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Fun

I have led a fun and varied life traveling the world and collecting many wonderful experiences on the way!

fun
When I am not doing my main job as a husband and father, or focused on my career, I pursue a number of hobbies and pastimes:

Karate

I practice Shotokan Karate, a traditional Japanese style that focuses on explosive power and decisive strikes that are intended to end a fight quickly without the karateka getting hit.

I was attracted to Shotokan as a teenager after becoming immersed in Japanese culture through watching Samurai movies and Anime with my friends, and I appreciate the balance of mental and physical discipline that it demands.

Video Games

I am an avid video gamer, who has for more than 40 years enjoyed many genres including RPGs (Role Playing Games), MMORPGs (Massively Multiple Online Role Playing Games), turn-based Strategies, 4X and FPS (First Person Shooters).

People often ask me which game is my favorite, and the response is a long debate rather than a succinct answer, the games that I would put on my current Top 5 list would be:

1. Cyberpunk 2077: A masterpiece that strongly makes the argument that video games are becoming the ultimate entertainment form, not least because of outstanding performances by Keanu Reeves and Idris Elba. A joy to behold on a suitably powerful PC as long as it doesn’t melt your graphics card.

2. XCOM 2: Undoubtedly the best turn-based strategy game ever created, combining a slick combat system with strong lore, excellent humor and outstanding storytelling.

3. Telltale Games The Walking Dead First Episode: 
I defy anyone to play this Grammy nominated, award-winning game and not be moved to tears. It totally deserves the 80+ awards that it received due to the exceptional acting (a masterclass by Dave Fennoy), writing and production. Worth a look even if you’re not a usually a gamer.

4. Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic (KOTOR): A brilliant RPG for Star Wars fans and RPGers alike. Superb gameplay combined with a strong backstory and great characters make for an unforgettable experience. Looking a little long in the tooth now, I wait, like many, for the eagerly anticipated remake.

5. Star Wars Galaxies: This MMOPRG was — at launch — the finest gaming experience that I or any of my friends had ever had. The ability to move freely around the Star Wars universe, to develop your character from a peon on Tatooine to a lightsaber wielding Jedi and everything in between was immersive and utterly enjoyable.

Alas, it was also too expensive for Sony Online Entertainment to maintain and it was ‘nerfed’ about 18 months after launch and was never the same again. This game led to marriages, divorces, lifelong friendships and feuds, and was clearly ahead of its time.

Travel

Ever since being a Cub Scout and Boy Scout, I have always found that spending time traveling and in nature is a great way to recharge. My wife and I try to travel whenever we get the chance, and I have visited half of the states in the United States and been to over 50 countries.

My favorite nature destinations are:

- Dunn's River Falls, (Ocho Rios, Jamaica)- Mount Rainier National Park (Washington, USA)- Phuket (Thailand)- The New Forest, England (Dorset, Hampshire & Wiltshire, England)- Yosemite National Park (California, USA)

My favorite cultural destinations are:

- Kiev (Ukraine): One of the most beautiful cities in the world- London (England): Simply the best city in the world, and not just because I was born and grew up there! No other city matches its diversity, energy, heritage or sophistication.- Venice (Italy): Will always have a special place in my heart as it is the first overseas trip that I did without my parents and its unique architecture still takes my breath away decades later.- Washington DC (USA): An underrated city that balances architectural elegance with livability and history