Here’s the way Aare Lauren and his wife, Aire, approached their first trip to the United States.
If they’re going to travel 4,600 miles, they might as well make it worth their while.
Why not make it a true vacation?
“We love getting to see different parts of the world,” Aare said Wednesday afternoon, as the couple from Estonia ate lunch following their round at the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) World Bowhunter Championships in Yankton.
And that’s exactly what they’ve been able to do.
The couple, who have been married for 18 years, will spend 15-16 days in the United States and methodically planned out all the locations they wanted to see on their trip.
They spent time in Sioux Falls (they were awed by Falls Park) and in Sioux City, Iowa (they explored Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve) before they arrived in Yankton for the championships.
After the tournament, they plan to spend five more days exploring the tourist spots in West River South Dakota— Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, etc.
“This is a vacation for us,” Aare said, with a smile.
“It’s a job to come here for the championships, but we like to travel and see new things.”
In addition to their ventures around Europe for various tournaments, the couple also traveled to South Africa for last year’s IFAA World Bowhunter Championships.
Their joint passions for archery and travel have merged to the point where the couple plans for months where to go and what to see, according to Aare.
And those plans this year included a 4,600-mile journey to South Dakota.
In total, they will spend about eight days in Yankton, Aare said.
“It’s a very nice town,” he said. “It’s bigger than back home, but we love getting to know new people.
“There aren’t many familiar faces, but we meet new friends.”
What do they hope to see before they head back home?
“We want to see buffaloes,” Aare said. “Other guys who came here said they didn’t see any, but what’s what we want to do.”