Go Away With … Becky Sauerbrunn

Becky SAUERBRUNN_640

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
July 26, 2016

Soccer fans know Becky Sauerbrunn as the captain of the National Women’s Soccer League’s FC Kansas City. She is also the co-captain of the United States National Team and will be competing in her second Olympic Games this summer in Brazil. She splits her time between Missouri and Oregon, where she resides when she’s not playing for FC Kansas City.

Asked where she’d like to visit after the Olympics are over, Sauerbrunn, 31, said, “New Zealand. I’ve never had a big enough chunk of time to travel that far and have enough time to really experience the country. My boyfriend and I are planning on traveling for a year after I retire from soccer and New Zealand is definitely on the list.”

Fans may interact with the Olympian on Twitter.

Q. Most people will never get to watch the Olympics in person, much less compete in them. What was it like for you to be in London representing the United States in 2012, and then winning gold?

A. It was fantastic! I’m such a fan of the English Premier League and it was amazing to get to play in those iconic stadiums, where I’ve watched the best soccer players in the world play. And then to win a gold medal, it doesn’t even feel real. I got to represent my country on the world stage and get to call myself an Olympic gold medalist. Those are two huge honors.

Q. Do you anticipate getting to do any sightseeing at the Rio Games?

A. There won’t be a lot of time! We play in stadiums all around Brazil and won’t be in Rio until the end of the tournament, if all goes well. If I have some time, however, I would like to see the National Library of Brazil. It’s one of the largest libraries in the world.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. My boyfriend and I really enjoy traveling to Central America. We don’t get a lot of vacation time, so Central America offers destinations that are relatively close and that offer attractions that we enjoy. We like to travel off the beaten path and explore the more natural areas of a country. We stayed in Placencia, a small fishing village in the south of Belize, and had an absolute blast. I’d recommend visiting the Mayan ruins of Lubaantun. We did several hikes around the ruins, one involving swimming through a cave and climbing waterfalls.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. We recently traveled to Panama and stayed in a tree hut on Bocas Del Toro. It was a wonderful combination of feeling like you were the only people on earth and knowing that civilization was only a short bike ride away.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. My first memories of vacation are family trips to the Lake of the Ozarks. My family had an old lake house that we would cram into and my brothers, cousins and I would swim, fish and explore all day. I remember that place very fondly.

Q. What are some of your favorite cities?

A. Phuket, London, Tokyo, Washington, D.C.

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. My fantasy trip will hopefully come to fruition after I retire from soccer. My boyfriend and I are planning a sabbatical, where we’re going to spend a year traveling to all the places we’ve ever dreamed of going. If we enjoy a place, we’ll stay for a few weeks. If it’s not for us, we’ll move on to the next place on our list.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. Anything! One of the best things about traveling is the food. We try to do some research on restaurants or food carts people rate highly. On our trip to Lubaantun in Belize, we drove past a house with a sign that read Coleman’s Cafe. It was the best Caribbean food we have ever had. Meat melting off the bone, rice and beans and the best fried plantains I imagine I’ll ever have — all served buffet-style out of a family’s kitchen.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?

A. I’m on the hunt for the world’s best mojito. Currently, Puerto Rico is winning the contest.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I need a general idea of what the area offers, such as what town we are staying in or around, what things are available to do around where we are staying, what restaurants or grocery stores are in walking distance and if the area is generally a safe place to be.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A. Worst experience was our return flight from Panama to the States. We hit a flock of birds on our ascent and it blew out the engine. We had to do an emergency landing back at the Panamanian airport. Best experience was the cave swimming in Belize. All we had for safety were headlamps, no flotation devices or anything. And we just swam and climbed these waterfalls until we reached this little alcove with small boulders where we sat and talked and rested.

Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A. Some of the most memorable moments come from the most unexpected places. I enjoy resorts and tourist attractions as much as the next person, but the moments I always go back to are the adventures off the beaten path.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Weekends are usually the times I have my matches, so I don’t get to go on many weekend getaways. Bend, Oregon, is on my list as a potential weekend trip after the Olympics.

Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A. I’ve never been away for the holidays. We either spend it with my family in St. Louis or my boyfriend’s family in D.C.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?
A. Romance is everywhere! From a tree hut in Panama, to a bed and breakfast in Costa Rica, to an English women’s apartment basement in Belize.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. No city outside of the United States has ever reminded me of St. Louis.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. I need several good novels, sunscreen and some mode of transportation that is readily available.

© 2016 JAE-HA KIM
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

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