Cities I’ve Been Map (188/196 Countries) – Update December 2017

Each year or so, I update my map with the app “Cities I’ve Been” app on Facebook, and have done so for the last 10 years. This was my way to track my way through the world when I was at the stage of going anywhere whenever I felt like it and wasn’t necessarily counting the countries 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 really that hard anymore to travel the 196 countries as it once was with all the flights getting cheaper. There […]

Read More...

Visiting Angola – One of my Favorite Cities in Africa (my 188/196 country visited)

Angola was my last country of the 5 Portuguese colonies in Africa after Sao Tome and Principe, and I would have come much earlier if t wasn’t for the exhaustive visa procedures that are so hard that I had to wait to my 188th country to pay it a visit. Fortunately for my arrival, I had some contacts to receive me. Some Angolan friends from 5 years ago when I lived in Salvador de Bahía in Brazil. Young Angolan Capitan And what a reception! Thanks to my friend Karina (photo above) who warmly welcomed me with arms wide open, I had the opportunity to see Luanda as locals do it! With a carefully prepared plan she had prepared, Karina and I rumbled the capital from navigated to nearby islands, attending he nieces baptism as well as partying the night away in trendy Luanda Beach clubs […]

Read More...

Top Itinerary to Libreville, Gabon in West Africa – (Country Visited #186/196)

Arriving in Gabon didn’t feel too unfamiliar after being in Brazzaville for a while. Both nations are actually pretty similar economically, being two of the most developed central African Nation and even in Africa. Gabon has one of Africa’s highest GDP per Capita and it was felt as soon as I arrived at Libreville’s shiny airport, definitely an upgrade compared to most African Nations I’ve visited. Gabon enjoyed rapid growth after independence from France, mostly because of its rich resources such as diamonds and gold, but mostly Wood. But most of its economic boom has come from the oil boom which catapulted Libreville into a model African Economy where people from all over the world come to work for a high wage. As soon as I wandered around the city I could see this, with nice roads, clean streets and nice cars all over the […]

Read More...

How to Travel to the Republic of Congo – a Wedding in a Great African Family – My Country Visited # 185/196

Ahhh “Brazza la Verte”, as it was called traditionally by the French (literally, Brazza the Green). After Experiencing its big brother the Democratic Republic of Congo last week, I was happy to see this new country that was acclaimed by the French as hosting their most important city in Central Africa, separated only by the Congo river to Kinshasa which was held by the Belgians. From the corniche of Brazzaville, we can clearly see the buildings of Kinshasa with its 9 million inhabitants, making them the two closest capitals in the world. As much as there are similarities between the two countries like having basically the same people, it does feel quite different on the ground. View of Brazzaville from the Sky First, the Republic of Congo is quite definitely the most French-speaking nation I have encountered in sub-Saharan Africa, many people choosing to speak […]

Read More...

Travel Guide to Congo DRC (Zaire) – Climbing the World’s Most Dangerous Volcano – My Country #184/196

Not even two weeks since I climbed the world’s biggest crater, the Khartala in the Comoros Islands, it was now time to climb the world’s most dangerous volcano: The Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. My Legs had barely recovered from the pain of climbing the 2300 meters of the Khartala, that I now had to climb to another Summit, this time at about 3500 meters of altitude. But the reward for this second climb was unparalleled; a crater filled with a massive Lava Lake, one of the few visible in any volcano around the world and being the biggest lava lake in the world. View of Goma and Lake Kivu from the Top of the Nyiragongo Back in 2002, the Nyiragongo erupted and rivers of lava started flowing directly towards the city of Goma where I was staying, a 1 million inhabitant city and was […]

Read More...

Traveling to Moroni in the Comoros: (Country 183/196)

It’s been a while that I want to visit these islands, but flights flying there were so hard to synchronize with my travels that I had to wait. The Comoros are 3 tiny islands between Mozambique and Madagascar which have a very interesting culture. It was inhabited by the Persians, Arabs, Pirates from Portugal and the Swahilis. Then the French came to colonize the islands and leave a big trace of French culture all over the islands, resulting in a similar vibe to other ex-french colonies of the Indian ocean like La Reunion and Mauritius. The Summit of the Kartala Volcano I first arrived in Mayotte, the 4th island and which is still part of France. I quickly jumped to Moroni the Capital of the Comoros and met with friends who invited me to Hike the Karthala the next morning, Comoros’s famous Volcano, one of […]

Read More...

Traveling to Asmara, Eritrea – tips and tricks – (182nd Country Visited)

Wow, wow, and again… Wow! What a beautiful surprise that was waiting for me hidden among the mountains in my last stop in the Horn of Africa: Eritrea! This ex-Italian colony, also known as “The Rome of Africa” by the locals, definitely deserves its title! I could go as far as calling it “The Best Kept Secret of Africa!”… Arriving here was like a miracle after the desertic landscapes of Djibouti and Somalia. Just a few months ago I rated Algiers as my #1 most beautiful city in Africa. I guess we have a contender for the title, Asmara, the Capital of Eritrea, is definitely in my top 3 that’s for sure! Beautiful Asmara at Sunrise The city is by far the cleanest city I’ve ever been in Africa, as well as one of the safest! Being at about 2300 meters above sea level, I […]

Read More...

Guide to Visiting Juba, South Sudan: My Country #179 of 196

Following my road up the Nile River, I couldn’t continue my Sudanese adventure without venturing through its breakaway republic, and youngest country in the world: South Sudan! And already before arriving here I felt like I already had an initiation to the country. Khartoum already counts a large population of South Sudanese, fleeing the civil war that has struck the country since 2013. Most of the South Sudanese I’ve met in Khartoum seemed very young and wealthy people sent by their parents to live better lives while the situation calmed at home. But arriving in Juba, Capital of South Sudan, I definitely experienced a different situation. Overview of Juba, South Sudan South Sudan is not even 15 years old, yet is have been through several civil wars and political struggles that still today leaves the country in uncertainty. To me, it doesn’t seem like a real […]

Read More...

Travel Overland the Mighty Nile River from North to South

In my opinion, there is no doubt about the fact that the Nile River is the most interesting and important river in the world. Just by crossing Egpyt it makes it the most “Unesco Rich” river with so much to see on its shores. But being the longest river in the world, it also crosses numerous rivers all the way up to Lake Victoria in Uganda! This year I decided to start from the mouth of the Nile, in Alexandria, and make my way all the way up to the border of Sudan in Abu Simbel. From the Red dot on top, My road following the Nile upstream to Sudan After a few days in Alexandria enjoying its Mediterranean atmosphere, I went up to Cairo to “Visa hunt” as there are so many embassies in one of the most important capitals in Africa. So I rented an apartment and […]

Read More...

Argentina’s top 5 Lists for Best Cities, best Nature, Best food, Best festivals

Here is a collection of my Top 5s for Argentina, following my previous series of articles on Argentina. Feel free to reach out if you have other ideas to improve my lists. Top 5 Favorite Buenos Aires Neighborhood 1. Recoleta 2. Palermo 3. San Telmo 4. Puerto Madero 5. La Boca Top 5 Favorite Cities 1. Mendoza 2. Buenos Aires 3. Cordoba 4. Rosario 5. Mar del Plata Top 5 Best Nature 1. El Chalten 2. El Calafate 3. Ushuaia 4. Bariloche 5. Las Leñas Top 5 Food & Drinks 1. Meat (Argentinan cut) 2. Malbec Wine 3. Empanadas de carne picada 4. Alfajor 5. Milanesa a la Napolitana Top 5 most Scenic Places 1. Iguazú Falls 2. Perito Moreno Glacier 3. Bariloche 4. San Telmo 5. Mar del Plata Top 5 Festivals and Events 1. Oktoberfest in General Belgrano 2. Buenos Aires Tango Festival […]

Read More...