It never fails – before the afterglow of my latest trip wears off, someone asks me "where are you going next?"
My official answer? "Hey, give me a chance to savor Korea and Japan ... if not the flavor of the boiled silkworms."
The truth is, I've already thought about my next trip. I've never been anywhere in the UK before, and as a soccer fan it's definitely on my list. But where to go? Yes, London is the obvious choice ... which means it doesn't really suit me.
But Scotland intrigues me. I can picture swinging further north and checking out some Glasgow hotels. There, I could take in Celtic versus Rangers if I timed it right. And I could finally bring my five-year quest to eat haggis to a final and successful conclusion (really, all my failed attempts to eat haggis are worth a post of their own).
What else might Scotland have for me? Well, the scenery looks spectacular. I've seen photos in FourFourTwo that really made me want to visit Scotland. Oh, and let's not forget BrewDog, the crazy craft brewery that does insane things like release limited-edition beers stuffed into a squirrel carcass. Oh, and a little break from Arizona's angry sun would be nice. Sometimes I forget that clouds and greenery occur naturally in other places.
I could also head an entirely different direction ... Wales. Word is that it's an up-and-coming destination with castles and hiking drawing visitors in. I'm sure I'd satisfy my itch to hear interesting new languages. I've heard bits of Welsh and really enjoyed its sounds and cadence.
And Pen y Fan looks like some incredible hiking. Better yet, the Pen Y Fan race in mid-July takes runners straight to the 2,907-foot summit in just 3.5 miles. A cool t-shirt or medal for finishing would put this right on the list with the Hi Seoul Marathon or the MiÄ‘nÃ¦turhlaup in Reykjavik.
No matter where in Cardiff I'd stay, it would be pretty easy to get to a Swansea City match to check out some Premier League action. And there's still Cardiff City in the League Championship. Either way, I'm bound to catch some enthusiastic fans in a great atmosphere. Of all the hotels in Cardiff, though, I'll admit the St. David's Hotel & Spa wins some points for having the word "spa" in the name.
So, U.K., I might be headed your way soon. Save me some haggis and lobscows!
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