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 […]

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Guide to Sudan: Land of the Real Pharaohs?

My first taste of Sudan felt like a melting pot between Ethiopia and Egypt! Sudan is Muslim, they speak Arabic as a first language, they dress with traditional Islamic thawb, and physically they look much more African where the Egyptians look more Arabic. there are however many tribes around Sudan and I could easily tell who was from South Sudan, while my friend Yassir originally from Khartoum could just as well distinguish people from western regions close to Chad, and eastern borders too. Sudani Village through the country side I was very surprised by my first encounter with the Sudanese on the bus entering the country. everybody was so friendly and helpful, taking full charge of me and the older men making sure that “Canada Man” as they would call me, was always alright and aware of what was happening. Always very a friendly attitude, […]

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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 […]

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Taking Part in 2 Afghan Weddings, VIP with Afghan Ministers

I couldn’t have expected a better way to sample Afghan culture! Weddings are, in my opinion, one of the best ways for the traveler to immerse himself in the real essence of what local culture is all about. Not only the food but especially local customs and traditions are always omnipresent at weddings. I had many opportunities to join weddings around the world throughout the years, in Vietnam, Moldova, and twice in Iran. And now I was invited to a Pashtun and a Tajik Wedding, which are both very traditional people. When I arrived in Kabul, I was quickly amazed at those massive “wedding halls” that are everywhere in Kabul. They are covered with flashing lights, sort of like a Las Vegas Hotel, but with Chinese Christmas lights all over. After asking my driver about them, he told me it is currently wedding season and […]

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Visiting Pakistan: My Country #176/196

I arrived safely in Lahore in Pakistan’s Punjab province, after a transit in Dubai and Karachi. Immediately after exiting the airport terminal and roaming in my taxi it’s congested streets towards the center, I smell of deja-vu hit me with my previous adventures in India, Bangladesh, and Sri-Lanka. And with a reason. They used to be part the same British colonial Empire prior to the Indian Independence Act in 1947. Similar yet very different as the main religion here is Islam, which means dressing code is very different, food is much more reliant on meat and Islamic customs must be followed even though it doesn’t seem too conservative at first sight. Lahore was the perfect city to arrive! Eith 10 million inhabitants, it’s second to Karachi in size but much more livable and modern than its southern sister. The first thing that got me was […]

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Travel Guide to IRAQ: Visiting a Country During War Times

“Where are you going next” I was asked many times while traveling in Turkey. “I’m going to Iraq”… And quickly the blank look in their eyes would follow with the same interrogation! “But Why?” would usually follow? Why I came here is pretty simple. I had the same philosophy for the last 10 years. I go everywhere, and only once I am there I discover what there is to see, and usually, I am blown away that these things are not more “popular”… Most people dream to go to the same places… New York, Paris, Venice, London… While I do agree these places are nice, I believe most people have just been brainwashed to believe these are the nicest places to see and do not push further to seek what other destinations can give them. I am a professional marketer, I know how these things […]

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Crossing Panama from East to West: The New King of Central America

So I enjoyed being this summer in North America to spend some more time in Panama, one of my favorite countries in Latin America and where I spend more and more time these days. This time I teamed up with a good friend of mine Daniel to travel from Panama City all the way to the Western Volcano of Baru in the Chiriqui State. Panamá has evolved a lot since I first came here 11 years ago. At the time, most tourists were only talking about Costa Rica and Panama was hardly named even after Guatemala. With rapid expansion as a hub, impressive growth, and very welcoming laws for expats, the country is seen by many as the top interest in Central America and have been one of the main retirement hideouts for expats worldwide. Panama City which was not so long ago a fishing […]

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