hip town to go to. If you can get the opportunity, try a boat ride all the way up the Amazon river. A buddy of mine and I rafted it once (not to be recommended) and it is an incredible trip. Beware of moths, multi colored frogs (carniverous) and of course black piranha.

Costa Rica in central america is lovely. Try to get to Jaco Beach is you make it there. Panama City is pretty awesome as well. Belize is nice. I would steer clear of Nicaragua and Guatemala right now, but they are gorgeous as well.

I am awaiting the day I can make it to Europe and the Orient. Ahh and to see Jerusalem…. :)


Apr 03 2003
10:20 am

I haven’t been outside of North America (except for Hawaii), but I have two favorite places. Kananaskis in Alberta has already been mentioned. Sally and I attended a convention there a number of years ago. We went on to explore Banff and Jasper, but Kananaskis was the spot we fell in love with.

My other spot is about as different from the Canadian Rockies as one can get – the Sierra San Pedro Martir in northern Baja California, Mexico. It is dry yellow pine forest with vast mountain meadows at about 10,000 foot elevation – an island in a sea of the most deserty desert you could find, anywhere. What trails there are were begun hundreds of years ago and just sort of grew from use. The mountains are reputed to have some of the clearest air left in the world. I was there for the Perseid meteor showers one year, and it is still hard to believe that I really saw that many meteors – or that many stars, for that matter.


Apr 14 2003
10:02 am

If you haven’t done a good American roadtrip yet, do that first, it’s a lot cheaper than going overseas, and it’s great.

But I did the European backpacking thing, and hit quite a few of them. My favorite, while not original, was Prague. You can eat amazing meals, beer included, for a couple bucks, and use their awesome public transit for less than a quarter.

Florence was the dissapointing one. The architecture was extrordinary, but there were more Americans than Italians, so it felt a bit like Epcot center.


Apr 22 2003
02:48 pm

I’d say the best “exotic” trip I have had was a missions trip to Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine in 1997. Although not overly relaxing and quite work oriented I had a chance to see an amazing culture. All three countries were exceptionally beautiful and much more westernized than I had expected.

Just last year I went on a business trip to Austria. I had a chance to head up to Vienna for a day. Awesome local German beers. No becks for me thanks. Vienna is something everyone should do. I stayed in the Stephansplatz hotel and had a room looking at the Stephansdom (St. Stephans Cathedral). Amazing. But even more so the royal treasury. I’m sure you’ve all seen the jewels of the holy roman empire in old paintings but have you ever seen them in real life. Needless to say, I stayed there for hours in awe of the beauty of such historical artifacts. Everyone needs to go check it out once in their life time. Also a sight to see is the palace outside of town a bit. Incredible.

As for installing a call center in Austria, when I don’t speak a word of German? Well it was a challenge.


Apr 22 2003
03:00 pm

Hey Dave, take me along next time and I’ll translate for ya.


Apr 23 2003
01:47 pm

I went to Okinawa, Japan, with my college soccer team last spring. It was only for a week, but it was an amazing experience for me since I’d never been out of North America before. I relished every minute.

We stayed at an international Christian school there, where they used English. The school had a mix of Japanese and American kids from both Christian and non-Christian backgrounds. It was a really interesting mix of kids and cultures. A lot of the American kids were from military families, so I got to talk to them and see what military life is like a little bit (that’s a whole other culture in an of itself!). We got to see some of the community around the small village of Yocatan (sp?) and the larger city Naha, the capital (i think) of the island.

Shopping was fun because there was lots of semi-expensive clothing with American slogans that didn’t make any sense. :-) I guess they might find it strange that we wear shirts with Japanese characters when we don’t know what they mean.

Oh, and we snorkeled in the East China Sea.

I would love to go back some day. I want to see Tokyo. I want to see Europe some day as well.

By the way, I agree with Josh that if you wait till you’re rich to travel, you never will. So, what am I waiting for? hmmm.

My husband and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon this past December and saw very touristy parts of Mexico, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. Is all of Jamaica that touristy? :-/


Aug 24 2003
07:18 pm

ha! just found this topic; excellent. a trip to the u.k. in high school is the only time i’ve been out of north america thus far, but that is changing this fall. i am going back to the u.k. for eight whole blessed months on a study program and i am planning on hopping around the continent over my extensive xmas break. can you tell i am excited? besides adventures in the u.k. i spent alot of my childhood hopping around the u.s. and canada, not moving but my dad went to a caloriemetry (sp?) conference every year and the family vacations revolved around the conference. the result being; i have been in 44 of the continguous states, alaska, and most of the canadian provinces.

highlights: i definitely recommend taking the alcan from edmonton to fairbanks, not much civilization in between but lovely views. then literally the entire space between fairbanks and anchorage is a national park, you can’t take your car in but the bus rates are reasonable, it is beautiful, and there is a ton of visable wildlife, something you almost never see in parks open to cars. i also really liked glacier national park, vancover, b.c, the boat ride from skagway to prince rupert – vancover island- vancover is a bit long but the scenery is grand. further south, hmm, sorry california what i saw was nice but the natives aren’t that friendly, but if you head in to the northern section of arizona to see the grand canyon, go a little further south to jerome. jerome is a little, washed up copper mining town but now it is largely an artist community/ tourist spot, some of the best ice cream i’ve ever had, and there are some good bread and breakfasts (most of them, i suspect, are owned by gay couples, based on what i saw in the town both times there. well, the one time my parents and i stayed in the town at a b&b, my parents innocently not realizing this and well my parents are reeeaallllyyy conservative. they, my parents, were more than mildly uncomfortable when they figured out that, hahaha that the owners were a gay couple, well i thought it was funny). santa fe, nm is a beautiful, historic city; there are a lot of street vendors in the historic section and lots of beautiful missions. skiping to the northeast; acadia national park (maine) is a must, boston, all of it, is on my list of favorite cities- do the historic walk from the south church to the north trip, it is long but definitely worth it because you see most of the historic city. and you should stop at longfellows house, its in mass, if you get a chance. up in the northeast of canada; prince rupert island is worth the trip, the anne of green gables stuff is very touristy but the island itself is glorious. i highly recommend not driving into montreal, i am from chicago so crazy driving conditions are not foreign to me but come on the traffic there was just nuts. oh, and the shakespeare festival in stratford,on is excellent. southeast: charlotte, sc i highly recommend- lots of antebellum mansions with bitter southerns that will happily tell you stories of how they suffered under reconstruction. this is longer than i intended, oh well, i hope it inspires others to pack the kids into the station wagon or minivan, with a couple of tents, and go.


Aug 25 2003
04:56 am

Some of the most interesting places I’ve been are Rangoon, Burma; Bangkok and Chiangmai (Thailand); Seoul, Korea; Prague, Czech Republic; Budapest, Hungary; and various cities in South Africa. And I did love London although its not particularly exotic.

Asia is always fun for me. I really love it. I’m hoping to take trips to Japan and China eventually.

Europe was a first this year and i really fell in love with Prague in particular. Eastern Europe has a real charm to it, although you might not expect it.

Next stop, Chile! (Never been to South America and I’m dying to go)