I have been a good many places over the years, but the most noteworthy destination that I have traveled to is Hawaii. Not quite another country, but its 7,500 km away and Canada is a 15 minute drive from me anyways. I went with some of my family and we were there for quite a long time. Most of them were there for three weeks and I was there for two.
Let me start off by saying how gorgeous this place is, it's absolutely stunning.
One of the only places on our planet where you can be surrounded by such a wide variety of brilliant sites. You could look to your left and see enormous mountains, clad in greenery with the sun intensely gleaming down upon it. The rigid structure of the mountainside causes entire portions of it to be cast in a dark shadow during broad daylight, creating a vibrant contrast with the flora that falls within sunlight. To the right you can easily spot the endless expanse of the ocean as it sends forth countless waves to combat in an endless clash with the rocks beneath your feet. At times it really does overwhelm the senses. Even driving to the next town over provides an absolutely sensational view of the sprawling mountain ranges in the distance and the grandeur that resides within the valleys.
Anyways, allow me to get back to my trip. Most of the time that I was there we were staying in the north shore of Oahu. It's much more laid-back than the more popular parts of the island (around Honolulu), but there is still plenty to do there. The first place that we stayed at was a tad bit cramped, and one of the tenants would complain every time that we played volleyball because of the "noise", but it did have a pristine private beach about ten meters away from the condo. It was very convenient to walk outside right onto the beach and whenever we ran out of booze we could be back in under a minute. The condo was about a five minute walk from a bunch of shops and restaurants. Oddly enough in this little town, we saw Obama ride by escorted by black SUVs with tinted windows and Maryland/Virginia plates. Evidently he was on holiday with his family at the same time we were there.
We did make a good effort to visit the majority of the island. We went down to Honolulu and explored Waikiki a few days. Great food and entertainment. We scaled Diamond Head one of those days we were on the southern end of the island. It was a military fort during WWII built inside of a volcanic crater that overlooks the ocean. Since we were there during the winter the inside of the crater was rather lush, however it is normally very brown and dry. There are a series of steep stairways, tunnels and ladders that lead to the top. It is very interesting to see all of the geology and architecture on the walk up, but nothing compares to the view at the top. It almost doesn't look real. There is a bunker window that I had to crawl out of to get onto the path that leads around the summit of Diamond Head. Along the path the ocean is visible for the first time since going through the tunnel into the crater. It loops around to display the inside of the crater and the distance that has been covered. At the end there is a tiny lookout post that towers over the ocean, the crater and Honolulu. Three of the most profound scenes that my eyes have ever witnessed all laid beside each other.
The sun gleaming brighter than I have ever seen, glazing golden hues upon it all.
I also paid a visit to Pearl Harbor. I took a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, which is situated in the middle of the channel, above the sunken ship. They show a documentary before the ride that tells the story of the ship and nearly 1,200 men who drowned within. It puts everybody into a somber mood and the soldiers also ask the crowd to be respectful when visiting the memorial. There were well over one hundred people within the structure but it was dead silent. The atmosphere was very tranquil. There are windows and a rectangular hole in the center where you can observe the ship below. The names of the deceased men were etched into the back wall. Also, while in Pearl Harbor I went onto the USS Missouri. This ship is actually the location where Japan surrendered and WWII officially ended. There was a short tour/history lesson and afterwards I was able to explore pretty much the entire ship at my leisure.
I could keep going on for days, but this post is getting pretty long