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Happy Veterans Day

posted on November 8, 2023

With Veterans Day coming up I thought it would be a good time to share some of my experiences in the Navy. A lot of people at UF ask me about my experience in the Navy and where I have been in the world. However, I don’t always remember exactly everything I have done so I wanted to take the time to list all the countries I have visited during my service and rank them based on how much fun I had while visiting! 


  1. Manila, Philippines. This one was my favorite simply because I saw Nelly the rapper at 2am in a VIP club section inside a casino. Along with that I enjoyed trying to speak the native language of Tagalog and the food there was delicious. Adobo and Lumpia are my favorites!
  2. This place was one of the cleanest places I have ever seen in my entire life. I got to visit the infamous Marina Bay Sands and see the outlook over the city with the infinity pool.  
  3. South Korea. I enjoyed South Korea because I got to have authentic Korean BBQ and I got some of my favorite jerseys of sports icons for very cheap!
  4. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. I enjoyed Brazil because of how tropical it was. Along with that, I got to see the culture of soccer or futbol. It was really cool seeing so many young children playing soccer all over the place!
  5. Although Vietnam is a communist country it was very beautiful and the people there were extremely nice. We had a taxi driver that showed us around and also gave us a historical perspective on the Vietnam war. He showed us where the United States had its own base and more.
  6. Valparaiso, Chile. This was probably the poorest country I visited. I really got to witness what a 3rd world country looked like and it made me appreciate what we have in the United States. I also enjoyed this port because although I was underage our commanding officer allowed all sailors to abide by Chiles drinking laws. Thus meaning I was allowed to buy whatever alcohol I wanted when I was 18. I do not really remember a whole lot after the drinking started but I do remember it was a good time!
  7. I was unsure if I should put Hawaii on this list or not because it is a state and not a country. However, the reason it is this low is because of that reason. Hawaii was very touristy but was still very beautiful. The hikes I did while we were there were some of the best hiking I have ever done!
  8. Guam is a territory that was also poor. Funny story, when I visited here, I did not have a phone while I was there because I broke it on the first day of my deployment. So, I had to use an iPod to take all my pictures and communicate with my family back home. This was extra difficult because the Wi-Fi in Guam at the time was very poor. None the less, Guam is also very pretty, and I got the worst sunburn of my life there. I thought it would be a good idea to not wear sunscreen after working night shift for weeks and not seeing the sun. I learned the hard way to always wear sunscreen when you are that close to the equator!
  9. I forget the exact city that we visited in Peru, but it was my very first port that I got to see. One memory that sticks out in my mind is clubbing with some of my friends there!
  10. Okinawa, Japan. The reason Japan is so low on this list was because I only spent one night there. And during that one-night span I got food poisoning and broke my phone for the second time. So, I didn’t really get the full experience with this one!


So, there it is! A list of every single country I went to during my time in the Navy. This ranking was purely based off my own experience and if I had more time or freedom then it could have been a lot different. Lastly, I wanted to take the time to say Happy Veterans Day to every single veteran and those who are currently serving. With everything that is going on in the world today I am especially thankful for these men and women. It is a scary time to be in the military and let’s hope that peace can remain with the United States but also peace can be made in other countries that are currently at war! 




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