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2011, 2019

The Surprising People Of Afghanistan

By |November 20th, 2019|Categories: Asia, Photos|0 Comments

The Surprising People Of Afghanistan.  There are some countries that are in the news for all of the wrong and depressing reasons. When is the last time you heard a feel-good story from Yemen, Libya, or Democratic Republic of Congo? One country that can not seem to break its negative news cycle is Afghanistan. I have been reading about Afghanistan since the Soviet Union invaded this ancient kingdom in 1979. While I was truly excited for my visit to Afghanistan, my expectations were a bit moderated based upon my perceptions formed by my media consumption. My take away … life goes on. The people I met were friendly and hospitable. Of course, there are many people in Afghanistan who would be hostile to my presence. Apparently (and thankfully), I did not meet those people during my travels. Part of my success in not fraternizing with Taliban or ISIS supporters was due to my guide. There are areas in Afghanistan that are considered dangerous to visit. And this safety situation is very fluid, meaning it can change [...]

1711, 2019

What To Do In Nukus Uzbekistan

By |November 17th, 2019|Categories: Asia, Off The Beaten Path|2 Comments

What To Do In Nukus Uzbekistan. Nukus, a city of 300,000, can be found in the remote west of Uzbekistan. Nukus is the capital of the Karakalpakstan, an autonomous state found within Uzbekistan. According to the constitution, Karakalpakstan is considered formally sovereign and their relations with Uzbekistan are regulated by treaties and agreements. The state is comprised primarily of ethnic Karakalpak, Uzbeks, and Kazakhs. The economy was previously driven by the fisheries of the Aral Sea, today, the economy is powered by cotton, rice, melons, and hydroelectric power. What To Do In Nukus Uzbekistan Nukus Museum of Art Nukus Museum of Art, officially known as the State Art Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, named after I.V. Savitsky is the main catalyst for visitors to visit the far west of Uzbekistan. This museum was inaugurated in 1966 during the Soviet Union and houses over 82,000 items. The Nukus Museum is the second largest collection of Russian avant-garde in the world. This museum is the inspiration of the founder, Igor Savitsky. After convincing the authorities of a need [...]

1711, 2019

Uzbekistan – 139th Country

By |November 17th, 2019|Categories: Asia, Counting Countries 193 Countdown|0 Comments

Uzbekistan – 139th Country. To see where I have been so far, check out my map as I count down the final 93 countries on the road to all 193 UN countries. Uzbekistan is my 139th country. Check out the best 193 travel books to read! Uzbekistan is a double landlocked country in the Central Asia. The country has been at the crossroads and under the thumb of many empires. First recorded history dates to the 8th century BC as Eastern Iranian nomads settled the lands. The Iranian Achaemenid and Macedonians also took their turn at ruling the area. In the 7th century, Arabs made their way to Uzbekistan and the people converted to Islam. The father of Uzbekistan is considered to be Timur, the first ruler of the Timurid Empire. Uzbekistan was incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century and then the Soviet Union. Uzbekistan became independent in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Islam Karimov ruled the country from 1991 until his death in 2016. His successor, President Mirziyoyev, moved the country in [...]

1711, 2019

Exploring The Aral Sea In Uzbekistan

By |November 17th, 2019|Categories: Asia, Unique Experiences|3 Comments

Exploring The Aral Sea In Uzbekistan. When the name Uzbekistan slips into the conversation, images of the Silk Road waltz through my mind. I conjure pictures from Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva of ancient walled cities, ancient mosques, and azure-tiled minarets. Yet, there is more to explore in Uzbekistan than just the Silk Road. Aral Sea Overview The Aral Sea at one time was the 4th largest lake in the world, but since the 1960s it has shrank to its current size, which is 90% smaller. The Aral Sea can be found in the western part of Uzbekistan and extends into Kazakhstan. The disappearance of the Aral Sea is considered to be "one of the planet's worst environmental disasters". Beginning in the 1960s the Soviet government headed by Nikita Khrushchev diverted the rivers that fed the Aral Sea for a series of irrigation projects. The Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers were diverted into a series of irrigation canals to create an industrialized agricultural industry. Only 10% of [...]

1411, 2019

Kach Howe … Dreamed Of Being A Diplomat

By |November 14th, 2019|Categories: Podcast|0 Comments

Kach has traveled to 136 countries.  Kach Howe Counting Countries. Kach popped up on my radar screen in early summer and we have been trying to schedule a call since then.  Statistically speaking, most 193ers are older, white males from North America or Western Europe, but I am always on the lookout to have a differing perspective.  Kach offers a unique voice being both a female and a Filipina.  Kach has traveled to 136 countries and all the more impressive on a passport that is ranked a mediocre 61.  Previously on Counting Countries I spoke with April Peregrino who is also a Filipina by ethnicity but travels with a US passport.  Kach Howe Counting Countries. I am reminding you that Counting Countries is now partnered with Patreon.  Patreon is a platform that allows patrons, that’s you, to support creators, and that is me creating Counting Countries.  And thanks to my patrons, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Ryan Gazder, and Adam Hickman. I also want to welcome new patron, Stephanie Rowe, a friend of mine in Bangkok.  She has [...]

1010, 2019

Charles Veley … And The Commitment To Travel

By |October 10th, 2019|Categories: Podcast|0 Comments

Charles has traveled to every country in the world and is the founder of MTP   I had known of Charles for many years, both his accomplishments and the Most Traveled People.  I had the opportunity to meet Charles in person at the Extreme Travel International Congress at the Principality of Sealand.  He was one of the 25 travelers at the congress and I was able to sit next to him at one meal and listen in on his travel stories. I am reminding you that Counting Countries is now partnered with Patreon.  Patreon is a platform that allows patrons, that’s you, to support creators, and that is me creating Counting Countries.  And thanks to my other patrons, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Ryan Gazder, and Adam Hickman.  As thanks, they are able to listen to additional interviews like the extra interview I did with Per Besson and Petro Marias, only available to them. Before I speak with Charles, I want to introduce Counting Countries’s new partner, Untamed Borders.  Untamed Borders is well known in our community for [...]

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