World Traveler Dr. George Shares 3 Of His Favourite Places
While Dr. George Freundlich is beloved in his community in Northern Ontario, Canada, for his lifelong dedication to medicine, he’s also well-known for his incredible and far-reaching travels.
This unassuming Canadian doctor, originally from Romania, has visited more than 100 countries on all seven continents. He enjoys sharing photographs from his trips, and even has an examining room at his private clinic, appropriately named “The National Geographic” where he showcases many of the countries, peoples and landmarks that he has experienced for his long life of travel.
Dr. George has more photos and experiences than could ever fit in a single article, but he wants to share some of his most memorable and photogenic trips from a long and robust life as a traveller.
Brazil’s Opera House in the Jungle
Of all the many places that Dr. George has visited, Brazil’s famous Opera House In The Jungle is one of the most special. This amazing opera house was literally built in the Amazon’s Jungle in 1896. It’s a memory he loves to relive through photographs and storytelling.
Known to most Brazilians as simply “the Opera House,” or “Opera Amazonas,” this historic building continues to keep its doors open for interested visitors, and still offers live performances, especially from the Amazonas Philharmonic. The building has also hosted the annual Amazonas Opera Festival.
Back in 1996, Dr. George visited the Opera House for a classical guitar festival that also commemorated the building’s 100th anniversary. Given that Dr. George is also a career classical and jazz musician who continues to play trombone and saxophone in his local Timmins All Star Big Band, there was a lot for him to appreciate at the Opera House.
“It’s a truly unique place, and offers so much for anyone who loves culture and architecture, and of course it’s especially wonderful for a musician like myself,” he said.
Travels in the Arctic Circle
Dr. George became hooked on the idea of traveling to the High Arctic after seeing a handful of interesting photos from a magazine article. “I immediately fell in love,” he said. “The year was 1994 and I suddenly knew I had to visit this place. The feeling came from my spirit of adventure.”
For three years, 1995 to 1997, Dr. George visited the High Arctic several times. The experiences changed his life in ways he said he still cannot fully articulate.
“I started inquiring about opportunities for short-term work, meaning I would take over for a doctor on sick leave or vacation,” Dr. George said. “I also had to figure out how to get there. You can only fly to the High Arctic. There are no roads. Sometimes you can be stranded for days waiting for a snowstorm to pass by. After a bit of search, I found a job for late March, gathered all my warmest clothes and began the experience of a lifetime.”
Dr. George’s medical work in isolated places in Newfoundland and his adventures and work in the High Arctic gave him a major boost of self-confidence, he said.
“I was now ready to start exploring the rest of the world,” he said. True to his word, he did just that.
Carnival in Rio
While Dr. George has travelled to so many places, from the Cook Islands of the South Pacific to the vast savannahs of Kenya, there’s just something special about Brazil, and few experiences have made a bigger impression on Dr. George than Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
He had already traveled to many countries when Dr. George chose in 2001 to experience Carnaval for the first time. At the time, he had no idea how much he would love the experience, or that he would continue returning for several years.
“The excitement was tangible in every part of the city,” he said in an article for The Savvy Globetrotter. “I will never forget it. Indeed, I have no hesitation in stating that Carnaval in Rio is the greatest, most exciting and colorful show on the planet!”