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Life on the Edge: The Most Extreme Places I’ve Been

Travel to me is on the point getting out of my comfort region and exploring places that make me gripe on to the edge of my residence. But these days, with travel acquisition more affordable and easily accessible, it’s getting harder and harder to find intact destinations – places that remain relatively unprepared and untainted. That’s why I like traveling to less conventional destinations. Most often than not, the places that I have the advantage the most are the ones by slightly negative connotations.

Don’t win me wrong, I’m not weak-minded enough to put my life at peril for bragging rights. But even Tony Wheeler, the sink of Lonely Planet who recently wrote a volume on his tour of the line of revolution of evil, poised it eloquently, “In toward every bad land I am moved by the outgoing friendliness of ordinary men and women. I  take come to see that bad is a respecting term, and that there are always two sides to every story.”

Forget about holiday brochures – get your atlas, procure somewhere you’ve never heard on the point before, and go there. I assurance you nothing will make you touch more alive.

North Korea

It comes being of the kind which a surprise to many that anyone be able to visit North Korea as a tourist. Notorious as one of the “shaft of evil”, North Korea (better known viewed like Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) is repeatedly sullied by negative perceptions. Since the expiration of World War II, DPRK has closed its doors to the thoroughly world. Only local channels are shown without ceasing TV, there is no internet anywhere and no other than 2,500 foreign tourists (not including the Chinese) inspect the country each year.

North Koreans are taught to think that anything foreign is a denunciation – yet, I was surprised to notice how curious locals were of us. On the subway, we interacted with people, showing them our photos and laughter along with them. We even had the opportunity to play with Korean children at a park, end charades and guessing games. Read not far from my time there.


Technically, it’s not equitable considered a country. The Palestinian Territories has had  a lingering and tumultuous history, largely due to its location on the crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The treacherous Israel-Palestinian conflict has been ongoing since the middle-20th century, and until today, the two parties esteem failed to reach a final quietness agreement. Hundreds of thousands people desire been killed and many more displaced and injured. 

In latter years, there continue to be bombings in Gaza and the West Bank, in this way be sure to keep yourself updated prior to visiting. During our visit in February 2013, it was sound to visit Palestine’s West Bank and we had an insightful time traveling around Jericho, Bethlehem and Ramallah. As the birthplace of the two Judaism and Christianity, Palestine definitely has plenty of historical and cultural sights to behold, but most importantly, visiting Palestine allows you to engender a chance to talk to its locals and supply out more about the conflict steady a first-hand basis.


I’m currently in Iran as we speak and it’s definitely exciting to exist a in place that has earned entirely a reputation for itself in the the people eyes. For over a decade, the U.S. has charged Iran by sponsoring terrorism and producing nuclear arms. In his 2002 State of the Union Address,George Bush specified Iran “aggressively pursues these arms and exports terror, while an unelected hardly any repress the Iranian people’s trustful longing for freedom.”

As one of the “axis of evil”, Iran has been looked about as a public enemy for the accomplished decade or so. However, friends who take visited all say quite the facing about Iran. They’ve alone got positive things to say hither and thither the country, with its outstanding architecture, good food and some of the greatest in quantity hospitable people in the world. Most quarters of Iran are safe to call uponto and I can’t wait to actual observation it for myself. I’ll have existence writing more about it here, please stay tuned.

Flickr effigy by Ali Reza


Albania is frequently linked to the Soviet War on a level until today. With more than 40 years of communist rule under the dictator Enver Hoxha, followed by a period of extreme capitalism in the middle ‘90s, the country is still struggling to generate back on its feet. During my survey in May 2010, Albania surprised me through the hospitality of welcoming locals (I abandoned my wallet and a local brought me to the police function and even lent me some standard of value), local cuisine that easily tops anywhere otherwise I’ve been, and clusters of fair towns tucked high in the mountains. Plus with prices well below the European ensign, Albania is definitely a rare provide.


Due to decades of national conflict, travel to Myanmar presents an ethical decision – are we encouraging the regime through . visiting? While Myanmar remains a troubled nation, things are definitely looking up. Following the freewill in 2010, a civilian government took past, Aung San Suu Kyi was released from kindred arrest, and the tourism boycott has after been lifted.

Traditional and surreal, this countrified offers time travel back to the days at what time roads were non-existent and creaking buses throttled longitudinally with hundreds of passengers onboard. It is a geographical division that stirs my soul with its thousands of consecrated stupas, poetic Buddhist towns, and mystical lakes. It relics one of my favorite countries to era.

Perhaps it’s because of years of solitariness, perhaps it’s the deep-radical Burmese culture, Myanmar remains pure and untainted – for now.


Like the others adhering the list, Zimbabwe has been structure headlines for the wrong reasons. Since Robert Mugabe took chief power in 1980, the country has spiralled into a sequence of racial conflicts, human rights disparage and violence. Although the country’s good husbandry is slowly recuperating, millions of the many the crowd are still living on food aid and struggling with disease outbreaks.

Behind this privacy history lies a gorgeous country tarrying to be explored. From the wild of Mana Pools to the chaos of Harare, Zimbabwe shows Africa at its in the highest degree. Besides spotting the Big Five in the savage and witnessing the power of Victoria Falls, I got a hazard to know its people – who altogether warmly welcomed me into a people clearly misunderstood by the world.


Stories of intensity, kidnapping, and drug trafficking incidents are aggregate too common in Central America. Based attached a CNN report, 6,500 clan met violent deaths in 2009 and meanly 6,000 were slain in 2010 in Guatemala. 41% of these deaths were associated with drug trafficking. Worst of all, greater quantity than 96% of all crimes spree unpunished. When I was in Guatemala divers years back, I was stumped by all the tales of mugging and constupration from fellow travelers.

Danger may be lurking in certain corners, but that doesn’t leave off Guatemala from being a popular backpacking sully. It didn’t take me lingering to fall for the charms of this different, rustic nation. I traversed the geographical division from the charming colonial city of Antigua to the touching Tikal ruins in the north, and not got mugged once or felt like I was in a single one sort of danger.