Canadian Newspaper LA PRESSE Publishes my Recommendations for Popular Destination Alternatives

For a third time, my travel recommendations were showcased in the Canadian Newspaper “La Presse”. The last time I was contacted by a journalist of the famous Canadian news outlet, I was asked to contribute to an article about Travel Recommendation for Top Destinations for Canadians in 2019. The article Can be found here. It was an interesting experience and gratifying since  I have always read this newspaper growing up in Canada. This time around, I was asked to contribute to an article about Travel alternatives to popular destinations around the world. This was an interesting choice of subject since I am the first to complain that some cities are being totally ruined by the insane amount of tourism that roam their streets. This uncontrollable inflow of tourism is good for the local economy, but as a world traveler, I now sadly avoid to stay […]

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Saudi Arabia (Country 193/196) – 1 Week Traveling between Jeddah and Riyadh

I had been waiting for years to figure out a way to reach Saudi Arabia on my quest to travel to every country of the world. Being one of the closest countries in the world, Saudi Arabia recently made a 180-degree shift of policy to open its doors in a bid to kick-start tourism in the country. Not only did they start issuing tourist visas for special events starting late 2018, but it also has plans to build a touristic city a little bit in the style of Qatar and Dubai in the middle of the desert, and is already starting to invite several countries to come since 2018. I took advantage of a recent event called Jeddah Seasons to finally being able to explore the Kingdom after years investigating all the possible ways to come. This marked my 193rd country visited out of the […]

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Saudi Arabia Quietly Welcome Canadian Tourists to Visit the Kingdom for the First Time in History

With the recent political clashes between Canada and Saudi Arabia back in November 2018 over humans rights, with Saudi Arabia striking back by shutting down relations between the two countries, coming to the Kingdom was pretty much out of range for most Canadians. There has been no official warm up in the relations, but suddenly the government of Saudi Arabia quietly added Canada to its list of countries who can visit the country under its new “Sharek Tourist Visa”! This is great news for Canadian travelers and even for the relations between the two countries! At the time of writting, this has not yet been reported by news outlet or officially by neither govemenents.  Actually I don’t even think the officials actually know about this prior to this article… and I pretty much found it by luck! So a new country is now available for […]

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Cities I’ve Been Map (193/196 Countries) – Updated June 2019

So it seems to be a tradition for me for the past 10 years. Each year or so, I make an update of my map with the app “Cities I’ve Been” app from Tripadvisor (which used to be directly on Facebook). This was my way to track my cities and destinations through the world when I was at the stage of going anywhere whenever I felt like it and wasn’t necessarily counting the cities I’ve been to. I’ve never really been a “Country Counter” until I was getting close to 150 and newspapers started asking for my current count, as well as I wanted to have a way to measure the distance I have traveled. As a world adventurer, my travel map is really what I am proud of, much more than my “countries Ive been” map. It is really not that hard anymore to […]

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Exploring Niamey in Niger – An Example for African Development – (My 192nd of 196 Country Visited)

Back to French-speaking Africa this time in a west-African nation. It was the peak summer season in Niamey, known to be one of the hottest cities in the world, situated in the middle of the Sahara desert! We landed at night and as soon as the airplane doors opened, we felt a wave of dry hot air invade the interior… Just a preview to what I could expect the next few days, with a thermometer over 47 degrees during the day! In General, my expectations for Niger were totally off target from what I had heard and read through my pre-travel research. It was much better than I had imagined. And here’s why… One of the Poorest Nation in the world… Really? I was on my guard when arriving in Niger since I had read a report of the United Nations ranking Niger 189th out […]

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WarTime Aleppo in Pictures – Captured with a Huawei P30 Pro

I usually add pictures of my travels directly in my photo studio or inside my articles about each destination. But my Photographic experience in Syria and Specially Aleppo was so breathtaking and troubling that it deserved to be published in a separate article of its own. After posting on my private facebook some of these pictures taken with the Leica Camera on my Pro 30 Pro, the reception was so impressive from public and private messages that I decided to share them to the world. The photos in this article were all taken in May 2019 during my visit around Syria which is summarized in my article: 5 Days Traveling around SYRIA during War Times. Being one of the first traveler in the country since 2011, I wanted to express the situation that Syrians have endured through those difficult years. Extensive details have been provided […]

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5 Days Traveling around SYRIA during War Times

As some of you read this article, it is important to time-stamp the events at the time of writing. As fighting is still raging in some areas, the war is coming to an end and the situation is changing rapidly. With the government now in control of the country once again, I expect the situation to improve very quickly through the next 2 years, and people reading this article 2 years from now might get a very different experience on their trip. But Make no mistake, as I was visiting in mid-may 2019, the country was still at war and heavy fighting was going on in the Idlib region and around Aleppo where I stayed 2 nights… Was it worth the risk? I Beleive it did, and here’s why… I decided to come to Syria as I believed it was the right time to come […]

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Exploring Syria During War Times… (My 191st of 196 Country Visited)

“You’re traveling to Syria in mid-2019… Are you Crazy???” would I mostly hear when mentioning my intention to explore the country while working on my plan to visit every country of the world… The truth is, there are many more countries which I have been that are in a similar situation but have not received as much media coverage as Syria. Pretty much everybody even from a young age knows that terrible things that happened over there, and even at the time of writing, are still happening as the war is still ongoing. My researches prior to travel had given me enough assurance that I felt it was finally possible to go with enough guarantee of a secure experience with less risk. Overall it was a 5 day expedition from A-Wadi, Homs, Aleppo and Damascus. Being one of the first tourists in Syria since 2011, […]

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Exploring Bangui in Central African Republic – My 190th of 196 Country

“Welcome to the Country of Wars” was I told, by my taxi driver taking me from the International Airport to my Hotel downtown Bangui, Capital of Central African Republic. There was definitely something deep about what he said, as from my personal knowledge, this is all I knew about the country prior to coming! Probably this was a reason why I had taken so long to travel here, making it my 51st country visited in Africa, out of the 54 that make the African continent. He then gladly replied: “But finally peace is coming to us”! Among all the United Nations armoured Vehicles and soldiers I could see on the way to the hotel, this positive note was exactly what I needed to hear, as I was ready to begin exploring Bangui. At the time of writing, the government of Central African Republic had just […]

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Exploring N’Djamena in Chad – My 189th Country Visited, 50th in Africa

It was a night I will always remember… I arrived in a heavily guarded airport, where the plane was escorted to the front of the airport by military guards armed with Kalashnikovs. It was an evening of the hottest month of the year in N’Djamena, Capital of Chad, a landlocked country in the very heart of Africa. 41 degrees at nighttime, with pretty much 0% of humidity, and absolutely no breeze… I’ve travelled extensively in Africa but rarely have I been hit in the face with such heat! Simply hard to breath… But still, I was extremely excited to arrive once more in a new country on this beautiful continent that I hadn’t been before. And to make it even more special, I was celebrating my 50th country in Africa which counts a total of 54! So here I am in N’Djamena to learn more […]

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