GESSELL + LEE: EXPAT LIFESTYLE & FAMILY TRAVEL

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The Rugby World Cup 2019: What to see, eat and do in the host cities of Japan (part 1)

The top 20 rugby squads in the world will duke it out over 6 weeks in Japan, from the opening match in Tokyo on Sept 20th to the final in Yokohama on Nov 2nd. There are some notes when you are in Japan’s host cities for the Rugby World Cup 2019.

1. Japan has a relaxed attitude to drinking with thousands of gastro-pubs called izakaya. Rugby World Cup organisers fret that some might dry up before half time amid reports of Olympian feats of drinking by Irish, English, and Australian fans. Therefore, pub owners have been warned to stock up.

2. Be well prepared for natural disasters. Earthquakes are an unlucky feature of life in Japan. Few countries in the world are better equipped to deal with them; however, last year, foreign tourists found themselves struggling and isolated after a quake in Hokkaido, main northern island of Japan.

So, spend a bit of time before you leave to familiarize yourself with the place where you are going to and what to do if the worst thing happens. Make sure to always carry some cash and a fully charged mobile phone with you so the folks back home can reach you.

3. Bring plenty of yen. In spite of its high-tech prowess, Japan remains a cash-based society. Although hotels and larger service businesses accept Visa and MasterCard, many smaller bars and restaurants won’t. You can find foreign-friendly ATMs in 7-Eleven convenience stores, post offices, some department stores, airports, and train stations.

4. Leave your stash at home as Japan takes a very dim attitude to drugs. Possession of marijuana is punishable with up to 5 years in prison. Cocaine can be even more frowned upon while tiny pot busts can still ruin celebrity careers.

5. From being one of the more obscure tourism destinations, Japan has become the world’s fastest growing tourist market. More than 31 million people visited last year, triple the 2013 figure; the government believes 40 million might come in 2020. Although some venues moan that they are being overrun by badly behaved gaijin, one result of the tourist growing is that English use is now widespread.

The Best Sporting Events Worth Traveling to in 2020 (Part 2)

2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo

In terms of huge sporting events, there is nothing quite like the Summer Olympics. The next year’s event is known officially as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and is also set to be a spectacular affair.

There are going to be some amazing new events added to the Olympic roster here, including Madison cycling, freestyle BMX, and 3×3 basketball, as well as skateboarding and surfing. The Japan’s authorities are building 11 new venues for the event, with the National Stadium in the capital Tokyo being the main one. Most of the action in the event will be held within a few kilometers of the Olympic village.

You won’t want to miss visiting the capital of Japan without experiencing the other amazing things that this city has to offer, including the panoramic views from the Tokyo Skytree observation deck to the Imperial Palace, where you will discover unique attractions, to the Sensō-ji, the oldest temple in the city.

Champions League Final, Istanbul

The biggest prize of European club soccer will be at stake as two teams compete in the UEFA Champions League final that will be held in Turkey. The setting will be the Atatürk Olympic Stadium, where Liverpool came back from 0-3 to dramatically win the trophy from Milan in 2005.

This stadium has a total 76,761 seated capacity and is located on the western, European side of Istanbul. It was built as part of the country’s bid for the Summer Olympics in 2008 and is renowned for both the size and the intense atmosphere that is generated inside it.

Before or after the game, there is a lot of things to explore in this historic city which straddles Europe and Asia. The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace Museum, and Hagi Sophia are all outstanding. But for many visitors, wandering through the mammoth Grand Bazaar is their lingering memory of Istanbul.

The Best Sporting Events Worth Traveling to in 2020 (Part 1)

Mixing sports and travel is an amazing way to explore the world. If you want to see the best sports tournaments that the earth has to offer in the next year 2020, there are a few of the events that are suitable for you. They offer not only terrific sporting spectacles but also an incentive to visit interesting new places.

Superbowl 2020, Miami Gardens, Florida

We haven’t known exactly which teams will compete in Superbowl LIV but we clearly know that it will take place on February 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Florida, the United States, and this will be the sixth time this football game is held in this stadium, but the first time in the last decade.

You can start planning your Superbowl 2020 trip right now before the competing teams are decided because the tickets for the tournament can now be bought online. Football fans might have known that Kansa City Chiefs and New England Patriots are among the favorites to win this tournament, according to the latest Super Bowl odds.

While you visit Florida, you can enjoy natural attractions like Greynolds Park, Miramar Pineland Park, and Oleta River State Park.

Winter X Games, Calgary

The Winter X Games will take place in Calgary from 2020 through to 2022. This extremely big sports event is expected to bring about 75,000 spectators to Calgary, the city of Canada, each of those years. They will also host shows and special events when the games are going on.

Calgary was also hosting to the Winter Olympics in 1998 and has held a lot of sporting events since then. If you want to look for something to do away from the games, the local zoo and Calgary Tower, which has a revolving restaurant at the top, are some of the big attractions.

Quick Guide to visit Queens, New York City for the 2019 US Open

The US Open is the biggest tennis event in the United States and also one of the four most prestigious Grand Slam tournaments in the world. This year it is planned to return to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in late August. Travel to the US to have the chance to see the sport’s heavyweights like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Naomi Osaka up close when they battle for glory and a total $57 million prize. Here is a quick guide to help you get the most out of your visit to Queens for this tennis tournament.

Queens is the most populous borough of New York City and the most diverse large county in the US. In the immediate vicinity of the 2019 US Open, you will find Citi Field, which is home to the New York Mets that have a couple of home games against the Chicago Cubs early in the tennis tournament, the remnants of the old World’s Fairgrounds, the New York Hall of Science, and the Corona and Flushing neighborhoods.

Besides the hipster vibes of Brooklyn and the bustling streets of Manhattan, the NYC borough of Queens also has its own spotlight. In fact, recently, it has become a top travel destination. Queens is a hub of art, food, music, and festivals, so see what this vibrant city neighborhood can offer.

To get to Queens, you will need to take a flight into one of the major hubs of New York. Queens is also home to two of New York’s major airports, including LaGuardia (LGA), located in northern Queens.

Here is the list of top 10 most attractive spots in Queens

  • The Unisphere – Flushing Meadows Corona Park
  • Pepsi Cola Sign, Gantry Plaza State Park
  • Welling Court mural project
  • Long Island City Piers
  • Hunter’s Point South Park
  • Flushing’s Chinatown signs
  • Queens Botanical Garden
  • Francis Lewis Park
  • Astoria Park
  • PS1 in Long Island City

Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix Travel Guide

Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix tournament is planned to start on 8th September 2019 in Milan. Taking a tour to Italy at that time will give you a great opportunity to experience not only the 2019 Italian F1 Grand Prix but also the sights, sounds, and people of Italy.

Italy, with its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and golden light, has inspired poets and painters for centuries. Perhaps Italy is the country that features the most romantic medieval hill towns like San Gimignano in Tuscany, and unspoiled fishing villages such as Positano on the Amalfi coast. It combines history, art, and contemporary fashion with stunning natural landscapes.

What To Know About Milan

For the duration of your 2019 Italian F1 Grand Prix tour, you will be based in Milan, located about 45 km from the Monza racing circuit, the second-largest city in Italy after Rome, widely-known for fashion, design, and finance. Milan is a busy city that is more similar to London or Paris than Rome or Venice.

It has a steady rotation of new bars, clubs, and restaurants to try out on your next visit. The city pulses with energy and those who have visited Milan might tell you that there’s no place in the world quite like Milan.

Milan is considered as the drinking capital of Italy and has been called “the land of happy hour.” Many places in this city offer small plates with an aperitivo cocktail, usually spritz, for which the city is famous. Many hidden gems of the city are tucked away in places where they are easy to overlook. So if you are hunting down sights less seen, look for barn-like houses and hidden courtyards on the banks of the Navigli.

Milan also offers you a lot of things to do, including many sightseeing possibilities, including the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, located a little outside the city center in the Milan Museum, the Piazza Duomo featuring its worldwide famous and huge Cathedral, and many fashion boutiques located in this popular tourist area. If you enjoy a good night out, the city offers a variety of clubs, bars, and restaurants.

Travel guide for UFC244 in New York city

The UFC calendar is rolling along smoothly in 2019 with a lot of action ahead of us as the calendar is stacked with some pretty amazing cards coming up. The  UFC 244 is scheduled for November 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, the USA. If you are a fan of this sport and have the Travel guide for UFC244 in New York City plan to visit New York for this fighting, there is a brief guide for you to best prepare for your trip!

Where to stay in New York?

New York offers a wide range of accommodations to fit every taste: boutique hotels tucked away on charming side streets, marquee hotels that reflect NYC’s bright lights, or family-friendly stays close to parks and greenery. Whether you want to be in the center of it all, visit nearby attractions, or explore NYC history, these hotels will make New York your home away from home.

Restaurants

Your choices for eating in New York are as limitless as your cravings. Want a porterhouse for two at an old-timey steakhouse? A plateful of Chinese dumplings? Or a 15-course tasting menu at the latest trendsetting restaurant? New York has a ton of places featuring cuisines from around the world.

Broadway Shows

Broadway show is the bright beating heart of New York City’s performing arts scene. Your visit to New York is incomplete without experiencing the rousing entertainment available in the Theatre District of Midtown Manhattan, where dozens of historic venues stage bold long-running hits, fascinating dramas, and new musicals every night of the week.

Shopping

Whatever your retail pleasure, you will be able to find it in New York City. Stores across the five boroughs offer the finest in luxury apparel, gourmet goods, tech, books, gear, and more. There are many reasons why New York is considered as a global shopping capital.

Nightlife in New York

The City is rightfully known for its nightlife. From friendly dive bars to sophisticated cocktail dens, or bottle-service-only dance clubs, New York’s after-dark entertainment is as electrifying as it ever was.

Visit the Hockenheimring for the 2019 German Formula 1 Grand Prix

Let’s start planning your trip to the Hockenheimring circuit for the 2019 German Formula 1 Grand Prix. Here’s the most useful trackside guide to the Hockenheimring, including the full on-track schedule to get the most out of your trip to the German Grand Prix on July 26-28.

The Hockenheimring offers a compact stadium layout and plenty of passionate local fans so the trackside experience there is excellent. You can also freely  check out the views from most of the grandstands on Friday with an added bonus. One of the highlights of the 2019 German Formula 1 Grand Prix’s schedule will be Mick Schumacher driving demonstration laps in his father’s all-conquering Ferrari F2004, which he drove to win the last of his seven World Championships. However, the unfortunate thing is that this year, the Hockenheimring misses out again on support from Formula 2 and Formula 3 that appear at most other European races. Instead, Germany’s support schedule includes ADAC Formula 4, Renault Clio Cup, and Porsche Supercup racing.

Explore the original Hockenheimring layout

Before the current layout was introduced in 2002, the Hockenheimring originally was a high-speed track with long straights that were deep into the forest, devoid of spectators, featuring legendary slipstream battles between drivers such as Senna, Schumacher, and Prost. The old track layout was reforested after 2002. In the areas where cars were drove at 350 km/h, there is now just trees and grass, but you can still make out the old circuit. This is the perfect place for F1 fans who want a nice walk or like adventure.

Hockenheimring Museum

The Hockenheimring’s museum, located between the South Grandstand and the A6 Motorway, is worth checking out. Its entry is just €1 if you present a valid race ticket. The 2000m2 display features 300 exhibits, including F1 cars from ATS, Minardi, Zakspeed, Benetton, and Williams.

F1 Fanzone

As usual, the F1 Fanzone, located behind the Main Grandstand, provides a lot of activities for you to join when there’s no action on the track.

Five reasons to visit Brazil to watch the Copa America 2019 (part 2)

3. The two best teams in Asia are expected

Asia is the most fertile market for football players. Qatar and Japan, the two best football teams in Asia, is participating in the 2019 Copa America as two guest teams.

This is the first time of Qatar to attend South America’s number one tournament at the national team level while this is the second time that Japan has attended Copa America. Their first time was at the Copa America 1999. The team from the country of the sunrise stopped in the group stage that year.

4. Quality of legendary Maracana stadium infrastructure

One of the majorn attractions of the 2019 Copa America is the strategy of the host country to use stadiums that held matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Now, the stadium with high quality infrastructure is considered a legacy of Brazil.

The stadiums that will host 26 matches of the tournament are:

  • Morumbi (Sao Paulo)
  • Arena Corinthians (Sao Paulo)
  • Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador)
  • Mineirao (Belo Horizonte)
  • Maracana (Rio de Janeiro)

All of these stadiums are renovated, allowing fans to enjoy the atmosphere that is not different from a big tournament like FIFA World Cup.

5 / Neymar, Messi, Suarez, James Rodriguez, …

Copa America is the oldest league at the national team level in the whole world.

This tournament also brings together the great figures of the world’s football with the ambition to conquer the title in the tournament of the continent. It is also the place where the most famous football stars gather together.

Every country has their own representative players like Brazil with Neymar, Argentina with Lionel Messi, Uruguay with Luis Suarez, Colombia with James Rodriguez, and Chile with Alexis Sanchez, …

Of course, none of them wants to lose and this makes the tournament more attractive.

Five reasons to visit Brazil to watch the Copa America 2019 (part 1)

Brazil is a paradise of football. Here are 5 reasons why you should go to Brazil to see the Copa America 2019 this summer.

1. Brazil is a vibrant tourist destination

As a tourist destination, Brazil will bring unforgettable scenarios, especially for those who follow the Copa America 2019.

The tournament is held in 5 cities, each of which has its own unique characteristics that you will never forget.

Copa America Brazil 2019

Sao Paulo: Sao Paulo is widely known as the city of culture, food, and entertainment. You can enjoy the food at the restaurant at Jardins, Pinheiros, or Avenida Paulista and visit museums, antique fairs, theaters to see performers, etc.

Porto Alegre: Located near Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Porto Alegre is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Brazil. You can immerse yourself under the sunset on the Guaiba River, enjoy food in the city center, and have lunch in a gau oven for tradition.

Salvador: The main attraction of this city is Pelourinho district, the place that brings tourists back to Brazil’s ancient times.

Rio de Janeiro: This is the main destination of tourists coming to Brazil. It offers beautiful beaches and some historical sites of Brazil such as Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) and Christ the Redeemer Statue.

2. Experience the Copa America

Traveling, discovering other cultures, and making new friends are unique experiences that make you vibrate. At Copa America, you can meet people from all over South America as well as football fans from Japan and Qatar.

In addition, visiting Brazil when the tournament is taking place, you can feel the exciting atmosphere of this great sport event in the largest country of South America.

If you go to Brazil for such a big sports event, you will understand why Brazilian football is not merely a sport but it is also a culture.

The Best Travel Apps To Use In 2019 (Part 2)

  1. Hostelworld

Hostelworld does all the usual things that you expect an accommodation booking app to do, including searches, filters, and descriptions. This app offers full-screen interactive map, making it easy to work out whether there is any hostel you like near where you want to be, while all-important reviews are only a tap away.

You can get Hostelworld for both iOS and Android.

  1. Airbnb

Airbnb helps you rent individual rooms, couches, or entire apartments from locals. If you stay with local hosts, you will still be able to get the social aspect of a hostel.

Airbnb is available for both iOS and Android.

  1. Culture Trip

Culture Trip is really a chatty friend who provides you the tips of insiders on the local hangouts and many other things to do. This app publishes more than 1000 short articles per month, across a range of topics such as culture, art, film with the aim of giving travelers a quick immersive dive into the city of their choice.

All you need to do is to create a wishlist of cities you want to explore, and this app will serve up everything from bike trails in the U.S. to hotels in Tokyo. Use it before and during your trip in order to have unexpected and fresh looks at cities beyond the usual tourist traps.

  1. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a favorite travel app for finding cheap flights. It searches millions of flights from over 1,200 sources and suggests you the best options available (maybe the cheapest route, or the easiest one). In addition, the handy chart feature shows you the cheapest time to fly to your destination and sends you notification of price changes.

  1. TripIt

This app helps organize your upcoming trip. You just have to forward your flight, car rental, hotel, and restaurant confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and it will automatically transfer all the information to your master itinerary and you will be able to view view all your upcoming plans easily at once.