As a basketball player, everywhere Chris Bosh has dribbled a ball, he left his mark. While in high school in Dallas, Bosh anchored a state-title-winning team. At Atlanta’s Georgia Tech, he accomplished the rare feat of leading his squad in scoring and rebounding as a freshman. When he played for the Toronto Raptors, Bosh was a five-time all-star. And, of course, he had a tremendous run as the Miami Heat’s do-everything power forward, even having his jersey retired at AmericanAirlines Arena on March 26.
Though his pro career has ended — because of continued blood clotting, Bosh had to stop playing in 2016 — the two-time NBA champion is still leaving his mark on different places, only now it’s with his global jaunts and not his jump shot. During a recent one-on-one chat with Forbes Travel Guide, the proud husband and father of five talked about the South Florida spots he loves visiting with the family, the Texas city he’s spending more time in and the international destinations he can’t get enough of.
Do you miss the NBA?
I miss playing basketball. You miss that thing that you’re good at. Being able to perform in front of people is pretty cool. [The travel] gets tough. I played my games. There are no more games left.
The part I like about the playoffs is seeing people rising to the occasion. It was so stressful [when I played]. You don’t want to do it anymore. I’ve had my time and I’ve answered my calls. I’ve had my failures. Now, I can just watch other younger guys get a crack at it, putting it all out on the line.
When did the physical wear and tear start getting to you during the season?
Right after Christmas. The hardest part was the whole month of January. With Christmas, you either get a break or you play [on national TV]. You get a jolt of energy [for that game]. That’s a fun game to play in. That’ll take you through New Year’s. But after New Year’s, the party is done and the holiday season is over. It’s colder everywhere. It gets a little tougher.
The other tough month is March. That’s right after the all-star break. You gotta be serious, but that’s usually the most games you play in a month. But it still might be cold in Chicago, Toronto, Milwaukee or Detroit. Those can be dog days. And the injuries pile up. You’re right at 60-something games played. That’s definitely when it gets the toughest.
What were some of the cities you enjoyed visiting during the season?
The regular staples — L.A., Miami, New York and Toronto. Those were my favorite places because there was something to do. It’s the big city. That’s pretty much the mode that you get into during the season. I fell into a role where I just wanted to be able to just have a nice, early evening. Nothing crazy. I’d have dinner at a trendy spot that makes me feel like I’m doing something. I’d, hopefully, stay in a super nice hotel. Have a nightcap and head on to my room. That was pretty much my wheelhouse. Bigger cities are going to have more opportunities, more amenities.
What makes Miami so special to you?
The weather, obviously. It’s just the vibe of the city. Everything’s a little more chill but still busy. People still want to be successful and they’re still hustling, but you get to do it in the sunshine. It’s just got that flair. There’s just something about it.
When you can eat outside in December and January and you’re out on Española Way and they’re playing the Spanish grooves live, there’s just something about that. It has that spirit in the air. When you come here, you say, “Let’s just hang. Let’s sit at the hotel and sit by the pool.” It just has that essence.
And Miami always seems to evolve. What’s new around town that you’re loving right now?
One of the places that I love going to is Michael’s Genuine. My wife, Adrienne, loves going there. That’s an old classic, but it’s in an area that’s being brought up more. They recently started building up — I don’t know who’s putting money into it — building after building in the Design District.
The other place is Wynwood. That’s the artsy, hipsterish area. They’ve really embraced different cultures. At Wynwood, you could have, like, eight craft brewhouses back to back to back. There are food trucks and graffiti, too.
And back with the Design District, they’re starting to put in high-end shopping, if that’s what you like. There are a lot of art galleries and restaurants. It’s kinda turning into this place where you can pick whatever you want [to enjoy]. Sure, they got the places where you might need reservations, but they have boutique shops or ice cream stands or an exhibit that’s just hanging around. Kids can run, jump and play. It’s a great area that they’re building up.
Speaking of kids, how do you keep them entertained around Miami?
One of the places we love is the Miami Children’s Museum. It’s right off Highway 395. Right next to that is the zoo, Jungle Island. They want to go there this weekend. It’s actually a hidden gem around here. They have cool animals to come and see. You can come to the nursery and feed baby monkeys. It’s hot, so they’ll expend for energy.
Those are my favorites because they’re pleasant surprises. You’ll pass them every day in Miami and won’t even recognize [what you’re passing]. When you go in, it has things to stimulate the kids. It has programs for them. It’s something they can take hold to and really have their minds going.
You spend a lot of time in Austin these days, too. What are summers like there?
I’ve only been living there six months. Wait, I gotta stop saying that. It’s been 11 months! That’s crazy. We’re still getting our feet under us there. One thing we do have that’s pretty cool is a little boat dock. We like going out and renting a boat. I plan on doing that a lot with the kids. They have these different spots where you can just pull your boat up [to restaurants]. It’s like another world along the lakes. You can really explore out there.
What drew you to Austin?
I’ve always lived in Dallas. My family expanded, but I couldn’t really find anywhere that could accommodate my family for the price point. I need a bunch of bedrooms and stuff. Dallas has been built up quite a bit, but we couldn’t just find the right place. But my wife said, “What about Austin?” one day. It’s a thriving city. We looked around. Loved the community and loved the city. I’ve always been a Texas guy, and it’s been great.
Are you planning any romantic trips this summer or are you doing something with the children?
We’re still trying to figure out what to do with the kids. We like to do two separate things. A family vacation is work. I don’t care what people say. If you watched National Lampoon’s Vacation, you understand. That’s our life for real. We’ve gotta figure out where to take the kids. Probably somewhere beachy. Cabo or something like that.
But my wife and I, we’ll probably hit Europe. We know that we’re going to go to Wimbledon [in London]. We know that for sure. It’s just a matter of when.
Any tips for fathers traveling with kids?
Don’t be afraid of the man bag. A lot of guys kinda run away from that. It’s not a purse; it’s a bag.
And be prepared. Have your things ready first. We go through this all the time. Any time that we’re going to go anywhere with the kids, me as a dad, I have my things together automatically. I’m together. I’ve got all my stuff [packed] the night before because you’re those extra hands.
But I do advise you to work out before. Those long walks through the airport? Guess who’s going to be holding things. You are. Get in shape. Work on your mental toughness. Kids want you. They don’t understand their environment. They’ll get pissed off real easy in an airport. You gotta exercise some patience. The goal is to get to point B by any means necessary.
When it comes to international travel, what off-the-beaten-path destinations have been most memorable?
One of the places that comes right to mind — and this is terrible because they suffered floods in the last few years — is Sri Lanka. It’s an amazing, beautiful place. We had the time of our lives there.
Brussels in the summertime is amazing. My heart goes out to that place [after its 2016 terror attack]. We had such a great time there. The people were just so chill and beautiful.
I love city stuff, too. I love Tokyo. Me and my wife took a 24-hour trip there last fall. I was in China for two days and then we made a pitstop in Tokyo. I had a great time.
Italy is always [great]. Portofino, Portoferraio and Sardinia [are wonderful]. I mean, there are so many different places off the coast. I like Northern Italy more. Lake Como and Milan are very cool places. I like Northern Italian food. I like the meat sauces and the lamb. Those are my go-tos.
Berlin is a great place. Super cool. If you love history, I definitely recommend going to Berlin. It builds a natural curiosity just seeing how the city’s built. The difference between East Germany and West Germany is obvious. You’d never have to be there before to say, “Oh, we’re in East Germany.” Go five minutes and you’re in West Germany.
That really, really sparked my curiosity in world history. That was ground zero for so many movements and happenings, be it good or bad. That really, really got me going.