5 of My All-Time Favorite Destinations

As far back as I can remember, I've always traveled to various destinations with my family and friends. The first trip I can remember was taking a train to New Orleans with my aunt and grandmother around the age of 5. It's safe to say I've left my heart in many places around the world. But there are certainly some places where I've left more of it than others. Sometimes the love was at first sight while others grew on me over time. In either case, here are my top places around the world where I plan to return one day sooner rather than later.

5. Negril, Jamaica.

Jamaica was my very first international trip. I went in 9th grade during my Spring Break and it secured Jamaica's place in my heart forever. I've been back three times since then to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril. However, I do have a desire to visit with a more mature and informed eye for travel. Instead of only staying near the resort areas, I'd like to do more exploring in towns where locals live.

4. London, England.

As I wrote here, I never had the desire to visit London. I only went because there was a cheap fare on WOW Air and I figured I might as well go. I had no idea I would love it as much as I did. The city was way more vibrant and diverse than I thought it'd be. I'm heading back in September and I can't wait to see more of this amazing city.

3. Rome, Italy. 

What can I say about Rome? The food, the people, the culture. It was everything. What amazed me most was the juxtaposition of its rich history with its modern current culture. I remember getting off the metro, looking up and staring directly at the Coliseum. I felt like I stepped right into my 8th grade history book. 

2. All of Tanzania.

Tanzania was the very first country I visited in Africa, so it will always be special to me. Bias aside, it's an amazingly beautiful country. There are so many different kinds of landscapes that it's impossible to say I like one city over another. Zanzibar still holds the record for the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. Ngorongoro Crater was so lush and green. Dar es Salaam was a bustling city center. I say this a lot, but there is literally something for everyone.

1. Cape Town, South Africa.

What's there not to love about Cape Town? It is my favorite city in the world (to date). There's something about Cape Town that just makes me feel at home. The water, the mountains, the vibrancy and laid back feel. Ahh! It makes me miss it just thinking about it. If ever given the opportunity, this needs to be on your travel wish list.


While I didn't include it in my list, an honorable mention goes to Iceland. Iceland was gorgeous and also had a variety of beautiful landscapes. The food was delicious and the people were surprisingly friendly. With only a 5-hour plane ride from the East Coast, I'd definitely recommend going for those who want a different travel experience.

What I love about this list is that it could change with every new country or city I visit. I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list! So what are your favorite places? Tell me so I can go too!

Popular Craft Beers from Around the World

Craft beer is made by local brewers with unique ingredients and traditional fermentation methods. In each glass, you can savor the taste of a specially brewed beverage with a distinct flavor. Recently, a rapid increase in the number of craft beers made by microbrewers has provided a variety of delicious options for beer drinkers around the globe.

From India pale ale to American hops and Belgian inspired ale, local brewers have provided many refreshing alternatives to the well-known lager beers made by major brewers. Luckily for you, we've rounded up some of the most popular craft beers from different parts of the world.

Brasserie St. James Red Headed Stranger (U.S.)

This red saison is brewed by Brasserie St. James, the award-winning American brewery located in Reno, Nevada. Made from water drawn from a 285-feet deep artesian well and a combination of orange peel, coriander, grains of paradise, and a special Belgian yeast strain, this craft beer tastes like a mixture of a saison and red ale.

The aroma of spices and delicious malt flavor leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. After receiving the applause and recommendation of many beer lovers, the Red Headed Stranger won the silver medal at this year's Best of Craft Beer Awards, after winning the gold medal at the United States Beer Championships two years ago. 

Feral Hop Hog (Australia)

Hop Hog is a regular award winner at craft beer competitions hosted in all major cities in Australia. Feral Brewing has successfully produced an American-style India Pale Ale that contains a high dose of American hops, which give this beer its name.

It has a distinct citrus flavor and a strong pine needle aroma. Apart from the Hop Hog, which is rated as one of the best craft beers in Australia, Feral Brewing also provides a range of exciting options, from the strong Imperial Stout to the wild-fermented sour beers. 

Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel (Germany)

Brewed by monks at the German Kloster Andechs monastery in the city of Bavaria, this beer is made out of four main ingredients: yeast, hops, water and barley, in line with the Beer Purity Law in Germany. 

Note: In 1516, the German government passed a law called "Reinheitsgebot" that stated "only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be barley, hops and water."  Water was often polluted so people drank beer, often in vast quantities, to quench their thirst.  By ensuring beer contained only high-quality products the law protected the public from poor standard, and potentially lethal, beverages. Reinheitsgebot also brought about a standardization in production well ahead of its time. 

But its distinct flavor has a mixture of figs, dates and cocoa. Doppelbock Dunkel has a unique reddish tint and aroma of malt and caramel that leaves a nice chocolate after-taste in your mouth. Very few craft beers have provided the same kind of satisfaction that the Benedictine brewers have provided since 1455.

Collesi Imper Ale Ubi Rossa (Italy)

This strong Belgian-style dark ale is brewed at the Collesi family estate located in the central Italian village of Apecchio. Just like the beers produced in Germany, the four main ingredients used to make Ubi Rossa are hops, barley, yeast and water. The water used for this craft beer is from a pristine, untainted spring that requires no chemical treatment or purification.

Much like traditional Belgian beers, the ale passes through another stage of fermentation in the bottle. During this re-fermentation stage, the yeast creates an exceptional mixture of dried fruit, cherry and hazelnut flavors.

Those are some of the most famous craft beers that you should strive to taste if you are a beer lover. Each beer has a unique taste that cannot be reproduced by any large scale brewer. You will cherish each moment as you savor the rich complex flavors created by award-winning microbrewers.

- Tony Bod