Bermuda: Lots To Love Once You Get Through Customs

Atlantic beaches are lovely, and when combined with a tax haven, they form a true oasis. Bermuda, despite being situated in the middle of the Atlantic and despite being famous for shipwrecks, is certainly an oasis. There is, though, one nagging element of statism: customs.  Customs control in Bermuda is a nightmare. My experience was…

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Hawaii Pre-Eruption: Volcanoes, Sea Life And Breathtaking Beauty

Hawaii is not an offshore jurisdiction akin to some of the many Pacific Islands I recently visited (Marshall Islands, Vanuatu etc.). But for a tourism destination, the Hawaiian Islands are unmatched in the Pacific, unless you count the Galapagos Islands. Hawaii offers volcanoes almost as startling as Mount Yasur on Vanuatu, beautiful, rugged terrain like…

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Surviving Venezuela In Style, Then Narrowly Getting Out

I picked an interesting time to visit Venezuela. The opposition leader had recently declared himself president, and the world was split over whether he or socialist leader Nicolas Maduro was in charge of the country. Meanwhile, media reports were saying there were food shortages, and people were waiting in long lines to get food, as…

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My View Inside An Erupting Volcano In Vanuatu

Have you ever come under fire from a flamethrower? I’m not talking about in a video game. I mean in real life — fireballs flying in your direction and coming within 20 meters of striking you. Not Molotov cocktails, but rather a true force of nature. For me, that force of nature was Vanuatu’s Mount…

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Island Hopping The Rarely Visited Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Fiji And Tuvalu

fI had just wrapped up my 5-day stay in the least visited country in the world, Nauru, which as you may recall, was very memorable yet, at the same time, getting very boring by the end. So how would I find the next Pacific Island stops. Would I embark upon exciting new adventures in a…

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My 5 Days On The Once-Wealthy ‘Bird Shit Island’ That Now Has A Refugee ‘Gulag’

Have you ever walked in a circle around an entire country? I now have. And I did it in 3 hours and 15 minutes.  To put it bluntly, there is not a lot to see in Nauru, the Pacific island nation that is the least visited country in the world. But because of this feat…

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Island Hopping My Way To The Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands make for a beautiful snorkeling destination and a tax haven/hideaway for tax evaders. Sounds like a place for me, though I don’t advocate the latter. Without a doubt I enjoyed my short stay in the Marshall Islands. But, as some people say, it’s about the journey. This time was no different. My…

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Discovering North Korea Part 2: Beautiful Nature

Note: This is the second installment of a three-part series on my trip to North Korea. As you may guess, this post will focus on exploring North Korea’s outdoors. To see what is is like to walk across a bridge connecting China and the DPRK and to have face-to-face interactions with North Korean schoolchildren, read…

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Discovering North Korea Part 1: Crossing The Bridge Into NK And Getting To Know The DPRK

Note: This post is the first installment of a three-part series on my trip to North Korea. In this post, you will get a glimpse of life in a peculiar Chinese border town, see what its like to cross the seldom-used (by westerners) northeastern border between China and North Korea, and actually venture inside North…

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Joining A Biker Gang In Thailand And Invading Opium-rich Myanmar

I told you about anarchy in Mexico. With all due respect to Acapulco and the Anarchapulco Conference — and even the great state of Guerrero — they are not nearly as anarchic as Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle, where opium is the cash crop, central governments are kept in check and militias and drug lords run…

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Discovering The Cuba Of Africa

Discovering this country was a watershed moment for me. Although I was visiting a Portuguese-speaking island nation, it was my first time in Sub-Saharan Africa. In less politically correct terms, it was my first time stepping foot in “Black Africa.” Yet it was here where I successfully exercised my white privilege. You will see how…

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Partying in the Arctic: A Trip to The Far, Far North Of Norway

I’m not in need of a Norwegian passport. But if I was ultra-motivated to pick one up and it meant spending seven years living within the Arctic Circle, I would be ready and willing to migrate… to Svalbard. Situated above the 70th parallel north, Svalbard is farther north than Antarctica (at least the part I visited)…

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Exploring A Long-Lost Nazi Civilization in Antarctica

I didn’t just go to Antarctica for bragging rights or to see penguins (You already know I love animals). I was on a mission to discover a long-lost Nazi civilization in a part of the world to which few ever venture. The destination was New Swabia, or Neuschwabenland, named after the German territory of Schwabenland.…

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Visiting Pitcairn: Life With The Modern-Day Mutineers On The World’s Most Mysterious Island

  Have you ever gone on vacation and stayed in the home of a mayor-turned- … wait for it… wait for it… convicted child rapist?! That’s right. My host was the mayor, and now he is a convicted child rapist. Better yet, he is a direct descendant of the Bounty mutineers, and more than two…

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Dodging German-Eating Cannibals In The Marquesas Islands

Cannibals? They still exist? They eat Germans? They prey on tourists in French Polynesia? No one seems to know exactly what happened. It was 2011. A German tourist named Stefan Ramin was on an exotic trip around the world with his girlfriend. Ramin died after going on an excursion with his girlfriend and a local…

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Going Wine Tasting In The Tropics

Having met the seasteaders in Tahiti, Roadstered around Moorea and summited my future honeymoon destination of Bora Bora, I moved on to lesser-known islands for the second half of my French Polynesia trip. Have no worry… the fun will come. Following a pleasant flight that involved no TSA hassles — or any airport security procedures…

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Racing through Moorea

Tahiti is famous. Couples dream of vacationing or honeymooning in Tahiti. The island, with its rugged interior surrounded by Polynesian beaches, makes for a great getaway destination. The fact that it is the seasteading capital of the world makes it even better. But when beauty beckons, it comes from the next island over. On my…

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Meeting the Seasteaders in Tahiti

The road to the seasteaders of Tahiti was a long, wet, windy one. Well, not exactly. But the road to the hotel was. It was also dark, and I had not driven in four months, let alone in the middle of a rainstorm. Kicking off my excursion into French Polynesia, I landed in Tahiti, where…

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Flirting with the Moais on Rapa Nui

Love can be expressed in a multitude of ways. In Latin America, the chicas — and their relentless passion and expressiveness — can bring out the eros in me. The German tendencies inside me subside, and I embrace touch and physical forms of expression. And due to a recent discovery, even more eros has been…

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Dodging Authorities In An Unrecognized Country

When you are attempting to enter a country that does not formally exist, you might figure that you will encounter some problems. Maybe the Soviet-styled border guards will not like that you are traveling with an American in your group. Maybe they will demand a bribe before granting passage. Neither of those issues surfaced when…

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