Six Experiences You Can Only Find in Minneapolis

Six Experiences You Can Only Find in Minneapolis -- Em Dashed

The thing about Minneapolis, Minnesota is this: it’s kind of hard to get there by accident.

It’s not impossible, of course — contrary to popular belief, there are signs of intelligent life throughout the Midwestern United States — but it’s not likely.

So then, you might be asking: why should I make a point to visit the City of Lakes? What can you find there that you can’t find in a million other places?

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Crocodile Spotting on the Daintree River

Crocodile Spotting Daintree River

By the time we arrived in Far North Queensland, we already had a pretty decent arsenal of Australian wildlife sightings under our belt.

So far, we’d encountered Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, koalas, dolphins, emus, and echidnas, to name some of the higlights. As far as kitschy animal sightings went, there was just one more big one to check off: the almighty crocodile.

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Huka Falls Walkway — Taupo

Hiking to Hot Springs - Taupo

I realize it’s highly unlikely you’re looking for another reason to visit New Zealand. You’ve probably already got a list longer than Rory’s reasons for attending Yale — even (or maybe especially) if, like me, you’ve already been there.

But sometimes I sit down to write about the country I actually live in, and then 1001 things to say about New Zealand pop into my head, and as I see it, I’ve got two options: fight it, or just share some more NZ content.

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Snorkeling in the Whitsundays

Snorkeling in the Whitsundays

One of the many ways I’m kind of weird is that — while I apparently have zero qualms about booking a one-way ticket to New Zealand without a job, or jumping off a bridge over a river filled with storm debris — there are some areas where I prefer baby steps.

Take water activities, for instance. I’m not the world’s greatest swimmer. Despite the fact that I grew up in Minnesota, a state that literally took its name from the Dakota word for “water,” I’ve always been more comfortable on land.

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A Ride on the London Eye

London Eye

You may be wondering what I have to say about the London Eye that a) hasn’t been said a thousand times before, or b) you couldn’t discern for yourself by simply looking at it.

The honest answer to that is, not a lot. But that’s the thing about the London Eye: it’s pretty much exactly what, uh, meets the eye (so to speak). There’s not a lot of surprises — which, when it comes to a big metal contraption that lifts you hundreds of feet into the air, some might consider a good thing.

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Kawarau Bridge Bungy – Queenstown

If I’m going to give anyone a tip about bungy jumping at Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown, let it be this: do not do it if you’re hungover.

Bungy Jump - Queenstown

Of course, we all handle our hangovers in different ways. I prefer to drink copious amounts of Coca-Cola and stay as still as possible. Other people might like to hang upside down over rushing water, slowly spinning in circles, waiting for people to release you from a giant rubber band and take you back to solid ground. Whatever. As the kids seem to say these days: do you.

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How to Spend a Rainy Day in Amsterdam

There are certain things in life we just have to face.

Food that is good for you so rarely tastes as appealing as food that is not; people get older and wrinklier as long as they’re alive; when you go to Amsterdam, it will probably be raining.

Canal Tour in Rainy Amsterdam

Of course, there are many options for rainy days when you’re in a city, especially one as full-to-the-brim as Amsterdam. Find a cafe, sip a coffee, and people watch. Eat some bitterballen under the heated and umbrella-covered Leidseplein. Go shopping, visit one of the many museums, or, hell: embrace the plain reality of Dutch weather and just soldier on in your outdoor exploring.

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Sailing Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park is one of approximately five zillion places in New Zealand and Australia named after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. You might think I’m kidding, but I’m really not (and don’t even get me started on James Cook).

Sailing Abel Tasman National Park

But please, don’t be fooled: its name might be generic, but the rest of it is not. Actually, Abel Tasman is a unique and extraordinary place, filled with flora and fauna that is distinctly Kiwi.

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