YEMEN – My 194th of 196 Country Visited – A One Week Expedition Across Socotra

Plunged into a Civil war since 2015, Yemen has been a difficult destination to visit on my quest to reach every one of the 196 countries of the world. I have been waiting for years to be able to go to Sana’a, the cultural capital of Yemen. But as I was planning to come in 2014, it became more and more dangerous for foreigners. It became too risky to make it to the country and soon after, the country fell into a never-ending war which is still raging strong at the time of writing this article. But even during wartime, there are always workarounds to enter a country. So how was it possible for me to spend a whole week in Yemen in 2019? The Secret was to go to Socotra, an island which is part of an archipelago of 4 islands located in the Arabian […]

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Piran, the Slovenian Jewel of the Adriatic Sea

Piran, also known as Pirano, it’s Italian name, shines as one of my favorite and most beautiful city on the Adriatic coast! After visiting Rovinj and choosing it as the most beautiful city of Croatia in a previous article, Piran is toe to toe with Rovinj, probably even more beautiful! No wonder Slovenia kept this tiny opening coast to the sea where Piran is located as part of their territory.   An example of Italian Gothic Architecture Piran is actually very small, just about 5000 inhabitants, but definitely boosts that amount to several thousand more during the peak summer season when all the tourists are around. Its reputation is quickly gaining some momentum and soon this tiny little town will be on everybody’s itinerary as it boasts some impressive character. Chinese tourist groups are already on the lookout as I’ve seen tons of them during […]

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What to do in a Few Days around Porec in Croatia?

After Rovinj, this is the other favorite for tourists looking for Beach and Sun in Croatia. Although Porec is a nice little medieval town, when speaking of Porec it is usually referred to as an area that stretches 37 km along it’s coast from north to south where several beach resorts are entirely devoted to mass tourism. Although Porec is still not as internationally famous as Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian coast, it isn’t a secret for Italians which flood the area every season and count for the vast majority of tourists seen, followed by a smaller proportion of Germans. A Coast designed for Mass Tourism The town of Porec is actually pretty small, measuring only 200m by 400m. It is the Romans who designed the current outlines of the streets in the old town, making it an important administrative center around the 2nd century BC. […]

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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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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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Rovinj Wins the Title of my Favorite City in Croatia

I’ve travelled extensively throughout Croatia over the years as it is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. I keep coming back because I never get tired of the blue Adriatic Sea, Venetian fortified towns along the coast, the food, the people, etc… And to win the title of the most beautiful city in Croatia is a hard one to designate. Rovinj is just a masterpiece, like few there are in Europe! I can imagine Dubrovnik being this nice before tourism destroyed it, so be quick to come and experience it before Hollywood comes before you, followed by the masses! All the beauty of Istria in one single Venitian Town Istria has been under Italian rule for so long that it is still omnipresent everywhere on the peninsula. Rovinj, also officially known as Rovigno as it is a bilingual city (Italian/Croatian), […]

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Visiting Krakow, the Most Beautiful City in Poland

For some reason, cities that have gone through traumatic experiences and intense stress will tend to rebuild in a more creative and imaginative way, resulting in a “special city”. Think about cities like Athens or Istanbul who have had their share of invasion through the past 3000 years. Or more recently how Berlin has become a center for subculture after all it went through during the cold war. Krakow is part of this victim group, and after all the horrific events it lived during world war 2 with the Nazi camps and massive destruction, it is now flourishing in a very interesting and special way. The Magical Reborn Krakow Jewish Quarter Krakow is a must visit for anyone and a historical paradise for those passioned by 20th-century  history like me. Having more than 25% of Jewish population before world war 2, it is obvious that […]

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