Colombia

The northern tip of South America, Colombia, a tropical and isothermal (relatively stable temperatures) country founded in 1810. The population is over 47.12 million (2013) and the capital is Bogotá, the center of South America’s largest network of bicycle routes at over 180 miles in length. The primary religion is Catholicism and the main language is Spanish. Its top exports are oil, coal, nickel, gold, flowers, coffee, bananas, tropical fruits, textiles and clothing, and its largest trading partner is the United States. The time zone is the same as Eastern Standard Time.

A fun fact about Colombia is that it is only country in South America with a coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Also fascinating is that Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world after Brazil, which is ten times larger in size.

A misconception about Colombia is that the country as a whole is extremely dangerous to live and travel in. While dangers still do exist and travelers should exercise caution to protect their personal safety and belongings, crime rates have dropped significantly since the 1990s and the U.S. Department of State sends officials to many major cities throughout the year without incident. The city Medellin, once the murder capital of the world with 17 murders every day in 1991, has now become one of the country’s main cultural hubs and is a popular tourist destination along with the capital, Bogotá.

Finland

Helsinki, Finland: Jim and Susan in 1992, sitting at the statue & flowers in front of the White Cathedral Jim's Perspectives: Have visited Finland twice, but most memorably was when I flew into Helsinki prior to visiting Moscow in the Soviet Union. The differences...

Kyrgyzstan

“Oodarysh” or Kok Boru where the participants wrestle on horseback & the players use a beheaded goat.'16 Game action! Kyrgyzstan (pronounced Koer-gistan) is made up mostly of mountains and is roughly the same size as South Dakota. It’s a landlocked country that...

Cuba

In 2017, went to Cuba with my son Kenan! We had such a blast traveling to this quirky and cool destination. Here was our itinerary with Cuba Adventures Travel: Day One: Took a private walking tour of Old Havana with our guide. Checked out the art, architecture,...