Crystal Gauvin, a top five World ranked compound archer, has traveled the world in her quest for archery medals and titles. Thankfully, she kept her camera with her, and documented the amazing places she’s visited!
“I’ve been blessed with opportunities to travel worldwide to compete in archery,” Gauvin said. “Travel can be stressful and tiring, but when I leave the field and competitions to explore the surrounding city and country, it’s all worth it.”
What follows are Gauvin’s thoughts on five memorable destinations.
I’ve visited Denmark twice, first to Copenhagen for the World Championships and then again this fall for the World Cup Finals in Odense. Denmark has a deep history and exciting new technology, such as its windmill farms. You can always count on this sweet bonus, too: great ice cream! It’s also easy to get around in Denmark’s cities, which are clean and relatively uncongested.
I grew up in Ohio, and love any tournament that takes me back to my roots. Tournaments in Ohio and Pennsylvania mean family, farmlands and good food. A Pennsylvania trip also opens the possibility to visit Lancaster Archery Supply. If you’ve never been there, I can assure you it’s a grown-up toy store. While participating in the Organization of Professional Archery tournament in Uniontown this year, I found a hidden gem. An authentic Mexican restaurant features the best tacos al pastor I’ve had outside of Mexico. Meanwhile, when visiting Ohio, you must try Graeter’s world-famous ice cream with its massive chunks of chocolate.
Medellin is a beautiful city with great people. I highly recommend sampling some homemade empanadas, which you can find throughout the city. They’re delicious! The city’s traffic is often congested, but when you come up from the valley you’ll find wildlife, stunning scenery and fresh air. If you like coffee, artwork and architecture, I recommend Medellin. Just make sure you bring home whole (unground) coffee beans, or your return flight will significantly lower their quality.
Everyone recognizes Las Vegas as a famous tourist destination, but it also hosts one of my favorite annual tournaments. Where else in the world can you go and be surrounded 24/7 by other archers? I recommend renting a car so you can easily leave the hotel. Otherwise, you might step into the same trap that snared me my first year there. I walked out of the hotel Monday morning, and realized I hadn’t seen the sky in four days! Yes, the South Point has everything you need under one roof, but venturing out lets you enjoy quality barbeque, shows on the strip, scenic drives through the Red Rock Canyon, or day trips to Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.
What a beautiful country! I expected rain and clouds each day I was there, but was blessed with sunshine and lovely scenery. Do you like golf? Ireland offers some great courses that challenge your skills, especially if you’re used to playing the United States’ less daunting links. Are you more of a beer fan? Then take a tour of the Guinness factory, learn its history, and taste its delicious samples. You can also take some quick hikes that promise stunning views of the countryside. For food, visit the farmers’ markets for crepes with fresh honey, meat and fruit!
You don’t have to go somewhere exotic to shoot archery, of course. Even top archers got their start by arrowing backyard targets.
From the backyard to the tree stand to one of these global destinations, you never know where archery will take you. Find an archery store near you, and begin your archery adventure today.