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In what countries have you swum?

My pool list has a few fundamental problems when it comes to enumerating the full-range of my globe-swimming adventures:

  • it only covers pools,

  • I only started tracking these in 2007, and

  • it's focused on where I've done actual workouts

If I relax all of those rules, the list of countries in which I've swum outside of the US is much broader ...

Countries in which I've swum

  • Canada - our great neighbors to the north are well-represented on my pool list and I've swum in one lake in BC. Notably not on my pool list is the Canada Games Complex in Thunder Bay. Over 1992 to 1994 when I was in grad school, I coached with the Madison East YMCA year-round team. We took a team trip there in '93, I think, and I entered a few events myself.

  • Belize - I was sorely disappointed in my swim when I went to Belize on vacation. While I loved the interior of the country, it rained practically the entire three days we were at the beach. I still got in, of course.

  • Dominican Republic - When my father-in-law had a last minute need to cancel a prepaid condo, I was able to take a much-needed respite there. The beach was fine enough, but the highlight was being mistaken for a German tourist and getting put on the wrong whale-watching boat tour. I didn't realize until the boat docked at a resort that this was a one-way tour. My hitchhiking skills from my Peace Corps days served me well to get me back to the pad!

  • Turks & Caicos - My wife and I are probably the first people to go to these islands and find them boring. Despite our intuitive feel that we would not enjoy an all-inclusive resort, we went there. I did enjoy the clarity of the water, but, outside of the resort, there was little to nothing to explore.

  • Venezuela - We spent our honeymoon here, arriving there at the height of one of the country's many banking crises. After a couple of days, the situation got so bad that we couldn't even change money except on the black market. Thanks to an honorable, burly guy with a big gun standing outside the AMEX office, we were able to do just that. The swimming highlight was the river near Angel Falls.

  • United Kingdom - This is not quite as well-represented as Canada, but I actually swam here a fair amount between 2003 and 2007 when I traveled there frequently for work. Alas, I never kept track of the pools in both the greater London and Reading areas until after 2007.

  • France - Despite having gone to Paris a handful of times, and vacationing around Montpelier for a week, I don't think I've actually ever swum in a French pool. I did dip into the chilly Mediterranean Sea near Nice when I was there in the fall of '02 for a quick business trip.

  • Monaco - In March of 2007, I had a conference here. Much like my ill-advised swim in Nice, I felt I had to get into the Mediterranean here. I think I lasted 10 minutes!

  • India - Has only recently started to make some solid entries on my pool list. I have also swum off the beaches of Goa (Arabian Sea) and in a mountain lake nearby. I'm kind of bummed I didn't hit the beaches when I was in Chennai.

  • Japan - I remember swimming in an outdoor pool in downtown Tokyo at some point during the 2004-2006 time-frame when I was traveling there frequently for business. My recollection was that I walked there from the Grand Hyatt (which had a great, indoor pool), but I cannot seem to find any pool online that looks close enough. I distinctly remember the experience as I had a long 'conversation' with the facility staff where they tried to communicate to me that I couldn't enter the pool without a cap. Eventually, they sold me a latex cap that was sized more like a beanie, but I got in a swim.

  • Australia - I've only been here once, in 2003, and only in one pool, but at least I made it a good one - the warmup pool for the 2000 Sydney Olympic complex.

  • South Africa - I think South Africa is one of the most stunningly beautiful countries in the entire world, and has the best beaches. I loved the warm Indian Ocean in Durban and the stunning scenery of the beaches in and around Cape Town, but Plettenberg Bay was the best beach in my recollection.

Countries I've visited, but did not swim in

  • Germany - I really should have made something happen as I spent almost a week in Nuremburg in 2003 or 2004 on a consulting project, but just worked too hard.

  • Sweden - I tried to get in one pool during a quick overnight business trip, but it was not to be.

  • Spain - I've been to Barcelona twice for work conferences and Madrid once for client meetings, but remained dry throughout each trip.

  • Switzerland - I've really only passed through Zurich en route to Chamonix, France for one of the better business meetings of my life. We did get to the ice caves in Mont Blanc and I saw some lakes, but there was no way I was getting in.

  • China - I've only been to Guangzhou for a very short business trip, but I do need to get to Beijing's Water Cube at some point in my life.

  • Kenya - I was through Nairobi in the summer of 2008 and might have jumped into the Norfolk Hotel pool, but can't recall for sure if I did.

What's the coolest body of water you've swum in?

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