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Traveling is one of my passions. Not as a typical tourist searching for a sunny beach, but as a way to get to know countries, cultures and people. As a historically and politically interested person, I am especially keen on travelling to countries and regions where there is revolution, upheaval or other major changes in society, something which has expanded my understanding of politics and international relations, I hope.
So far I have been to the following countries:
Abkhazia: This small country by the Black Sea, that not many people know of, was one of the biggest surprises. The capital Sukhum is a beautiful and interesting city, with a waterfront like on the Cote d’Azur and a shot-up parliament building a few blocks away. It’s not far to the mountains and the people are friendly. I learned a lot of things in just a few days.
Albania: When you visit Albania, take a lot of time with you because transport is slow. I have only been to Tirana and Vlora, but I marveled at the beautiful mountains from the bus on the way from Macedonia and when I hiked up Mount Dajti. I was very impressed by the story of Albanians who hid and rescued Jews during the Holocaust, the only country in Europe to do so on a large scale.
Antigua: It was just a one-day stop on a cruise from South America to Europe, so I only had time to explore St John’s. Quite a beautiful town, not as much transformed by cruise tourism as many other Caribbean islands.
Armenia: I liked the small mountain town of Dilijan even more than Yerevan. Very friendly country where I had excellent hitchhiking experiences. But the landscape is so tempting that I would rather cross Armenia on foot on my next visit. The only weird thing was when my host in Yerevan showed off his collection of Nazi memorabilia.
Australia: A dream destination ever since I was a little boy, this dream came true earlier than expected: When I was 15, I won a scholarship for a 3 month-long student exchange program to Australia. In 1992, I attended Concordia College in Adelaide, South Australia and also had the chance to travel the outback with visits to Ayers Rock, Alice Springs and a night in an old mine in Coober Pedy. A one week-long field trip with school to Kangaroo Island almost turned into “Lord of the Flies” due to lack of food.
Austria: Coming from Bavaria, Austria is not exactly an exotic destination, but it’s still beautiful. I have always experienced it as the friendlier, nicer and more relaxed version of Germany. And, as I discovered late in life, the best things sometimes are very close by: After spending three summers in Vienna, I can declare it my favorite city unequivocally.
Azerbaijan: A slightly weird country. All streets, public squares and monuments are of huge dimension but empty of people. They only serve the personality cult around ex-president Aliyev. But the small town of Göygöl was a welcoming place.
Belgium: In summer 2019, I was lucky enough to live first in Antwerp in Flanders, then in Brussels and finally in Chastre in Wallonia, thus getting to now the different regions of the country. But don’t forget about the German-speaking East and about the micro-nation of neutral-Moresnet! A field trip with university led me to Ypres, following the traces of World War I. Belgium is the place to ponder about the duration and intensity of the World Wars. In every village, in every forest and almost at any intersection, there are cemeteries and memorials. Oh, and I tested it for you: It’s perfectly possible to survive on fries alone!
Bolivia: I have never felt as happy as in Cochabamba. A city with a perfect quality of life, spring-like climate all year round, and the mountains nearby. The rest of Bolivia, too, is incredibly beautiful, exciting and varied, with everything from the Andes to the jungle, from the Chaco to the salt flats, from colonial towns to Lake Titicaca. The latter, pictured below, is perfect for hiking and makes me want to walk all around the lake for a few months. Bolivia was the friendliest and most welcoming country I have ever lived in. Really awesome!
Brazil: Salvador, the old capital of Brazil was my first stop after crossing the Atlantic by boat. Great old Portuguese architecture, but I am more a nature than a city guy, so I moved on to Chapada Diamantina, where I went hiking (and helped fire fighters extinguish some forest fires) in the most incredible nature. It’s like the Grand Canyon, just in lush green and with waterfalls.
Canada: The highlight was crossing Canada by train. Because it went so slow and because the train doesn’t have internet, it was the perfect opportunity to get to know the country and the people. The highlight of the highlight was sharing the ride with old-order Mennonites. Because it was winter, I didn’t spend that much time outside, except for one week in Canmore. As in many countries, it turned out that the city that most people warned me about became the one I liked the most: Winnipeg.
Chile: If you manage to survive traversing the more than 1,000 kilometers of the dreadful Atacama desert, Chile is quite a beautiful country. And it’s a welcome change to find a South-American country where not every driver wants to kill you when you cross the road and where not all of your neighbors play loud music around the clock. I very much liked Arica and Iquique in the north and was highly impressed by the ghost town of Humberstone. Easter Island was of course something very special, and indeed a stark warning on what happens if you prioritize economic growth while disregarding the environment.
Colombia: Maybe I should have waited with my conclusions about South America until I visited Colombia. Although I am not a fan of big cities, I really liked Bogotá. Green, bicycle-friendly, cultural. And the little house in Tenjo, where I lived for a while, was really charming.
Croatia: It was still Yugoslavia back when I visited, my first trip to a socialist country. Oh, the good old times!
Czech Republic: I first went to Prague in 1990 after the revolution and have been back regularly. It’s a very charming and interesting city. A visit to Terezin/Theresienstadt, the site of a former concentration camp was very memorable. The spa towns of Marienbad, Franzensbad and Karlsbad are beautiful testimony of an era when these little towns were the cultural hotspots of Europe.
Denmark: So far, this is merely a country inflating this statistic. I only passed through Denmark on my train journey to Sweden, but cannot claim to have seen much. (It was night.)
Ecuador: I only got there towards the end of my life in South America, so I didn’t have enough time. But I found Cuenca very beautiful, and the scenery in the south of the country was fascinating as well. Only in Vilcabamba, claiming to be the town with the highest life expectancy in the world, there were too many wannabe-hippies.
Egypt: Just one day in Sinai, on a day trip from Israel. I remember Egyptian passport control which my friend successfully bribed, a car rental company without any cars, a hotel that had just been blown up, a dubious meal in the desert, soaring heat and a bus that looked like it would fall apart any second.
Estonia: In late October 2012, coincidentally on the day of the first snowfall of that winter, I went to Tallinn and then to the island of Hiiumaa. It was a beautiful, interesting and exciting trip, not least thanks to a great guide whom I met on Couchsurfing. He showed me everything from hidden cemeteries in the forest to crumbling Soviet bunkers to beautiful beaches.
France: In 1992 I attended a forest fire fighting camp of the Scouts de France in Luminy, outside of Marseille. One week we had to help the fire fighters with spotting forest fires, and one week we learned how to sail, climb and dive and were just hiking along the coast, sleeping under the stars. Beautiful! Since, I have been to Strasbourg and to Paris, where I once ended up by accident when returning from New York. My plan to get to know France better by joining the Foreign Legion was not so successful.
Georgia: Tbilisi is an interesting city with Persian palaces, European architecture, modernist knick-knack, but two blocks further there are wooden balconies on slowly collapsing buildings. One can walk around for days and still discover something new every hour. Kutaisi and Zugdidi are the other cities I know so far.
Germany: Well, what am I supposed to say about my home country? I used to find it a bit dull. But the more I have seen of the world, the more my approach to travel has changed. And now I find it just as fascinating to hike or hitchhike through Germany. Interesting stories and interesting people can be found anywhere. And then there is still Eastern Germany, almost completely unknown to me.
Greece: So far, I have only been to Athens and to Thessaloniki for a few days. But my Greek first name and my love for souvlaki alone would be reason enough to explore this country further.
Guernsey: One of the Channel Islands, which are not part of the United Kingdom, but a possession of the British Crown. Even when the UK was a member of the European Union, these islands weren’t, but were treated as part of the European Community area for some purposes. They each have their own parliament, but the UK Parliament has some power to legislate. Each of them have their own currency (Guernsey Pound, Jersey Pound), but they are always in parity with the British Pound. An so on, in a typically British constitutional mess.
Hungary: On my travels to Eastern Europe, I often crossed Hungary by train, staying merely a few days in Budapest. Because the country looked so flat and the language is absolutely inaccessible, I always dismissed the country. Until, in autumn of 2022, I got the opportunity to spend a month in Lepsény, a small village near Lake Balaton. And, lo and behold, even a country without mountains can be rather beautiful and interesting. I took a particular liking to the city of Székesfehérvár.
Iran: Probably the most interesting country I have ever been to. Two trips in 2009, the first as a tourist, exploring Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz for 2 weeks. A beautiful country with the biggest possible discrepancy between smart, open, funny people and a brutal and backward government. The second trip to join the protests against the rigged elections in 2009. I have never before seen so much courage as in the streets of Tehran in that time, and I experienced the brutality of the crackdown myself. I was beaten up by riot police, later arrested by the Intelligence Service, taken to Evin prison, spent a week blindfolded in solitary confinement, being interrogated day and night, without anyone knowing where I was. That’s how I like my holidays!
Israel: I have been to Israel so often, it felt like a second home at times. I first visited as a 16-year old in 1992 on a youth exchange program and experienced fantastic hospitality, wonderful nature and cities, an overwhelming amount of history, both ancient and recent. And I began to understand more and more about the Middle East. Israel is the perfect combination of Mediterranean beauty and the excitement of the Middle East. And Jerusalem is the most fascinating city in the world. My last visit was in March 2015 when I ran the Jerusalem half marathon and hiked the Jesus Trail in the north of the country.
Italy: When I was a child, we took a few family trips to the Dolomites in South Tyrol. Later I visited Rome, the most beautiful city in the world, and Venice. In October 2013, I finally moved to Italy, first to live in Sicily for 6 months, which was not enough to explore that diverse island with its fascinating mountain ranges, old cities and volcanic islands, and then another 6 months in Bari.
Jersey: Situated off the coast of France, but with closer political and economic ties to the United Kingdom, this is one of the Channel Islands. I went hiking there for my birthday in 2011, mostly along the beautiful coast and slept close the shore. It’s a beautiful little island, with a surprising range of historical monuments, from Neolithic ritual sites to the more ugly remnants of the German occupation in World War II.
Jordan: Only a day trip, but a positively memorable one. It began with the very friendly and jocular reception by the border guards at the crossing between Eilat (Israel) and Aqaba (Jordan), and continued with an apparent wrong turn that led into a military zone, and again joyful encounters with Jordanian soldiers at both checkpoints and in a garrison. Petra is amazing, if a bit overrun by tourists.
Kosovo: In February 2009 I went to Kosovo to join the celebrations for the 1st anniversary of Kosovo’s independence. I stayed in Mitrovica, a town divided by a river between a Serb north and an Albanian south. My Serbian friends in the north would never go south of the river and the Albanians would never venture north; I myself crossed the river constantly. It was interesting to see such a young country with many former refugees returning (some voluntary, some not), in a very optimistic and upbeat spirit. Also, like elsewhere on the Balkans, this pro-Western Muslim-majority country is a nice contrast to the simplistic Islam-vs-West narrative.
Latvia: I spent a beautiful week travelling through Latvia, staying with Couchsurfers. I hiked through Gauja National Park, hiked up Gaizinkalns, Latvia’s highest mountain, was overwhelmed by the beauty of Riga and walked on the frozen sea at Jurmala.
Lebanon: For Christmas 2005, I was in Beirut, where tanks and soldiers with assault rifles were protecting the churchgoers and where buildings were still riddled with bullet holes from past wars. Most memorable though was the taxi ride to Damascus (Syria) in one of the most severe snowstorms I have ever seen. We were continually bumping into other cars, veering off the road and because all other passengers were strong smokers, we couldn’t close the windows. At the end of the journey, I was covered in a few centimetres of snow. Worst of all, one of the passengers lauded Hitler upon learning that I was from Germany.
Liechtenstein: No, it didn’t have anything to do with money.
Lithuania: I lived in Vilnius for one year from 2012 to 2013. A very beautiful, sweet country and perfect for a lover of nature and history like myself, although the local historiography is sometimes a bit distorting. In summer, it’s a great country for outdoor activities: hiking, canoeing, cycling, running; everybody here seems to love and appreciate nature. Winters are long and tough, but it was a great experience to walk on the frozen sea at Nida on the beautiful Curonian Spit.
Luxembourg: OK, this one did have to do with money.
Macedonia: Full of history, beautiful mountains, Roman ruins, monasteries, very friendly and hospitable people. Macedonia offers the most beautiful train rides. Too bad that somebody decided to turn Skopje into a second Las Vegas.
Malta: I moved to Malta in December 2011 to spend the winter months on this small Mediterranean island. I was lucky to live right by the sea. Very relaxing. Beautiful old cities, beautiful coastline, fantastic sunsets, but unfortunately not more than maybe 100 trees. I like the style of the architecture with its mix of European and Middle Eastern styles. But I sometimes had problems with the island mentality.
Mexico: After Mexico was becoming more dangerous than the Middle East due to its drug war, I had to go there of course. Monterrey impressed me with the surrounding mountains, and Guadalajara with its beautiful old city around the cathedral.
Moldova: I only spent a few days in the capital city of Chisinau in 2015, and I liked the mix of old architecture, Soviet city planning, lots of green spaces, but also the many discussions I had about Moldova’s course towards the EU or to a closer connection with Russia or something in between. It’s sad to see how a country alienates a large part of its population with its language policy, as has already happened so often in Eastern Europe.
Montenegro: The most beautiful mountains in Europe, a wonderful coastline, interesting old cities and wonderful people. Don’t forget to take the train from Bar via Podgorica to the mountains. The train journey is so scenic that you just want to go back and forth through this not too large country by train.
Morocco: That was a really short trip, just one day in Casablanca, but it was worth the experience. What I remember most is the colorfulness in the city, in the streets, in the people. It was so hot, I got sunburn through my clothes. On my other trip to Morocco, which I had been looking forward to a lot, I unfortunately missed the plane. I am not always a travel pro, you see.
Netherlands: Did you know that the island of Texel saw the last fighting of World War II in Europe? There is quite an interesting museum about it on the island. But overall, I am less fascinated by flat countries that by mountainous ones.
Palestine: Several trips to the West Bank, mostly peaceful, except one time when kids in Jericho were throwing stones onto my car (while I was inside). I also tried to get into Gaza, but my entry was prevented by the IDF at Erez crossing (which was probably better for me than being kidnapped by Hamas).
Peru: In August 2016, I moved to Arequipa and then to Mollendo. Unfortunately, both cities are the loudest I have ever experienced, so it’s hard to enjoy it here. Tacna in the south of Peru however is a very friendly and cute city, although completely surrounded by desert. Overall, not a country I would recommend. But what would you expect from a country where people eat cats?
Poland: No idea why it took so long to visit our neighbor to the East, but in 2018, I finally came to Poland, thanks to a university seminar. It was the right decision to focus on only one city, Krakow. Rarely has a city enchanted me so totally. Everywhere I went, even in the suburbs, and yes, also those built by the Communists, it was beautiful, green and full of culture and nice people. If only Polish wasn’t so hard, I would know where I want to move.
Portugal: Sintra may have the world’s best combination of castles, palaces and nature. Breathtakingly beautiful. Lisbon is an enchanting capital city. And then the islands! I’ve only been to Madeira for a day, but during the Corona pandemic in 2020, I was stranded on the Azores for three months. Nothing better could have happened to me!
Romania: I moved to the city of Târgu Mureș in Transylvania in October 2014 and discovered not only one of the friendliest towns in the world, but also an extremely beautiful and interesting country. If you like mountains, forests and castles, Romania is a paradise. I even encountered a bear in the forest.
Sark: This Channel Island is even more confusing, because it is semi-independent from Guernsey and the last place ruled by feudal Norman law, but more importantly, it is one of the most peaceful places in Europe: no cars, almost no people, and bays that make you think you have discovered paradise.
Serbia: A bus tour through the whole country (to go to Kosovo and back) and then a few interesting days in Belgrade in 2009 and again in 2014.
Singapore: On a stopover to Australia. It was the first time for me to feel tropical heat and humidity. I remember the temples that smelled like weed and the food market in the basement of a shopping mall where people brought live animals and killed them upon purchase.
Sint Maarten: Just like in Europe, on this Caribbean island you can visit the French part Saint Martin and the Dutch part Sint Maarten in one day. Only the latter one is an independent state, so the EU external border runs through here. I was lucky to meet a friend, so I didn’t only see beaches and palm trees, but learned quite a bit about the economy, the social structure and racism on the island.
Slovakia: That was a really brief visit, but nonetheless, I include it proudly because I walked from Vienna to Bratislava.
Slovenia: If you only have time to visit one country when in Europe, go to Slovenia (or Montenegro). It has everything from the Alps to beautiful cities to the Adriatic coast. I am really not into Christmas, but Ljubljana at Christmas is an unforgettably beautiful sight. Piran, Portorož and Koper are also worth a visit.
Spain: I once spent a few days in Barcelona and a few days on Gran Canaria, from where my ship to Brazil departed. I liked the island so much that I was almost sad to leave Europe. And then, when I started my house-sitting career, I was invited to Andalusia for a month. There was nothing much happening in Venta Micena, but the landscape was amazing.
Sweden: House and cat sitting in Älta near Stockholm in late summer 2021. Scenery like in Canada, but without the “no trespassing” signs. I haven’t seen much of the cities and people yet, but getting lost in the pine forests until I find the next lake, sitting down with a book and a cigar, I am perfectly happy here.
Switzerland: I love mountains, direct democracy and multi-lingual countries, so it’s perfect. If only it weren’t so expensive.
Syria: After an adventurous taxi ride for four hours from Beirut, I experienced Damascus. The old city is truly astonishing, with the Umayyad Mosque the most impressive mosque I have ever been in. The rest of the city is nothing spectacular though. A few years before the war that is now destroying Syria, it was weird to see people celebrating Bashar al-Assad as the “softer, gentler, more modern” president after his father’s reign. Nobody suspected him to become an even greater mass murderer.
Thailand: Ok, I was hardly there. On the way back from Australia, the plane made a stop at Bangkok airport but I didn’t even leave the plane.
Transnistria: A country that is unfairly associated with the words “conflict” and “crisis” when it is in fact a relatively normal, friendly country in Eastern Europe. Tiraspol is a somewhat sleepy capital city, but Bender won my heart, maybe because it shares the name with the hero in “Twelve Chairs”. I walked all the way between both cities, in soaring summer heat, along the river Dnestr and blooming sunflower fields. In Tiraspol, I also had one of the nicest birthday surprises.
Turkey: I have only been to Istanbul so far, mainly due to stopovers on the way to the Middle East.
Ukraine: Thanks to housesitting, I get around quite a lot, but unfortunately, there are rarely any offers from Eastern Europe. A wonderful exception were two sweet kittens in Kiev. I took a liking to the Ukrainian capital, which offers lots of culture, many green spaces, and one almost feels like living by the sea. Then I visited a friend in Odessa, and halfway between the two cities, I tried to make sense of Uman.
United Arab Emirates: One stop in Dubai on a flight from Iran. A lot of sand. I don’t share the hype, honestly. And people who go swimming or shopping in Dubai and then claim that they have been to the Middle East, that’s just embarrassing.
United Kingdom: When I closed my law firm in 2009, ready to start a new life, I spontaneously took the train to London. I ended up staying for two years. I even walked across England, from coast to coast, the West Highland Way in Scotland and a few other long-distance paths. It’s a very cute country, but seriously, that Brexit thing was not properly thought through.
United States of America: After graduating from high school in Germany, I rewarded myself with a 2-week trip through California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah. Since then I have been to the USA many times, for work, for business, for pleasure. I have been East and West, North and South. Yosemite National Park is the most beautiful place on this planet. I have done internships with Clark County District Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, the German Consulate in New York and a law firm in Los Angeles and each of them helped me to get to know the country much better than a mere stay as a tourist could have.
Vatican: Didn’t quite feel like it was a real country. (Read my contribution to that debate.)
I don’t buy souvenirs, but I still have dozens of notebooks filled with observations, thoughts and stories. Please let me know which countries or stories you are most interested in, so that I know which ones to write first.
THAT WAS GOOD……….SO YOU MEAN THEY DONT SPEAK ENGLISH IN SYRIA,BASED ON THE FILM,……….I WANT TO INVITE YOU IN MY COUNTRY,YOU CAN TRY IF YOU WANT……GO IN BORACAY,CAM SUR,AND IN HUNDRED ISLAND………..SURELY YOU WILL ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!
On behalf of my country, I feel very flattered.
deinen Blog habe ich ueber einen Kommentar gefunden, den du zum Thema Work-Life Balance gemacht hast. Aus reiner Neugier habe ich weitergelesen und dann festgestellt dass wir ein paar Gemeinsamkeiten haben. Ich komme urspruenglich aus Freiburg, habe 1999 auch via einen Schueleraustausch des Landes Baden Wuerttemberg 3 Monate in Jamestown, S.A (250 miles noerdl. von Adelaide) verbringen duerfen. Mit 19 bin ich nach London gezogen, dort habe ich 7 Jahre verbracht. Ich bin nun wieder in Berlin und arbeite in der Werbebranche. Warum ich schreibe? Ich freue mich einfach darueber dass ich ueber WordPress immer wieder Menschen finde, die sehr aehliche Erfahrungen gemacht haben wie ich selbst. London ist eine grossartige Stadt, gruesse sie von mir!
Jealous. So many places visited. And yet no visit to Scotland? Where did you go in California?
I’ll definitely go to Scotland soon. I like the outdoors and rugged nature, so that should be wonderful for me.
In California, I was in Los Angeles, San Francisco, everything in between, then anything on the way from Los Angeles to Nevada and – the most beautiful place I have ever seen – Yosemite National Park.
You certainly have seen the world. I just took a quick glance. I will be back to comment again after I thoroughly read about each country you visited. I definitely have to find out where that supermarket is at in Singapore. That must be quite a sight.
i wonder which part of Singapore you are referring to, i live here but i haven’t gone to that place that you have written about. as far as i know singapore restricted the slaughter of animals in the slaughter house only.
Well, it was in 1992.
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Wow, I’m really impressed! And I thought I liked to travel… but you really take the cake on that. I’m jealous of your travels. They’re all very fascinating.
If you’re looking for a country to visit that you haven’t yet, may I suggest China? I’m living in China now, teaching English to university students, and I have to say, it’s a fascinating country. I’ve never been in a place as unique as China, and while it’s easy to go to the country and say you’ve “seen” it if you visit Beijing or Shanghai, real China is harder to find. I’m living in a (giant) city called Wuhan that’s the capital of Hubei province, and it’s amazing how many people stare at me on a regular basis simply because I’m “foreign.” You might find the culture interesting. Not to mention the food is amazing and definitely not your average “Chinese” food that’s touted in the U.S. and UK as being “authentic.”
Just a thought…
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Thailand is an amazing place, you should go! The people have a great sense of humour and there are stunning natural and cultural sights.
My husband is Thai and as an American of German descent I found it fascinating how many Germans holiday there. Please go. Thai’s are lovely, warm people.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Iran on your list of places travelled, and shocked to hear that you participated in the protests.
Well, somebody has to do something against the oppression :-)
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your ideas about travelling are same as me! i guess!,getting to know the people ,the culture.wish you’d have written more about your experiences with the people of the country you visited,something unique about their culture that you experienced etc.
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if intersted in not so mainstream tourist countries, check out Bosnia&Herzegovina and you’d be definitely (positively) surprised
& Malaysia (on a totally unrelated note but worth of visit)
By happenstance I came upon your blog and am tickled pink that you love Yosemite National Park. That is my backyard as I live in the Sierra National Forest, right outside of YNP. I take my dogs there for swimming. Last year we had the most magnificent waterfalls and rapids in the Merced river as we had heavy and long rains. Best regards.
You live in paradise!
Even 11 years and many adventurous trips later, I still remember the profound feeling of happiness I had while I was hiking around Yosemite.
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You’ve never been to the Netherlands?! Nice blog, read it with pleasure.
I know, it’r really a shame. I strive to rectify this omission soon.
Wow!! So cool to be able to travel so much!
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I live in Brazil – and while I highly recommend a visit, I wouldn’t recommend a visit without a guide LOL I mean, people here don’t really speak English and you can get in trouble…well, depending on where you are in Brazil you can get mugged, robbed or kidnapped once they realize you’re a foreigner (which won’t take too long once they hear you speaking english, will it :P)!
I would really love to visit and travel through Brazil, and I hope you will be available as a guide then! ;-)
Not a lot of South American countries on your list there… You should give Bolivia a go, it’s worth it!
I know, I have never been to South America at all. :-(
It’s a huge dream of mine, but I’d like to go there for longer, so I need to save a bit for a flight and learn some Spanish. But it may happen in one or two years.
Yep, with Spanish you’ll get by much easier since hardly anyone speaks English. Especially in Bolivia, even in touristy places you’re lost without some spanish survival basics. Let me know when you travel through Santa Cruz, k?
If you make it to michigan stop by and I can show you around detroit!
You should go to Norway if you like nature. Most beautiful place I travelled to.
I plan to visit Norway in the coming months actually. Whenever I see photos of the country, I am stunned by the beautiful nature. What time of the year did you go there?
I just went last september and it was amazing. Im more of a city guy myself and was a bit naive before i went. I highly suggest a trip to geiranger fjord, besseggen in jutenheim national park and the atlantic road near molde. Simply breathaking. Im planning to next january to tromso to see the northern lights. Need any more info just let me know
Very, very jealous of all the places you’ve been, even though I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable in many of them lol
I am from Ljubljana, Slovenia and your blog just made my day :)
I am happy to hear that. So far, I have always been to Slovenia in winter. I hope that I will manage to come and visit in summer this or next year.
What a coincidence the most recent comment is just about Ljubljana! I’m a German myself, who has been living in Slovenia for three months by now (in the town of Krško, in cozy proximity to the only nuclear plant on the territory of Ex-Yugoslavia) as a European Volunteer. I just stumbled across your blog a few days ago and I haven’t been able to stop reading yet. Greatest compliments to your interesting articles and your precise, softly ironical writing style!
I don’t quite agree with you on Slovenia being the perhaps most beautiful country in Europe (not since crossing the Gorges de l’Ardeche and the Alpilles on a bicycle tour through southeastern France), but with the seaside and Ljubljana at Christmas you’ve probably seen it from its prettiest side. Still, it’s a fascinating country and I can recommend you visiting it. Just spare yourself Lake Bled, which is kind of a touristic hype and not so special after all, if you’ve seen any other Alpine lake before. On the other hand, Primorska region (the Slovene hinterlands of Triest) is definitely worth a visit, while the southeast will probably seem you like a copy of the Palatinate, the Black Forest or the Swabian Alps. And if you’re a fan of home-made wine and šnaps (that Slovenians tend to consume on every possible and impossible occasion and hour), there is probably no better country in the world for that (although I have to admit that I don’t quite share the Slovenian taste for wine, but don’t tell anyone).
Still, if you want to go for places with historical and political significance, the other post-Yugoslavian republics are probably a better choice, especially Serbia or Bosnia & Hercegovina (Beograd for example is one of the most fascinating cities I’ve ever seen and I’m longing for getting the opportunity of going to Sarajevo).
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how about indonesia?
Oh yes, I’d love to travel to and around Indonesia!
wow that’s like most of the world….and what about India, Nepal, China…I loved Nepal…and you are an adventurous soul so you would love it and many Germans go there ;)
And even my Dad has already been to Nepal twice.
I am thinking of coming to India, Nepal, China, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma for a year or so from 2014 on.
Because I don’t have too much money (or I am too lazy to work), I can’t afford a lot of short trips, but I rather move to another part of the world and then I take the time to explore it in-depth.
India has always been a big dream of mine! I imagine it as very colourful, with spicy food and attractive women. ;-)
oh I wrote here before just realized….let me know when you move to that part of the world I might come n travel with you as I havn’t been to any of these places myself yet
This all sounds like a wonderful adventure with the exception of a partner or family. The two things I didn’t think I wanted until I had them. I can’t imagine doing any of this with all the responsibilities they bring. I also assume traveling Europe comes easier to someone born and raised there. Both my parents families are new to the USA (1930’s and 40’s) but as an American our states even as different and vast as they are traveling them isn’t seen as as much of an accomplishment as your list. One day I would like to visit most of these places and hope I can able to.
I am so impressed by all the places you have been to, I hope to travel like that some day! I recently visited Israel and your notes on the Israeli passport were very helpful. Wanted to thank you for that!
I recommend India too and a long trip would be great because each Indian state has its own unique twist. The more places you go to, the greater the contrasts. Definitely colourful, lots of spicy food and you’ll have to see about the women :)
You haven’t been to India…so I would recommend India :) How did you like Greece? Any favourite place you would like to go back?
On India, see my answer a few blocks above. :-)
In Greece, I have only been to Athens for one day and I found it very beautiful. I’d love to explore more of it.
I usually prefer to go to new countries or to places where I haven’t been yet, but two countries where I have been many times but could go again and again are Israel and the USA.
Have you been to Alaska? If you loved Yosemite, Denali National Park will blow you away as will the rest of Alaska. I was born and raised in Washington State, so I’ve spent a couple summers in Alaska and absolutely love it. I’ve traveled throughout the US quite a bit, but don’t have much experience traveling internationally. In fact, I’d never really been outside the US until last November when I went to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan for a month. Seeing all the historical sites in Luxor, Memphis, Cairo, and Giza was great, but driving through the Sinai desert for 10 hours to get to St. Catherine was a bit rough. However, starting my climb on Mt Sinai at one in the morning and being at the top by sunrise was the highlight of my visit to Egypt. In Jordan, I went to Aqaba and of course Amman, but I was mainly there to see Petra which as you mentioned is very touristy. I spent the majority of my trip in Israel and got to see most of it. I even went to Bethlehem in the West Bank. Swimming in the Dead Sea was the best thing ever! I may return just for that. Jerusalem was my favorite city to visit. My only negative experience was leaving Israel at Ben Gurion. Being of Latino descent I guess I have somewhat of an Arab look, so they decided to profile me. It’s interesting because I flew into Cairo, then did land crossings from Egypt to Israel, Israel to Jordan, and finally from Jordan back to Israel, and didn’t have any issues. It was leaving Israel that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. They combed through every single item in my suitcase for about two hours and they were mystified by my Sonicare electric toothbrush and electric outlet adapters. Evidently they’re not into dental hygiene as much as I am. They kept asking where I bought it. I was like uhh Amazon.com. They probably thought it was some kind of explosive and ended up shipping my electric toothbrush in separate box. Looking back it was actually kind of funny.
I have never been to Alaska unfortunately, but I very much hope to explore Canada and Alaska one day! Since I quit working as a lawyer in 2009, I haven’t been able to afford another trip to North America sadly, but I hope I’ll figure out something one day. I miss the vast open landscapes of the US and the friendliness of Americans.
On one of my many trips in Israel, I had a similar experience (even though I don’t look Arabic at all, so I think the profiling may be more targeted at young, single, male travellers). At Eilat Airport, I even had to get almost completely naked and had all my clothes scanned (but the staff were very friendly and made the plane wait) and then I had to leave my cell-phone charger behind. I received it in the mail a few months later, which probably confirmed that it was nothing more than a cell-phone charger indeed.
Perhaps you’re right. Maybe it was more about the fact that I was a young single male traveler.
P.S. I cannot believe you tried to get into Gaza. You’re crazy! What’s next North Korea…LOL
travelling is my passion too i got dual citizenship british and canadian i been to lot of countries around the world list is too long lol
Albania,Algeria,Antigua and Barbuda,Argentina,Armenia,Aruba,Australia,Austria,Bahamas,Bahrain,Barbados,Belgium,Bolivia,Brazil,Bulgaria,Burma,Cambodia,Canada,Chile,China,Costa Rica,Croatia,Cuba,Cyprus,Denmark,Dominica,Dominican Republic,Ecuador,Egypt,El Salvador,Ethiopia,Fiji,Finland,France,Germany,Ghana,Greece,Grenada,Guatemala,Guyana,Honduras,HongKong,Hungary,Iceland,India,Indonesia,Ireland,Italy,Jamaica,Japan,Jordan,Kazakhstan,Kenya,South Korea,Kuwait,Latvia,Lebanon,Macau,Madagascar,Malaysia,Maldives,Marshall Islands,Mauritius,Mexico,Mongolia,Morocco,Mozambique,Zambia,Venezuela,UK,UAE,Ukraine,
Turkey,Tunisia,Trinidad and Tobago,Tanzania,Taiwan,Russia,Romania,Qatar,Nepal,
Netherlands,new Zealand, Nigeria,Norway,Oman,Panama,Peru,Poland,Portugal,
Saint Kitts and Nevis,Saint Lucia,Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,Samoa,Saudi Arabia,Senegal,Singapore,Solomon Islands,South Africa,South Korea,Spain Sri Lanka,Suriname,Sweden,Switzerland.
contact me i wanna be in touch wid u ASAP firstname.lastname@example.org
You have an intriguing blog. I hope your travels are revealing many things to you and look forward to reading and seeing them on your blog. Happy trails …
Wonderful Blog ! I’m off to Israel soon and have learned a lot here from your site. I currently live in Belgium, but from USA. There is more to BE than Brussels – this little country packs a lot of complexity into to a small space. :)
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stumbled upon ur blog….reading it amazes me! it’s almost like you have 42 hours a day to accomplish so many things at such young age (well…judging from ur pic).
warm regards from Singapore
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Good to know that your appetite for travel is far from satisfied. Apart from your cameo appearance in Morocco, you haven’t experienced Africa. You should visit Nigeria someday, Good People, Great Nation. You’ll surely have unforgettable memories. I’m Togolese, born in Germany and lived in Nigeria all my life. Came across your blog when searching for information regarding eligibility for German citizenship. I hope to visit Germany some day to have a feel of the land of my birth. Buzz if you”re ever anywhere in West Africa. Cheers.
wow, i feel really impressed
It’s better to be inspired than to be impressed. :-) Although I agree that the latter usually precedes the first.
i wanted to say also that i felt captured for some moments, impressed and captured when i read the you travel around the planet and write about it and then i actually saw on this page Travels in how many places you’ve been, so i felt is something realistically serious to you, and i felt impressed
And coincidentally I am in Romania right now!
Andreas, I must say you should visit India. They say if you are there for one week you can write a book, one month a novel, one year a thesis…. to understand the whole Indian philosophy one life is not enough:-)
This is actually the reason why I haven’t been to India yet. I never wanted to go to India for a week or two because I know it would be so unsatisfying. I would like to stay at least for 6 months.
And I will most definitely do that in the next few years!
I recommend you Stockholm, Sweden, I lived there for two years, it’s an amazing city, and also Budapest, Hungary, I think you would like them both.
I will go to Budapest in April 2015 to run the half marathon and to spend a few days there.
The only reason I haven’t been to any Scandinavian country yet is that they are rather expensive. That’s why I am setting different priorities.
I see. Anyway, if you decide to visit Scandinavia sometime, I have a few tips for you to make it cheaper, so feel free to contact me. Meanwhile enjoy, our lovely Tirgu Mures (which at the moment it seems so cold and unfriendly to me:) )
But at least it was very sunny here today!
And I actually find Targu Mures very friendly. I felt very welcome and like home from the beginning. If the world wasn’t so big and me so curious to see a lot more of it, I might even stay here and never leave.
You summed up Iran perfectly. Brilliant people who approach you in the street purely to ask “why does America hate us?”. Feel very sorry for them as there is a huge gulf between them and the government that represents them. More so then in any other country I think.
Well it’s nice that you honour us as a country, but we are not. As you clearly know, the four Channel Islands are possessions of the Crown (and the Crown in this context means the UK Government).
Sark is not ‘independent’ of Guernsey, since it’s never been part of Guernsey. Same applies to Alderney (where I am, and which you don’t mention).
The connection between Sark, Alderney and Guernsey is a complicated one, even more than the connection between the Islands and the UK (which for pretty much all non-domestic reasons — such as Defence, Immigration, Foreign Affairs, Embassies etc. we are just considered a part of).
Sark, Alderney and Guernsey are part of the ‘Bailiwick of Guernsey’, which is a largely ceremonial institution. ‘Bailiwick’ is an archaic word that simply means land governed and held in safe custody by someone for another. The English verb ‘bail’ (in the sense of Kautionstellen) and the legal term ‘bailee’ (such as when you give your jacket to the drycleaner) are linguistically related. There is no Bailiwick government. There are no Bailiwick institutisns (apart from the Bailiff himself who is the ‘first citizen’ of the islands, the Head of the Judiciary *AND* the Speaker of the Guernsey Parliament. (Separation of powers? Who? Us?? See McGonnell v United Kingdom in Strasbourg!)
Sovereignty lies in the Parliaments of each of the three component Islands.
Even more complications (the Island of) Guernsey’s parliament can legislate for the other two, but ONLY with the consent of of the Governments of those islands on each specific legislaton. This is generally done for things which have a wider application, such as Data Protection, European Community harmonisation, where uniformity is important (such laws passed by the Channel Islands, the Manx parliament (Tynwald) and the Westmnister Parliament are usually strikingly similar).
Alderney has an even more complicated relationshp with Guensey. Always remembering that sovereignty lies with the Queen-in-Council (i.e. the UK government) as advised by Les Etats d’Aurigny, Alderney, in in 1948, ‘temporarily’ surrendered to Guernsey its responsibilities over a number of matters such as Health, and transport (principally the airport and harbour) whicih Guernsey finances, in return for allowing Guernsey to collect taxes in Alderney (there were no taxes in Alderney, pre-way, the same as in Sark to this day.
That ‘temporary’ arrangement appears to have ossified, but in theory, Alderney could withdraw, just as the UK could, in theory, leave the EU. (It’s just hat no one really likes to imagine what would happen if it did).
I only don’t mention Aldernay, because it was the only island I did not visit, sadly.
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation! As a lawyer with a faible for constitutional law, I find the Channel Islands the most fascinating thing in Europe. And as a traveler, they have been a wonderful place to hike and to explore. Lastly, as a German, I was shocked by the long-lasting damage of the occupation, although I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked by the ferocity of the oppression of the population.
I hope to return one day for a longer period of time, and then I will of course include Alderney!
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