There are 193 countries in the world and Rick Gazarian has visited 142 of them. And he’s determined to see them all
Tell us something of yourself
Why did you first come to Thailand and why have you stayed?
How did the global travel itch get to you?
How do you pay the bills?
What was the last country you visited before the COVID-19 crisis?
What was the 100th country you visited and any reason for choosing that particular country?
What are the most fascinating places you’ve?
Name some of your favourite destinations - places you’d go back to in a heartbeat?
Any places you would never go back to under any circumstances?
I wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece on my visit, questioning whether my visit to Vanuatu even counted. I had only seen my hotel, the hospital and the airport during my visit. Somehow my post ended up in some Vanuatu Facebook groups. I ended up joining the group, and scores of people were cursing me, threatening to kill me, and even promising to throw me into the Mt. Yassur, the active volcano. In my post, I had criticized the lack of hygiene at the hospital, and the locals did not take kindly to my feedback. I had originally planned on revisiting this island, but after all of the threats I have decided not to.
What's still on your bucket list – places you yearn to visit?
I am looking forward to visiting Djibouti, a country found on the horn of Africa. I am dying to visit Lac Abbe, a remote area with an amazing surreal landscape. Also high on my list is Mada'in Saleh in Saudi Arabia. This is a similar complex to Petra in Jordan except with barely any tourists. Another visit I am looking forward to is Papua New Guinea. In many ways, this is an unexplored country. I was supposed to be there in May, but that trip obviously was canceled.
What about lighter moments on your travels?
What about dangerous places?
In Hargeisa, Somalia, most people were really quite welcoming. But, twice locals threatened me, once with a hammer and another with a drill. Other locals intervened and calmed them down. I visited a local market as well, and literally ran out after the merchants became hostile. My offense: I was holding a camera. Not taking photos, but just holding the camera.
In Cambodia, I drove a tuk-tuk for about 1,600 km in a rally. On a bad dirt road, I flipped the tuk-tuk and it ran over me. I got banged up quite a bit. I ended up getting stitches at a local clinic while sitting on the outside deck with a dog roaming about. The stitches didn’t take, and I had to get re-stitched a second time when I eventually got back to Bangkok.
Are most of your trips solo, or do you ever hook up with fellow global travelers?
Any advice for wannabe global travelers?
How do you think the COVID crisis will affect travel long-term, especially to remote spots?
I am hoping for the best but concerned about the worst. Travelers have been so fortunate over the past years. Visas are getting easier and easier to get. Flights have multiplied, providing for so many cheap options. And the internet provides you with all the information you need to make your plans. The barriers to travel in most cases have been greatly reduced.
I am concerned that possibly in the near future, there will be a trend of borders becoming more difficult to cross. I assume there will many airlines shutting their doors due to this economic collapse. I can also imagine less flight options and higher prices. There might also be unrealistic health requirements when entering a country. So, there might be a trend to less globalization and less travel in the future.
(For more go to globalgaz.com).