Stefan Krasowski (Take the Rapid Chai Travel Express to 193 countries)
- 00:01:20 How Stefan’s journey to 193 countries unfolded.
- 00:03:31 How ‘Every Passport Stamp’ provided unique advice to cross borders into countries that rarely get any visitors. What are some of the shortcuts to get into countries that make that really hard?
- 00:23:04 What are we really seeking when we travel?
- 00:27:13 Stefan’s journey into the Chinese language? What he learned about China and the government?
- 00:52:33 What is Stefan’s take on slow or fast travel?
- 00:58:18 Stefan’s list of favorite places and trips?
- 01:14:48 What Mighty Travels Premium does and where the best departure airports for airfare deals are currently?
You may watch this episode on Youtube – # 82 Stefan Krasowski (The Rapid Chai Travel to 193 countries).
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Stefan, welcome to the Judgment Call podcast. Really appreciate it. Thanks for coming. Thank you. Hey, you belong to this elusive list of people who have traveled to all 193 countries. And we spoke with Rick a couple of episodes ago about that, and it is still a relatively small list of just a few hundred people, maybe a few thousand by now. How did you desire to go to so many different countries get started? How did you get into this whole travel bubble? My parents are workaholics, and we were not traveling other than visits to relatives like my grandparents in New York growing up. And I did study Chinese in my middle school and high school, and the junior year trip, student exchange trip to China, it was the big wow moment for me, how energetic and exciting. And I went on to live in China for a decade later, and there’s something that’s just so busy about being in China, even the quietest place. There’s activity and energy, and that got me really excited, and it’s a mix of that. And there’s, I think, pretty much anybody who gets on this completist road, because many people, as you said, there’s not that many that have gone all the way, and I know many people that they’ll reach a hundred countries, a hundred fifty, and they’ve seen what they want to see, and some of the remainders are arduous, probably more expensive than they want for their budget, and they think they’re there, but those of us that have to go all the way, it’s something like stamp collecting, or that that goes back to childhood. For me, it was, my mother would always get upset if it was a birthday party, and somebody would give me a new toy that I’d never had, because I would go straight to the catalogue and look at the whole series, and think, I need to have the whole set, I can’t just experience one. There seems to be quite an obsession involved, and it’s interesting that you say that your parents didn’t travel at all. I feel like the relatively small group, in their early memories, it’s either they traveled a ton to basically the daughter or son of diplomats, basically every year in a different place, or it’s, I never got to travel, and then I just fell in love with it. That’s kind of what also applies to me, I never got to travel when I was younger. Yeah, I used my caddying money in, I think, eighth grade, and I was in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I said, I paid my parents to take me to Wisconsin Dells for a weekend to do the waterslides and mini golf. You were desperate. I mean, they put everything into the education for my brother and I, so I owe them tremendously, and that was what was possible in travel, and later on, then once we were both through school, they started traveling with me at times, and really came to embrace it, but that was the focus, and that life stage was education, education, education, and then being able to use that to inform what both my brother and I wanted to do in life. When you look back, and I don’t know what time frame it took you to get to all countries, well, what was your plan? How did you set out to do this? It just happened kind of randomly, and then you went for the last 50 years, just the more of a goal in mind. How long did it take? It took just about just over 20 years, and it started with me spending a semester in Hong Kong and taking classes. I arranged to have one day to Wednesday night and would take the subway up to the mainland China border and hop on whatever train, and bus was heading. That was long enough for me to sleep the night, and so I traveled around China, visited every province, got internships, started getting paid jobs, started traveling around Asia and just kept filling in the map and getting more excited and realizing that every place I went to, it was the rush for me to walk through immigration and start something new, and so I kept adding that, and I had this rough goal. I didn’t have a specific time. I never took off from work, for instance, to dedicate to large amounts of travel, so it would be fitting in what holidays would allow, but then what really in my 30s allowed me to speed it up much in a subject you know a lot about are the frequent flyer programs, and suddenly destinations that were financially or time prohibitive. There’s two big variables in here, the time it takes, and sometimes the slower you go, the more money you can save. If you’re on a tight schedule, you often end up facing more costs, and then the means of transport, what’s available to you, so learning a lot about the frequent flyer programs got me to the end of that list just a few days before my 40th birthday, whereas I had expected it would be essentially a retirement. I had not visited much of Europe till near the end of my last five countries, San Marino, Italy, and Greece were three, and I was thinking that was going to be my retirement plan, but I was able to pick up the pace a little bit. Yeah, well, most people start with Europe, right? They go to the easy countries first, and they go to the easy countries in Asia, and then there is a bunch of them left, and you run your own Facebook group, every password system, I think that’s the name of the group, and it’s a really fascinating group. I’ve been a member for some time, and Rick told me about it, Rick Azarian, and it really is about, and there’s amazing hacks that people come up with to get to countries where you’re from the outside, you think, oh, it’s impossible to go there, it’s Somalia, James Wilcox about that, it’s Syria that is awards on right now, and somehow they find a way to literally just get that password stuff, that’s what it is about, there is always a hack, there’s always a taxi driver, takes you over the border, there’s always someone you can talk into it. Is that when you started this group, did you think it will get that specialized, it will get that interesting, or you knew all the tricks already at that point because you went to so many places? There’s no way you know all the tricks, and it changes constantly, and the altruistic reason for starting the group was having this travel community for information of destinations that are never going to bubble up in a trip advisor or some of these other forums, and we’ve never promoted it, I’ve never set even the category tags in Facebook, so it’s not easy to find, it’s really been word of mouth, and we’ve never, many groups do these things, prefer a member, get your numbers, we want 10, 20, 30,000 people, it’s always intended to be very focused, it’s not that everybody should be going to every country in the world, that maybe they specialize in one country, one person really knows Chad, and those are the people that we want that have this incredible depth and passion about a subject or a theme of travel, certain art exhibits that they figure out where they’re going to be, how to get tickets before they’re sold out, all of these elements so that it’s serious travel and that people are thinking about, you know, beyond the package tour, the package vacation, how to do something that would mean a ton to them, and in terms of the information, I mean, although I should say the selfish reason I started the group is that I felt that if anybody figures out how to visit Diego Garcia as a tourist, I want them to know me and I want them to invite me along for it, so, you know, this networking thing, I mean, it has been incredible, I mean, travel has temporarily or to some degree permanently shifted over the past year plus, but I’m thinking back two years ago, there was suddenly this news reports on a few news like Associated Press and that, Sierra Leone, which had been quite expensive for visas for many nationalities as well as quite an in person challenge in many cases and requiring certain documentation, I was in their embassy in Ghana a few years ago and I didn’t have a hotel confirmation and I was getting some bad Wi Fi and phone signal saying, I’m just pulling it up as I was trying to find a hotel, I can book quickly, but these reports came out and said they were going to start issuing visa on arrival and there was no information in the official releases, nothing, any of the media coverage said how you would actually do it, when it would start, is there a website with information and a lot of countries just don’t have good websites and somebody shared the article in EPS and within an hour, somebody said, oh yeah, I just arrived today, here’s the paper the customs gave me, it was visa on arrival, here’s all the details, you know, have a pickup flyer and that information is just no other way to get it that I found and that’s been a true joy of the group. Yeah, it’s quite amazing and I mean the example you gave us is in Africa I always feel like you can kind of, in many places there is like an informal visa on arrival, it might work or might not, but 50, 50% of the time you can make it on that plane and usually it will work and kind of depends where you start, but there’s other countries that make it extremely hard and we were debating this with Boris and he said, well, sometimes it looks that way that you can get there, but it’s, you know, you spend $500, you don’t go anywhere, which is kind of, it messes with your travel plan. When you look at the, and we have the COVID restrictions now, it’s at the top of all the entry restrictions and sometimes they make it much worse, sometimes it’s basically no COVID restrictions, there’s a few places left and some require COVID tests, but it hasn’t really changed the nature of the game. When you look at the countries right now, anticipate they’re going to reopen at some point, somewhere completely close, I know. What do you think are the, and when you look at the group, what are the top five countries that people really struggled with to go with either European or an American passport? Struggle with, I don’t know, because then people always turn up in these places. I mean, it’s, I’d say for the most part that travelers are going where they think it’s going to be feasible and they’re not necessarily taking the same chances that have been in the past of maybe they’ll let me into Eritrea, maybe they won’t, maybe I’ll get deported. We see a little bit less of that activity and then people are doing a lot more determined research that I know people that have been to Libya recently and that did a lot of research on how to get in, Venezuela’s been very tough, people have gotten in. So it’s, I think people are maybe doing the due diligence, they should have in the past a lot and one theme about this and I think that travelers starting out may not understand all that well is there’s really two barriers and once you get to the country, you often have probably a better chance of succeeding than if the airline denies you. And so say a lot of the COVID restrictions, but similar for Visa, the international system TAMATIC, which several, it’s paid access to check the data directly, but several airlines like United Airlines KLM provide the data for free to consumers in their travel Visa section. If the TAMATIC says you need this to enter and you are trying to board a plane in a stickler country like Netherlands or Germany, you know, you can be assured that the airline staff are going to look at this and say you do not qualify, you are not getting on the plane because it’s our responsibility if you show up there and we have to get you back. So checking that data and some countries like if you’re flying Royal Air, Morocco, within intra Africa, they might be a little more lax as an example, but for the most part, if TAMATIC is saying that you’re not going to get in, you know, that’s a very good chance you’re going to get denied boarding and there’s no one to sweet talk there. If TAMATIC is unclear or you look like you qualify for that, something could still go wrong in terms of Visa or local things, but once you’re at the country, you have the officials who can make the decisions and potentially work things out. Yeah, my personal experience was with Sudan just in 2019 and it is a country where you can get a Visa, you have to prearrange it and you pick it up so it’s not that hard. I was just there for transit and transit’s a free, so I wasn’t even worried and it was relatively clear and TAMATIC what to do. But my transit was much longer when I booked it, it was two hours, now it was like 17 hours and that’s currently not covered because the guidelines as far as, so it was much easier because it seems like once you’re already in Africa, as you say with Royal Air, Morocco and also with Ethiopia, they seem to be relatively relaxed and once I got to Sudan, everyone was like, this is the Visa fee, we’ll make it $100 for you and enjoy Sudan as long as you want. I’m like, this is not what I thought it would be because then I wouldn’t have come here, right? Then I wouldn’t have opted for transit and said, no, no, no, don’t worry about that, it’s just what people write down. So there was an amazing sense of hospitality and I’ve seen this in many other places like Cameroon that are relatively hard to get to, maybe Angola is one of those, maybe I don’t know if these things change. But as you say, once you make it into the plane, which is a 50, 50 situation, you’re mostly going to make it into the country. How do you get to Libya right now? Do you try to avoid the officials, but then you don’t get, you literally just cross the border illegally or is that the idea, but how do you get your passport stamped on? I don’t know, I mean, there are people who visit and it’s, yeah, this kind of illegal entry or that is nothing I condone and I don’t know that it even works for Libya. This is generally being invited by an official agency in a business context. So having a business reason that is supported by their documents and that you could come in and visit. So I know a few that were just there about a month ago and visited and they did it through all officialdom and did it officially and that’s one thing that I’m very firm on. I’ve never illegally entered any place, I’ve never, like when I was struggling for several years to my 193 UN final country was Syria and spent over two years and working on it and would talk to different people and they’d keep saying, well, there’s a lot of one way options, you know, but it’s the round trip that are ones you want to work with the sanctions. There’s a bunch of countries we Americans are not supposed to go, at least we don’t have any business relationship. I’m not sure if this goes all the way into visa like Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, I’m not sure if we, when Cuba kind of changed and flip flop quite a bit. Are there any countries we as Americans are not supposed to go at all from the American point of view? I think countries might have their own opinion on this. In my lifetime, the only one that I’m aware of that really became a you cannot go in a sense was the Trump administration regulations on North Korea, which are still in effect that they’re saying the US State Department that a US passport is not valid for travel to North Korea, whereas that’s totally separate from any policies that the country of North Korea may have or not. And then Cuba is, as I understand it, not a legal expert, but the trading with the enemy act, which is still in effect is restrictions on commerce. And then there’s certain categories of ways that a tourist or a cultural organization or a business person have been allowed or not. Under the Obama administration, those categories and exceptions were expanded, but if I understand the fine print of the trading with the enemy act is if you were to say swim to Cuba and walk around and never spend any money and swim away, if that were possible, I think that technically would be acceptable under the act because you’ve not, it’s not really feasible, unless you have your own. That’s what I obviously said, no, I haven’t been to Cuba actually. Iran, is there a country that’s on that list or will be or not affected by that? Obviously, Iran requires you to be in that tour group for most Americans that was pre COVID might not come back or might come back in a different shape, but does the US also regulate that? I don’t know. I mean, there is no Iranian embassy in the United States. And so they have certain consular functions that are handled by the embassy of Pakistan as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iran approves visas. And so there is extra paperwork, but yeah, all of these different designations and sanctions are usually either focused towards certain individuals, companies, governments, or they are related to certain types of commerce and that don’t directly impact tourists. So, in the case of Iran, as you said, Americans and British nationals typically have to be in a tour group for Iranian purposes that could be a tour group of one, but with a guide that from the US side, no, actually, that was about a decade ago when I was right during the Arab Spring demonstrations and I was boarding the flight, I was in business in Atlanta at the time and got my, it was took over two months, got my passport the night before. And it was like the foreign ministry had the wrong fax number for the Pakistan embassy and I was coordinating, which was just ridiculous, but I was boarding and checking in for the flight on KLM. I mean, it was just a direct book from the US and Atlanta to Amsterdam to Tehran and I kept waiting for somebody to say, oh, you’re going, you’re going here, wow, and nobody, nobody blanks. I was so disappointed. There’s a lot of Iranians that still go back, I mean, most of them probably won’t because they don’t know if it’s a one way ticket, but a lot of them have to go on official business on real business, right? So that’s, there is a want, there is a back and forth between Iran and the US. Well, I mean, my, my impression, not, not an expert in the region is that in terms of movement of people, Iran is quite, quite open and I mean, it was just people met on the street. It was, you know, that would, they would have some, first of all, it’s an incredibly educated population. You know, I don’t know where it ranks in the world rankings, but the people you meet at restaurants, wherever, as a tourist, you interact, you know, very educated, often speaking English, and often with site experience, certainly traveling within the region and, and often to Europe. I mean, US is a bit of a different case, but it didn’t strike me that, that people were as limited inside as, as the media would, would make it portend in terms of their, their external travel. Yeah, that’s, that’s really good to hear about Iran, which I think has, has gotten quite of that rap. Wouldn’t be, when you think about all the places you’ve been to, and when you compare to your expectations, what were countries or places where you felt like, and maybe Iran is one of them, where you felt like, whoa, you didn’t have any expectation on my expressions were, expectations were pretty low or higher, but it really exceeded your expectations. It really surprised you in a positive manner. It’s affordable. The people were friendly. The food was good. All these things that make trouble so much about it. I was going to ask you about Sudan when you mentioned it. It sounds like you had a very brief experience, but that’s one. I never get to go, but the people were amazing. So which is really interesting. I was in this really weird transit place and every hour or so, someone with, with, with stars on their, their, their shoulder, um, obviously someone who, who’s in the army came by and tracked on me and they, they, I put some food orders in, what would they ask me if I’m, if I’m hungry because there’s nothing to eat there. Right. There’s not like a real effort, especially like a meeting room. And then they brought me food. I’m like, so where do I pay and say, you know, it’s all on us. So every hour, and I was there for 12 hours, someone gave me food and they didn’t speak any English, but I kind of, you know, showed them some pictures and, uh, I thought this was amazing. I just little, this little inside that I got, which is really tiny. I feel like Sudan is a place with real hospitality, really, um, Islamic hospitality. You mentioned Rick and his, uh, Rick Azarian and his counting countries interview series. And he, he always asked the most hospitality in the, in the world. And I think nine out of 10 guests probably mentioned Iran is this incredibly hospitable place and that was my experience, but maybe Sudan could rival them in terms of this, just an incredible, outgoing, wonderful, I mean, the experience traveling around Sudan is not only are you seeing the, the pyramids before the pyramids in Egypt, but just every time you fill up a gas tank, you’re suddenly sitting for an hour sipping, sipping tea and, you know, by the side of the road with just chatting with people, uh, you know, there’s, there’s so many, there’s so many destinations that, that have surprised me and you’re talking from a perspective of, say, an American traveler, like I was just speaking to a person who’d never been to Central Asia and just pick any country in the region, an incredible experience that travelers really into food, a place like Uzbekistan, I mean, you’ll, you’ll gain a kilogram a day, but you’ll have this incredible, rich, wonderful food and even closer to home, say in the Caribbean, that so many of the islands and, uh, I think you’ve talked to Charles Veely of most traveled people, uh, there’s Traveler Century Club, uh, these, these islands that don’t have the major international airports, so, uh, Sabah, Mansarat, uh, very small, quirky places. I’ve, I’ve absolutely loved that, uh, when, especially coming from, from the U.S. and then also living in China, I’ve, big countries are what I’ve known, so visiting a place that’s very small, where, where when they say everybody knows their name, I mean, they truly, they truly do know who everybody is. That’s, that’s the most interesting slice of life for me is to, to have that, that incredible contrast and get, get a taste of what, what living in, in, in such a small community would feel like. It’s quite strange that we’ve lost this, right? So we have these, these big cities, we have these, these very advanced cities, we think of them as very advanced. So we have these, this, this modern comforts and we were somewhat healthy, right? We at least we have tons of different treatments. There is something that I feel when, when we travel, we, we see this, it’s kind of more like a hunter gatherer style, right? So it’s not necessarily hunter gatherer society, but it’s still in these groups of 50, maybe 100, maybe 200 people, people living in villages, they know each other. There is, there’s a certain warmth to it that is very difficult to find in these much bigger civilizations we live in now. And I think a lot of us, they really miss that part of, of living. We would say it’s subsistence, it’s poor and it’s kind of, when you, you see this a lot in Ethiopia, for instance, or when you see it as an India, but there is this warmth between people that seems to make up for all these things. I find this quite surprising, right? So we, we, we lost maybe, and we can also see this popping again with the actual hunter gatherer societies, that there is something to this kind of lifestyle that we’ve lost and we all crave maybe just for two weeks, right? So I don’t know if we were ready to go back to be a hunter gatherer, but we, we, we get it for two weeks and then I think we’re fine for a couple of months and we go back into our little matrix world. Yeah. And there’s, and there’s places that doesn’t need to be so extreme. And in terms of the, the contrast of cultures, I was just thinking of Norfolk Island, which sits between Australia, New Zealand, history back to the, the bounty mutineers and, and it’s, it’s, it’s one of the places in the world where every car that you drive by when, when you’re driving, you know, they, they, they raise their fingers over the steering wheel or give a wave and maybe there should be an index of all the places where everybody waves at every passing car because that, that indicates a certain kind of community. But I happened to be there over, it was on a, on a Sunday, I was seeing some of the historic sites, the, the waterfront and that, which was nice, but, but they were, they were deserted. There were no tourists there. It wasn’t what wasn’t a big tourist destination really anytime of the year. And, but they had the historic church had services going on. And it was, I walked in and truly it’s everybody turns and who is this guy, you know, but, you know, but they, they welcomed me in and after this, and they said, Oh, you know, you’re, you’re clearly a visitor. Is there a him that’s special to you? And then afterwards, you know, it was the, the retired editor of the local newspaper and all of these. And I mean, and this is, this is Australia, but it’s different. And, and so these, these, these kind of experience, especially for a tourist where you often do have limited time is where you can really step into a community and, and right in the moment, you’re, you’re swimming in it, which is very different. I love big cities. My wife and I, when we travel, the big cities, the food is really her thing that all of these have, have informed me in different ways. Yeah. You spend a lot of time in China and it’s not necessarily a country that most travelers I know put on top of the list. It’s, it’s overwhelming. It’s crowded. It has, you need to develop an appreciation for the local cuisine and obviously the language is difficult. How did you fall in love with China? I was not given a choice. I actually, I was back home in Minnesota and just saw my high school Chinese teacher and she was lecturing me for all the, all the, all my shortcomings that I haven’t done in my career yet. I started studying Chinese and became part of her world, Margaret Wong of Breck School in Minneapolis. And, and she set up many of the early programs in the U S and it, it became this, this academic subject that was interesting in as an academic thing. And then when I went there for the first time, as I said, it was that incredible excitement, the building projects, the rush of people, the, the activity, the, you know, probably flying there, I probably felt like the, the, the grass should be blue and the sky, the sky pink. It wasn’t another planet, but in so many ways it was such new experiences to me. And you’re right that it’s, it’s exhausting. It’s, it’s a challenging place. It’s, and the thing is it’s not just challenging for a foreigner or a visitor. It’s, it’s a tiring, exhausting place for, for anyone living there, Chinese or, or whoever, because it is so busy, so competitive, crowded in many places. But that, that incredible thrill. I mean, I lived and worked there and even, even what would seem like a boring office job is never, never quite boring compared to in the U S you might be sitting in an office and in the cubicles and not, not have anything interesting happen in the day. And, and that, that spontaneity and the vibrancy of the way people interact. It’s, it’s a lot of fun. I mean, there were times when I was living there that I’d be so exhausted from a week of work that I would go into my apartment on a Friday night and not come out till Monday morning, just, just decompressing as I am naturally in an introvert. And I’m Scandinavian background from Minnesota, not used to being on all the time. But it was that incredible, incredible experience. And in many respects, I might still be there today, although for family and career decisions or we’re back in the U S at this point. Yeah. Well, when you, when you look back, how difficult was it for you to, to get to some kind of fluency? I mean, you know, not abstract legal discussions with anyone in Chinese, but something where you feel like, well, you could, you could have a decent dinner party conversation. How long did that take you? Yeah. I mean, certainly I, I studied for a number of years in school, but when you arrive, you realize that’s a totally different thing to speak. And it, I mean, it studied for a semester was there in turning, because probably altogether, like a year and a half or so where I felt comfortable enough that then I started, started working and for several years worked in a Chinese company where all the colleagues were, I mean, some, some had limited English, but it was not a foreign company. The operating language of the company was, was Chinese, all the documents were Chinese, the business negotiations. And then, then, then I had to get really good, really fast, but it helped. The more you immerse yourself, I never lived in an expat compound somewhere out, out in the suburbs. And, you know, that’s, it’s, it’s easier when you’re, when you’re single and, and young to, you know, pick an apartment in the city and many expats come when they’re already a bit further on in their career. They’ve got kids, you know, all these considerations. So I always, in some ways I regret, I knew so few expats, but I really focused on, on being part of the community. The travel was, was a huge part. There’s still some of the slow trains left in China that are the old green ones where it’s three seats by three seats facing and it, you know, you’re there for how many hours and you just talk, talk, talk. And so it was a lot of those, these long train rides overnight where you’re just in a seat and there’s nothing to do for people, but blow smoke in your face and talk that I just got better. And so one of the things that I’ve done well is learning how to understand different forms of Mandarin. So a lot of people that haven’t traveled as much within China, they’re used to their, their own dialect and the Mandarin they hear on TV, but they don’t necessarily interact as much as, as when I was traveling so much with people of other provinces and, and trying to communicate, which very, very educated people that have been to university. There’s, there’s no challenge with the, the day to day stuff. You have to, you have to have a little bit of a, a little bit of like an imperfection filter. And I’ve noticed this around the world. If you’re trying to communicate with people that have never encountered someone of a different culture, it’s often harder for them to sort of interpret what, what somebody speaking their language badly might be wanting or, or sign language. But if, if people have interacted a little bit with, with people from, from different areas, they’re a little bit better at guessing. So I got, I got pretty good at, at guessing and, and piecing together and having conversations with, with people all over the country. Yeah. What is your insight into the Chinese soul, so to speak? When we, when we look at the rise of China from, from the US, it’s, it’s was our friend. And, you know, there was a strong, somewhat strong alliance against the Russians 50 years ago in a geopolitical field. They went from, we are communists, but we are not really communists. And you guys take this too seriously. And then we, we always felt like as a geopolitical view that China would become more open. It kind of would look like Taiwan by now. It did happen to an extent because the cities kind of look like Taiwan, maybe more modern. But the government and how we perceive China, this seems to be going in the wrong direction. What is your take on this? When you know the Chinese soul, you know where the government is, what’s going on in China really? And are we, are we having the wrong picture of China? I think there’s, there’s, there’s so many ways to, to try to get at this. And it is such a complicated thing. One element is, is there certain peoples and cultures around the world that, that see themselves as a civilization, first and foremost, and instead of seeing themselves maybe as a country. So Iran, I would give us an example as well that you travel to Iran, you meet Iranians. I mean, they’re, they’re immediately citing their poets from 1500 years ago, and they’re always talking about their civilization. And, and so there’s a, there’s a tremendous pride in that that can sometimes in international relations be seen as an arrogance in that. And China, Iran, you know, the U.S. in a, in a rising sense, Russians, I think, often that way. I mean, they see themselves as this civilization that’s a bit above everything else and everyone else. And that I call this the, the, the, the, the national superiority complex. I think Germany is also a country, Japan is a candidate for this. There’s a, there’s not a ton, but there’s a bunch of countries who always seem to have that. Yeah. And I, I still feel even, I mean, compared to Europe, I mean, I feel like the nation, it’s a bit, yeah, it’s a bit fuzzy where it crosses over. Is it, is it a nationalism versus it’s the civilizational level thing that, that stretches back so far. But I, I think what, what, what is, I think you can derive it from either, right? So you can either use this nationalism or you can use the civilization, which is even older, or you can use technology. I mean, there’s a bunch of ways where you can derive that superiority complex. And I think a lot of those nations, and that’s my, my impression of China. You, you correct me if that’s wrong. They feel like they haven’t gotten their fair share of validation, so to speak. They, they haven’t gotten the rewards for how good they actually are. Let’s put it this way, how they, how much they’ve done good for the, the, the economy for the, for the whole world, not just in the last 20 years, but the last 1000 years. And they kind of not very happy about that on an emotional level. Yeah. And it’s, it’s been a very deliberate government project of the past several decades of this idea that the 19th century was this time of incredible humiliation. And, and to a degree that it’s where many countries that have also suffered in, in colonialism and imperialism have maybe started as multiple generations have passed have started to move away from it. One of the first essays Chinese school kids learn is about the destruction of the, the, the old summer palace in Beijing by the foreigner. I mean, it really is, is emphasized so much. And so it leads to, it leads to things that just seem almost comically sincere and, and it’s, I mean, the Chinese foreign ministry spokespeople often talk about the hurt feelings of the Chinese people that something, something someone in a country did like the NNBA, you know, general manager, whatever, that, you know, that this hurt the feelings of the, no other country talks about the hurt feelings of their, their people in that way. And it, it, it is, it is, I think troublesome because it does create a very widespread sense of, I guess in the US we’d call it grievance politics of a form that, that can poison a lot of relations. And you look at people that hunt around on the internet did, you know, does this country’s little map of selecting their regions where they have stores, does it accurately reflect the way the PRC government views their territorial claims. And it can be like a tiny little thumbnail thing. And it’s, it’s, it’s reasonable to say that, that a country should accurately reflect the, the world, but also, you know, creating protests and demonstrations and, and whipping up such, such fervor on this, this kind of stuff. It’s, it’s, it’s a risky thing to play with. And it’s, it is very concerning of, of, you know, how much people, you know, this, I guess the world over is dealing with what you can motivate people to think and do with social media. And it’s, it’s often unintended consequences, however good the intentions are, the unintended consequences. And, you know, it, on a person to person level, you know, I have tremendous relationships with, with Chinese of all types and, and none, and they’ll, they’ll mention the political stuff. Actually, many were fascinated by, by Trump in unusual ways and found it very entertaining that period. These, these relations are good and people want, people want business to continue. You know, there are, there are legitimate and very serious differences and conflicts, certainly between the U S and China government wise that I’m not optimistic, we’ll have a magic or, or easy solution. And, and, you know, to what degree that impacts people wanting to study abroad. I mean, when I, when I studied at Fudan University in Shanghai in 19, it was at 1999, from University of Pennsylvania, I was the only U Penn student studying in Shanghai at the time across all their programs. And I’d hate to see it get back to that point. But, you know, there’s, you know, there is some movement and, and the, you know, the demonization in, in U S media and politics, you know, what, what that does to further, further close Americans off is, is I think going to be increasingly problematic as well. Yeah, I mean, to be fair, I think the U S in some level, and that might not be, you know, the full story, but I talked to Jack DeVine yesterday, he was assistant director of the CIA. He was like, you know, we really have to see what the people on the ground think and what they do, what they want. And then there’s a government that’s typically not democratic. The CIA is, has never, and there’s probably one or two exceptions, but never in their lifetime run a covert operation. Anywhere it is a democratic government. Now the definition of a democratic government is sometimes a little loose. And, you know, the North Korean government also thinks it’s democratic. At the Eastern German government thought they were democratic. And I think to an extent, they actually believe they’re on propaganda there. Usually the talisman is when the word democratic is in the country name that it’s not, that’s often the problem. But that’s, that’s spot on. But he said, you know, you really have to look what the people want. If you can go into a country and can kind of help them get rid of the government, but if the people in that country don’t want to Americans around that they’re help, there’s nothing you can do. So what we did in Iraq and what we did in Afghanistan, we know now we didn’t really realize this before we went in, or maybe some people did. But there is this, this sense of distinguishing what is actually going on in the country was kind of the unspoken word and what’s going on at the government level. And I noticed because I grew up in Eastern Germany, and we went from a country that had no protests at all ever, unless they were government organized to a week where we had literally every living in the person that could go on the streets out there, 13 million people on nowhere. And they also said, okay, this is enough, we want to get rid of this government, right? So do you think this is the case also in China, or people they’re afraid they don’t speak up, but there is a resentment against what’s going on, or most of the people that you have experienced, they say, well, it’s probably okay what we have, you don’t have to change anything on that structure. There’s a lot of growing sophistication and nuance to it. China has achieved some incredible thing, the health improvements, literacy. There’s many negative things you can cite and stack them against many positive things. And I’ve never been to a country where people want to hate their country. People can be very upset about things, and you’re growing up. I mean, I can imagine that there were analysts around the world that for every week of your life leading up to that moment predicted that this was the week something would happen, or it would never happen in 20 years, and maybe one of them got lucky knowing it was that week, but it was just a, what is that like? At the time there was the Polish revolution, for some reason Poland was a year or two ahead, and they basically provided a catalyst. It’s kind of like the Arab Spring, and there was one catalyst, and then you could see these things moving, but you never know where it ends. Yeah, and then there’s the, and I think maybe related to China, you mentioned examples. I mean, people in Chinese government, I mean, just everyday people really study the examples of countries that have had disruptive political changes. So, you know, I mean, the end now what? I mean, East Germany, I’m not an expert at all, but as I understand, I mean, there’s still regional differences of economic achievement. I mean, many things that have not been reconciled by society, and you look at former communist states, you know, the Soviet Union, the state of those, I mean, that’s, if you start discussing politics with Chinese people, they will start talking about these kind of examples, and this idea throughout Chinese history that chaos is a word that comes up, that can be a very bad thing, and what does a disruption look like? And many people, I mean, many people are, if you’re over 60 years old, and you live in China, you’ve been through an exhausting lifetime of very dramatic political swings. I mean, I would argue that in many respects, China is more laissez faire capitalist than many societies, certainly the United States, and social safety net. I mean, essentially, there was no social safety net in terms of the coronavirus, these idea of the government sending checks to every household. I mean, none of that, it was okay, this thing has happened, and you should have prepared for it. So, if you don’t have savings, it’s tough luck. So, I think a lot of people are justifiably proud and want to have the place in the world that they see fit that blanket accepting the structures that were put in place by different countries in a different era, the post World War II global order from essentially dominated by the US to blindly accept that doesn’t necessarily make make sense to everyone. And so, there’s those elements, there’s that justifiable pride, whereas there’s also unhappiness about a lot of things that how much how much our companies and the state knowing people about a year or so ago, some stores started rolling out restaurant ordering by facial recognition that it would just scan your face and deduct from your your WeChat or Alipay account. And you could say, oh, well, you know, there’s so much public surveillance in China. You know, why why would people be upset? But there was there was a huge huge pushback on it. And this came and this maybe it’s different because it was companies versus government, you know, it was it was enough that suddenly these were taken out of stores and they weren’t used. Yeah. So so people people there are are adapting and looking at what you know, what what is the lifestyle and what is the the direction they really want to be? You know, I think the if you ask people what the problems are that they see, they’ll be happy to tell you if you if you tell them what the problems are, you know, they they they really get defensive and that and that happens in in much of the world is if you can go in a listening mode and instead of a telling mode, you’ll you’ll get a tremendous amount of insight and so many things. I mentioned that I worked at an all Chinese company. So Chinese owned I mean, there was a handful of Singaporean, a few foreigners like me out of a 20,000 person company and and one of the things I did, I was in the finance department doing mergers and acquisitions and things, but they asked me to on some lunch breaks, teach the management team a bit about help them improve their English and reading financial reports, these kind of things as well as pick different cultural moments. And we’d have these fascinating discussions. There was the Terry Shiveau case at the time, which if that name rings a bell, I don’t remember all the details, but it was a woman in the United States on life support. And I’m forgetting exactly what the situation was with her health, but the prognosis was essentially that there was no no possibility of recovery and should should life support be withdrawn. And essentially the entire US government shut down with Congress people flying to her bedside, making these huge political points. And it was all very valid debates about life and whose wishes should be respected and how do you make decisions in these tough cases. And I’m sitting in a room with a lot of Chinese managers are doing a cost benefit analysis, which, you know, maybe it sounds like it’s more of a capitalist thing, but they’re saying, how can the government afford to spend so much time on this one person when there’s so many other things they need to do and they need to help. And so it was like, oh, you know, there’s a point to that, you know, we’re arguing about a principle in the US and we have such resources as a country. I mean, essentially, we have enough money in the US to solve most of our problems if if we really if we could agree on what the problems are and what to do. And we have and we that that surface of that that excess of resources allow us to punt a lot of decisions down the road. I mean, you look at the coronavirus stuff, I mean, it it was essentially the typical US idea of wait till the very end and hope the Hail Mary works and the Hail Mary appears to be working in terms of the vaccine came and you know, seems to be working enough to make up for not all these staggering number of lives lost. But in terms of, well, you know, to Vincent Church, America always gets it right after exceeding all the impossible negative options. And I think we always do this or we try out a lot and then eventually we get one because that’s where we are drawn to. When you think of the, I don’t know if you’ve thought about that in the geopolitical environment, where do you think we are in 10, 15 years from now? And this is especially related towards China. Are we what we basically in what we see now, or we see, and a lot of people predict this, including me, we will see kind of a bit of a next Cold War and the Cold War will be China, Iran, Turkey, Russia, maybe a few other countries together that bad together or it’s definitely a lose alliance, but they have a shared interest, which they don’t get the recognition they want out of the human out of the international community. They feel like they’ve been cheated by the US. We are always on the other side intentionally or not. And then there is this battle over Europe and there is a kind of a mix between a cold and a hard war in mostly proxy countries, which will make travel more and more difficult. And there’s always, there’s Peter Sien out there who says, well, the American World Retreat, we’ve learned that now. And I think this is very clear. We don’t want to be the global policemen. It’s just there’s nothing for us on the other end of that rainbow. And travel will make it a little harder because it’s more unilateral, right? So you can’t go like Americans suddenly can go to Europe, but then in three months from now, we maybe can’t go anymore. And then Australians can only go to these countries. So it seems everyone just makes up some random rules for travel, also for geopolitics. Do you think this is that’s what’s going to happen in 15 years? It’s going to look more or less like now where we have a certain impact of mostly I think European and US policies that kind of regulate more or less how the world works. Back to travel, I am setting aside the pandemic considerations and what that, how that will shake out over over the next several years. I don’t see, I don’t see as much of countries totally closing off to the casual interested observer. You know, maybe there’s almost certainly there’s going to be more sophistication. If you’re, if you’re posting on social media, you know, against the government regime, you know, that, you know, don’t be surprised that, that you may be denied entry. I mean, that already happens and has happened in the past and, and these things can get more sophisticated. You know, so many countries have even Turkmenistan has, you know, so few visitors and so many hotels they want to fill that, that, you know, this this movement towards a more broad openness and, and as well the, the rise of people with the means to travel in, in so many countries around the world. I mean, the country like Maldives, as, as I understand, you know, their policy for a number of years has, has been that, you know, any nationality essentially can come, you know, as long as they can show their onward reservation and their, and their means to support themselves while there and that has, has done so much for countries and to what degree they countries constrain it. I, I think that’ll come and go. I’m not, I’m not so pessimistic on, on travel and, and actually, I mean, several of the countries you mentioned, I mean, one thing, both, both China and Turkey, you know, the, the typical understanding of both countries is to think of them as contained units in themselves. One of the, the fascinating things of traveling the world, I mean, you look, you look, I mean, which, which airline can, flies to more countries than any, any airline in the world. I mean, the pandemic has, has disrupted it. But before pre pandemic, Turkish Airlines over a hundred and the next closest was in, was in the 80s. I mean, it, and the, the embassy building projects, giant embassies, even in Somalia, Turkish embassies, you know, that, that Turkey has done tremendous outreach and communities see these infieldies. I mean, American embassies now are moved way into the outskirts of areas. They’re essentially military bases. I know diplomats, they’re not allowed to go out even in communities that seem perfectly reasonable. That American withdrawal into a security net and only seeing things in a security relationship does a tremendous harm. China is another that we think of this Chinese state and the Chinese government, but check out the China and Africa podcast. And, and if you, if you travel around, I mean, there’s so many places around the world where, you know, this is not a state based thing. There’s one or two Chinese families that run a convenience store in town and a restaurant. And, you know, they’re all over Africa, all over increasingly in Latin America, in the Pacific, you know, they’re, they’re building roots and they are becoming, you know, even if, you know, there’s language barriers, assimilation barriers, you know, some of the commerce conflicts, but they are, they are building these person to person relationships in countries where an American is like me coming there for a day as a tourist, you know, maybe there’s a Gates Foundation worker that comes flying through to, to do a survey. So this, this increasing soft power in just the, the scope of the diaspora, you know, China’s, you know, the Indian diaspora and so many communities around the world has been established for decades and China’s community just purely for commerce, for personal, personal interest, the way these, these have expanded, that’s going to have a huge effect. And I think that will speak towards borders and that staying more open than, than the pessimists might find. And it’s, it’s, it’s a huge thing that, that will continue to shape impressions of people around the world. There’s not, there’s no substitute for, for having a positive person to person interaction. Yeah, that’s for sure. That’s maybe a good segue to another question I wanted to ask you that is seems to be this big debate between what is the right way to travel? This is very fast. So we had a bunch of kids, I would say that were in their 20s, so it went easily to 193 countries, some of them are barely 19. But then we have the other Andrew Burribe Boris Kessler comes in, who was in a prior episode, he goes as slow as he can afford often like four, five, six weeks just for a single country, literally taking into place. What is your own compromise? How fast are you going to some of those countries? And what’s your plan for next couple of years when you’re going to travel? Yeah, I do have an occasional blog called rapid travel chai. So I was, when I didn’t have time off, I traveled very fast. And I think, I think there’s a certain mentality to it. I mean, if you’re, if your purpose is to set again this world record, and you’re not leaving the airport, or you’re just stamping and stamping out that, that achieves that purpose, and that’s not going to be more than that. I’ve, I’ve, I’ve been in places where I’ve spent a packed 24 hours. And I think the, the first day you spend in a place, unless you spend it in bed or at the backpacker hangout with the banana pancakes, you know, if you, if you, if you’re out at dawn and back at night and you’ve walked all day through a place that, that first day is, is incredible and valuable and it shouldn’t be discounted. In every passport stamp, we, we have one of the rules we have is there’s no right way to travel because those debates, those debates get, get, get very tedious to my, my own rule. And we all make up our own rules of, of what it is, is that I want to visit a place in a way that I feel like I, I wouldn’t have to go back. I may very much want to go back. So Turkey’s an example. It was, it was right near the end. I had been through many times on transits, but it wasn’t until I had a 10 day road trip across the country from Bonn and the East through the Kurdish areas around the, the Aegean coast and up in the peninsula and down into Istanbul. And now people would say 10 days for that. That’s totally nuts. And yeah, it was, you know, that it should have been 20 or 30, but, but packing it in and seeking out those experiences, making, making a lot of your, your time is valuable. One thing I would, I would advise people if, if they can, and maybe it’s a bit of a turn on what you said about Boris’s thing is that if you have the opportunity to live in another place, you know, take that, that to me, I don’t think, I don’t think the difference between two and four weeks in a place is all that significant. I mean, it can be, it’s, you want as much as you can have in many respects, but when you get to say three months and then a year, when you get to two years in a place, for instance, suddenly then you can’t just be skating by on all of your, your local things. You actually probably need local banking. You probably need to have figured out how to get some kind of residency, you know, medical care, these kinds of things. If, if you really want to have that very worldly experience becoming an ex patriot for that one year plus up to two years or more, that, that I think is incredibly valuable if it, if it can fit into someone’s life plan. And I’d say that, that sustained peace might, might make more of a difference than saying I’m going to visit, you know, every country instead of five days, I’m going to visit it for 15 or that. I think that, that, that sustained living in a community experience is, is really one to seek out. Yeah. Well, that’s, that’s another good shortcut, right? So a lot of people and that’s, that’s, I never really thought about that. But the idea is to really go to a lot of places quickly, get a first impression, as you say, maybe a day or two walking around and then coming back to the places that you enjoyed in comparison, because it’s very difficult. A lot of people ask, where should I go based on my travel history? What do you think you’re a good country to go to? It really depends on your personal preferences. And it’s, it is sometimes hard to forecast what someone will enjoy based on their, the experience they had before or set what, how they, how they react to safety issues, how they react to it’s to boy any one more adventure or how they react to big cities against more of a nature experience. So I think it’s, it’s a good shortcut to go to everywhere as you did it, go, go everywhere. And it’s okay. Well, I have another 30 years and I go back to the places where we want to go back. Yeah. And I mean, yeah. So people ask me, you know, how do you pick where to go? I said, it’s no problem for me. I’m going everywhere. So I don’t, I don’t stress about it. And I, I think, yeah, people do put too much emphasis on, it has to be the right travel decision. And there’s, I mean, there’s just, there’s, there’s wonderful experiences to be had a lot of it’s your frame of mind, picking a variety of things or, you know, working on the theme. I mean, there’s, there, there’s so many ways to, to travel and, and I think I think any destination can be good. I mean, if you, if you don’t wall yourself off from it, you know, if you pick the package resort, then you’re getting the package resort, which can be fun and enjoyable in its own way. But that’s, you know, that, that’s a very specific kind of experience. Which trips and you just mentioned the road trip in Turkey, I’m actually too, too, about to go this year. Hopefully they don’t change the entry requirements. What are specific trips you would, you would love to do again, that, that, that stand out from the rest of you said, what, this was so interesting. I’d rather do it again. Yeah. That list gets, gets very, very long. The one that jumped into my mind was, was, was, what, yeah, was, was Faroe Islands. And if people have been to Iceland and loved Iceland and I, although costs are a bit higher, Faroe Islands. I mean, I was only there a few days, but like one of the famous hikes is, I didn’t even know it was famous until later, but I just saw this great scenery on the way to the airport when I was leaving. And it’s one where you walk along a lake and then suddenly there’s these, these rocks and then it just cascades into a waterfall down into the Atlantic. And, and I just stopped the car and ran to see how far I could make it without missing my flight. And I, I eventually fell and turned my ankle and came into the airport just sweaty and limping. And I barely made my flight. I was like, that’s, that’s, that’s got to be one that I’ve got a rush. Yeah, rush, rush, rush back to and yes, some trips are, are wonderful once and maybe not necessarily repeat others in some destinations. I mean, a lot of East Asia, I just, I could go to Japan, South Korea so many times and, and spend time and love it. I’d like to revisit Tunisia again, the Star Wars sites, the ancient Roman sites, the desert, just incredible. See any North Africa, I love, I mean, there’s, I’m, I love, I love ancient history and added to that the scenery, the cultures. I mean, in Tunisia one day it rained in the desert when I was there and it becomes a mirror and just this incredible natural site. So much that’s, that’s delightful. South Africa is a country that visit over and over again. And a lot of what I, I look at is where, where would my wife like to travel? She likes to travel, but certain kinds of travel or where would I want to bring friends and show them, show them again and recreate what I did or bring my parents. And so something like, something like maybe a road trip that I took, wonderful, wonderful country. It would be a tremendous pleasure to, to bring my parents or bring friends to, to recreate that. Yeah. Yeah, it seems, I think a lot of people, when they, when you think back, it’s often the road trips that give them a stronger memories than, than when you hop with an airplane from place to place. Because it’s somehow harder for us to comprehend this and nothing in between. And obviously there’s, there’s people like Boris, who go on really long hikes, who really enjoy that. That’s for most of us, we don’t want to go on 15 mile hikes. It is a world where the small community was really into this. I go on a 10 mile run, but 15 mile hike is a different thing. I, I think these road trips are often a good idea. But when I look back into the trips I did, I feel like the road trips, I can, I can emotionally attach myself to it. They’re still my memory. But if I hop to a few countries or like two days in every country in Africa, I get zero memory from those trips. Which is the one that stands out the most to you? For road trip, um, I recently went to, to, uh, to Yucatan. I’ve never been to Yucatan but in Mexico a lot and we went to all the pyramids. And that was awesome. I really wanted to go for some reason I never went. And, uh, we drove by and some of them are really busy. Um, but there’s a bunch which is literally no people. You, you’re alone with the old Mayan rocks and you just sit there and get bit by mosquitoes. But otherwise it’s, it’s a tremendous feeling to be so close to this ancient culture. I really love that. Um, that’s what I recently did. It’s, it’s very easy to do, right? You just get in, ride the car and drive wherever you want. It’s, it’s extremely simple. Yeah. And in the road trips, I mean, they, they, there’s concern and safety, different concerns about driving and wanting to be careful. But so many experience, I mean, I’ve, I’ve seldom taken trains in Europe because it’s the cost of the trains. And then I’m stuck in the middle of a city. Uh, I’ve been fascinated. I visit a lot of World War one and World War two, uh, cemeteries, battlefields. And there’s just no, that’s the only feasible way to visit these. And, you know, if you want to be there at night, just as the sun is setting, uh, at, uh, you know, a poignant cemetery, that, that moment is by car. And that, uh, you know, that, that sense of freedom and spontaneity, uh, you know, I’ve certainly compared to a bus tour or some of these, you know, if it’s within cost wise, the driving is actually much less costly than the people, especially if they’re hopping in Ubers all the time, uh, end up realizing, but if it’s within, um, you’re, you’re, I feel like in a lot of countries, you don’t get an automatic, um, which is the first problem. Second problem. You want the stupid American, you want the stupid American, uh, manual stories? I know, I know a bunch of people who just can’t drive well manual. I mean, they just don’t want to go through that effort, right? It’s still lazy. And I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you my Tunisia story. And this is why the, the trip. So I, I was going to Tunisia, I was two weeks away from the trip. I could not find an automatic rental in the country. I had never touched a manual. And so I was commuting to work in Atlanta at the time. I found a guy with an old Honda on these hilly, uh, streets in suburban Atlanta for two weeks. He taught me. I nearly burned out his clutch. Uh, it was, uh, uh, but I, I learned just enough. And so I, instead of picking all the airports, going to be too busy. So I pick, uh, uh, uh, pick up in the, uh, the golden tulip hotel in Carthage. Well, it’s on the biggest hill I’ve ever seen in the middle. And so I pick up the car and I pull it right out of the hotel, totally stall, nearly burn out the clutch, trying to get up the hill and, uh, and then pulled into a little, a little lane just to calm down. And, you know, what am I going to do? I’ve got to, I’ve got to, uh, you know, get a, I’m getting picked up near the Libyan border to be taken into Libyan, dropping the car off there. So it’s not like I have a lot of flexibility, but I’m in this little lane and it, it turns out it’s a dead end. And there’s a woman peeling her string beans at the end of the end of the thing. And I realized on this car, I did not know how to get it in reverse. It was a kind of method that I had never seen before. And each time I thought it was in reverse, it inched a little closer to her. And she started picking up her beans and her skirts. And finally I realized there was an extra little, uh, thing to lift up underneath and got it in reverse. And then from there I had the most wonderful road trip across the country. I mean, on roads that I shouldn’t have been on, um, Tunisia is one that, uh, people hitchhike because there’s very little public transport. And as long as they looked reasonably safe, I just took them in. I didn’t accept any payments and just meet fascinating, fascinating people throughout. And, uh, yeah, I mean, one town I got stuck and didn’t know how to reverse quite right and got half in a ditch and some guy came out of a bar and got the car out. I mean, it was, I guess at the moment it sounds less fun. I mean, we think of cars, you know, driving in the US, most cities, I mean, San Francisco is a little different, but most cities, it’s really, it’s, it’s every child can do it. But then I went to Greece, um, a couple of years ago, and when you rent a car there on the tiny little islands, you, you, you basically use that car as it’s going on a hiking trip. That’s how these, that’s how small it is. So you can literally sit in that car by yourself. They’re tiny, they’re all manual. They have like 20 horsepower and you go up these hiking trails. I’m like, this is, this is not a road and they’re like, no, no, no, no, just go a little further. The beach will be there. I’m like, this can’t be real because it goes straight up. Like, I don’t know, 50 degrees angle and you, you, you can barely, you can see the wheels spinning and eventually the beach will come out, right? But it’s, it’s not what we think of driving. It’s basically hiking with a car around you and tiny cars and you’re all like, you don’t break anything, but it’s strange. It’s almost like rally driving with a rental car, which you’re not supposed to do, right? But there is no. Give us your Greek Island pics cause I’ve, I’ve never been to any of the beaches. I’ve been to historical sites. Well, there’s not a ton of, the beaches are, there’s good beaches, but there’s small beaches and they’re super hidden. So you really have to find them and that was in Milan. So, um, so you have to go through the countryside to find them because most of it, there’s cliffs like you can’t go straight away. So it is, it’s kind of an experience and it depends on the island. Some might have more beaches like a crate has more beaches. It’s a little easier to get there, but still there’s a lot of mountains involved and there’s cities and it’s, it’s, you know, it’s great. It’s, it’s, it’s everything in between. Yeah. Crete is Crete is so large. That was a surprise. How big it is. And I’m thinking which of them at the main archeological museum was one of the best I’ve ever seen. I really am. Incredible. One thing that I’m personally very interested in, have you made that trip to Barrow or Adak in, in Alaska? And how did you find that? I have not been there. I’ve been out to the illusion islands. If you’re asking about what does it like to be in the dark all the time? I have been to Svalbard, but I’ve not been to Barrow or Adak. But in Adak, you know, the problem seems to be there’s only one flight in and out every three or four days. So you can go back on the same plane, but then why are you going there? The first place, right? So you just see it from above. And then otherwise you have to be there for four days. And there is a lot of infrastructure that I haven’t found any hotels against houses. And you don’t need like a permit to go there. I think there’s another island where you need that because it’s some of the military base. But in Adak, you kind of stuck for four days. I mean, I don’t know, maybe you just chat, chat people to, to let them into their houses or their homes. I don’t know what’s the proper way to do this. Yeah. That, that one, I apologize. I don’t know. A couple of summers ago, I took the Alaska Marine Highway, um, the state ferry system from Homer to, to Dutch Harbor through the Aleutians. And that was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken. And, um, uh, with pandemic and before that, they were already, they had a governor that was doing a lot of cuts to the system. I mean, some of them go even car ferries to Washington state. Uh, but that it’s a very, very modestly affordable. It’s public transport for the state of Alaska. And there’s a number of routes and, and I would recommend to anyone to, to consider that, uh, there are certain car ones and so like the, the Dutch Harbor, the, um, the, um, uh, Aleutian one is not a car ferry. People bring bikes and that, but then some of the ones on the main routes down to Washington states are larger car ferries, which you, you meet a great mix of Alaska, uh, travelers, naturalists that, that are around the state, uh, locals. I mean, um, on the, on the Aleutian Islands route, there’s, you know, the high school team that’s going to the next island to play a game and then has to stay a week. Uh, you know, in these really small communities, I mean, some of them are just, yeah, yeah, summer and one was like 80 something people. And, uh, I mean, it was just fascinating communities and this, this, this hidden gem of American travel that, uh, was lucky enough in Alaska resident told me about. Yeah. I never heard about that either. I have to check that out. The sun’s really interesting. Is there anything where you, where you feel like you really want to be there in the next couple of years? Um, when you kind of, what, what are you planning on? Which trips are you planning on right now? My wife is very cautious of the pandemic. So I have actually tried to not let me, uh, let me pull up. I, I made it. This was a, I think of late 2019. I, I made up a quick list of all the trips I really wanted to go on. So I can, I can give, I can give a laundry list and, uh, where was it? But, uh, um, so let’s see. North Caucasus, Kamchatka, Ascension, the Pengekent new road of Tajikistan, Altai and Tuva, uh, the Mongolian peace between Dagestan and Kazakhstan, Arkansas to Louisiana road trip, Venezuelan Andes, Lapland, Canadian Arctic, Falklands, uh, mainland Tanzania. I’ve really only properly visited Zanzibar, Yemen, Mainland, Eastern Taiwan, Southern Ethiopia, India, Northeast States, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, London, which I have been to business, business many times, but I have never been in the British museum and Rome, which I visited the Vatican, but that’s the only part of Rome I have visited. So that’s a quick list. That’s quite you. You’re definitely the con as well. Um, those are very intriguing places and not most of them, not easy to get to. And not, yeah, so this, yeah, now London and Rome aren’t necessarily easy, but it’s, uh, yeah, there’s always stuff to, to want to see more in depth than, uh, yeah, some of these like a place like London, a place like Rome, uh, Amsterdam. And I’ve, I visited many of the, the major European cities and seen museums in a whirlwind, uh, wanting to have that, that extra time, uh, to go back and, and settle in and see things leisurely and, and like spend a day at the British museum. I’ve, I’ve, uh, listened to their history of the world and a hundred objects from that was produced in conjunction with them a few years ago on BBC and, and so much, but every trip I’ve been to, I’ve, I’ve known that it would be so rushed that I just couldn’t bear to go there for a half an hour and, and just counting on, on being in many places. I will go, I will just go for half an hour, but there’s a few like that that I’ve, that I’ve saved and, and really want to, to visit at the right moment. And I think that’s probably bad advice in many cases. You know, if you have an opportunity to see something, see it because like, uh, Malta and Gozo, that, uh, you know, that, that arch over the ocean, that, that was there until it wasn’t, you know, these kinds of things, you know, don’t, don’t put off, uh, you know, you’re going back to, you’re asking how I decided to go out to China. I mean, I was interested in a career in business. My parents are in medicine, so they, they, uh, weren’t sure other than dropping me off at a country club and say, you know, Caddy earned some money and made business people. And I met many people, incredibly financially successful. All they would do was, was share the, the regrets they had in their life. And then they kept, they kept telling me, they said, even if you have this dream of going to China, if you wait even a year or two years, you get a good job, a good 401k, maybe you’re married. It will be so much harder to, to go and do it that if you really want to, to have that experience, don’t, don’t say it’s going to be retirement. Don’t say it’s going to be when you’re 30, when you get the right expat package, you know, really, really do it if it means that much to you. And, uh, because it’s too easy in life to, to make excuses and to put things off. Yeah. Carpet DM is still correct after all those years. Oh, wait, I wanted to ask you about Mighty Travels because I know of your, your business for so long. I always cut people off. I said that earlier. I have a bunch of podcast hosts on the, on the show and we always kind of, before we, we get into the conversation, we say, well, it’s a conversation and we should both have questions, but, and they do, that’s what they do. They just ask other people the whole time, just ask questions. And when they, on my show, they never ask a single question. So maybe I’m too intimidating. Maybe I’m just interrupting them too much. I don’t know what it is. You keep the one, I slipped in a few, but no, you’re going to tell me about Mighty Travels because I’ve known the brand. Now I know the man a little bit. So let’s go back to the brand that you tell me about Mighty Travels. Many of the people that are interested in the kind of travels we’ve been talking about are allergic to, in a sense, to like deals, frequent flyer programs. There’s only a few of us that, that seemed to cross over to both areas. Whereas a lot of the, the frequent flyer program and, and fair deal type people, they’re only interested in London, Paris, Barcelona, that kind of thing. So talk about that. Talk about that crossover better than I can. Well, it is an odd industry. I must say we have a lot of really courious people that, that are extreme travelers, right? So you’ve got to be courious. Otherwise, you wouldn’t go into that hobby, so to speak. And it’s something interesting happened. And you used that to your advantage to go to all 193 countries. I definitely took a lot of advantage of that too. You’ve been going through this, through this metamorphosis where we, we have mileage programs, we have tons of different promotions. And once you get this travel hacking ride, it’s got much more affordable, much more enjoyable to travel. I really enjoyed that. And what I always felt is kind of missing, isn’t really easy way to get to travel deals, especially effort deals that are really relevant to you. Because a lot of stuff that you see from airlines is, well, you can go somewhere 399 deals, 399 dollars starting from that price point. And then you have to, there’s no calendar, you can’t search when you can actually go for that price. Maybe it doesn’t exist anymore. Does it include the taxes? Does it work from, from other places? It’s always been a mess and always felt like, why isn’t there a solution where you see only these things that are really relevant, either for the couple of airports that I’m actually screening where I could fly from, where I see the relevant deals that would fit into my criteria. And we allow people, obviously we give them notifications and we allow them, allow them to set a ton of different filtering mechanisms to actually only get the deals they want. It could be only business class and people are just, you know, they’re snobs like the two of us, or they don’t care, right? They’re like boars and like, it just has to be cheap. And I think that was always missing. What’s, what’s happening since then, I think is, and that was like, when we started out, it was Metasearch was still very strong. You know, I used to run Metasearch company quite some time ago. And now I think there’s Google flights and Google flights has really overtaken this Metasearch part of travel search. And it’s really finally fulfilled the promise that they always had. Google never wanted to do something about travel. Well, they wanted to, but they never did. They never executed on it. And I think now that Google flights have come a long way. And I think where we fit into this whole universe is that we were like this, the notifications that sit on top of Google flights. Google flights is not so easy to get the notifications you want when deals come up. It’s actually very difficult still. And this is where money troubles now comes in. But yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting to see how all of this comes back right after the pandemic. And we’ve seen that we went from being extremely, we all thought it’s only going to be a few weeks, right, a March last year. And then we were all convinced of this. And then it suddenly looked really depressing flights went down by 97%. I think the US is at least the American sense that they’re back to almost 100% of capacity on their domestic network that they forecast for summer compared to 2019, which is pretty stunning to me. For international, you know, that’s a different, a different game. But it sounds like Europe is going to open up next week for vaccinated travelers from the US and we’re going to open up for vaccinated Europeans. So if that happens, that would be a big change, I think, to the whole business. Yeah, and I love that you’ll actually, you’ll actually post deals to, you know, like Dubai to Guwahati, which is actually an India destination. I actually want to go with which we don’t discriminate against any of those, right? Also, so many sites, I mean, they just find that they only get traffic for certain kind of things. I’m curious, what, what are some of the deals that you’re like, there’s no way people will be interested. And suddenly, there’s there’s actually a ton of traffic, you know, destination in Northeast India is not going to be like the big one. But then maybe suddenly you realize that’s like the biggest deal of the year. Well, I don’t know if the biggest deal of the year, but you see like, like domestic connections, for instance, in Philippines are extremely cheap. And, you know, they can travel to an extent, they’re like $5 round trip, or Asia, or there’s a couple of discount carriers that are active. And so that’s people just don’t know about that. I always feel it’s rare to find good deals in Africa. There’s good deals between Europe and Africa, but inside Africa, it’s very difficult or X Africa, so to speak. It’s very difficult to find deals to buy, gets a bunch to the Middle East or Abu Dhabi. So that’s something that people often overlook. And, you know, also Turkish and some places in the Middle East, you mentioned the Caucasus earlier, they get quite amazing deals too. So there is a couple of things that people just overlook because, well, these are not places they really research because they don’t want to go. They don’t even know about them. Very few people have that insight into specific places that a laundry list you just gave us earlier. That’s quite a list. I mean, I think a lot of people would find that mesmerizing even to research these places, I couldn’t pinpoint most of them, to be honest. I’m also curious, you mentioned places where there’s a lot of good deals. And say a few years ago, as a starting country, Sri Lanka was really big, Egypt really big for really cheap fares that originate there. Where are you seeing these days that, you know, so the level of sophistication gets a little higher, but people positioning to these places so that then they can then start like a business class ticket, you know, for a very cheap, so Sudan is good. Sudan is still good. I don’t think if the round the wall tickets still work, I’m not an expert in those, to be honest. But Sudan, and you probably saw this, there was just two weeks ago, two months ago, there was this Sudan deal that were pretty much anywhere on the planet, business class around $1,000 run trip. Oh, yeah. Canceled, some didn’t. This deal has been on and off for about two or three years. So I actually used it to fly to the home to the US. That’s why I went to Sudan. And so those, you have to really just keep an eye on it. They come and go. Egypt is still very cheap. It’s, I think, these, all these deals are coming back, you know, the business class fares, they didn’t even file any fares anymore, because they wouldn’t know if they can operate the flights. But now there’s a lot more optimism that these flights might actually come back in reality. So they at least put the fares out there. Sri Lanka, I think, isn’t as cheap anymore. India’s gotten better, more cheaper, you know, for the international traveler. There’s a lot of good deals from other India, Southern India. That’s kind of what I see. And of course, you know, South Africa has a normal amount of good deals. Also, Mozambique, for whatever reason, I don’t know why. Mozambique, Qatar flights there, right, has really good fares from Mozambique. But you don’t find the same thing, I don’t know, from, from, maybe, maybe it can be cheap. They actually have good deals too. Very interesting fares and a few hundred dollars only to South America for the longest time. Unfortunately, no more flying there right now. But those deals, at least from, from Africa, those deals seem to be pretty interesting. But yeah, you need to be flexible, right? So if you, if you live in LA and say you only, you only can travel from LA, then the most people not, not as much of interest. So your favorite is planning the trip, taking the trip or reflecting after the trip? Ooh, that’s a good question. That’s a really good question. I feel preparation is certainly still my favorite. I sometimes, I realize that the, the, the positive expectation, I put too much of a positive expectation on many of those trips. And I come back a little disappointed to be honest. Sometimes it’s the opposite, right? And then I get, then I feel like it’s, it’s been, been surprisingly fascinating that trip. But most of the time I feel it’s, but the reality is, cannot really match my expectations. I don’t know if you have the same thing, but I probably overestimate how much, how green are the grasses on the other side. And I’m really excited for the first day and I want to take it all in that second day. But I think by, by, by a week later, I’m like, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what I, what it was up to. Why, why would I think so positively of this place? That happens to me a lot, to be honest. And I tried to keep an open mind that I revisit places and then I changed my mind again. But I kind of make these rankings and my inner rankings. What is my favorite country to go to and place to go to? And they definitely keep changing. But I feel like they’ve been pretty stable the last five years. So that’s an argument for the shorter trips. Cause I feel that euphoria too on the first few days and then maybe a second visit or a longer visit, you start seeing every place has its downsides. But yeah, for me, the planning is what just excites me so much. And it’s, I’ve missed, you know, fitting, putting on spreadsheets, you know, this flight to that flight to this and piecing it together. And I do enjoy the trip as well. But it’s that, it’s like that, that moment when everything fits together exactly what, what I want to try to, and then a lot of times mid trip, I’ll, I’ll tear it up and rearrange it. I just love that, that, that piecing together. I’ve been traveling with people and you literally, they, they make this really tight at Inner Rary. And they were, they were really, they knew what they would do every single afternoon by the time they only had three days for the whole country, right? But they get there. I don’t know. I find this overly, I didn’t really participate in the planning. So I was just tagging along for the dates in and out the country. So I had my own plans and literally they get there. They have all these plans to say, Oh, we’re going to change it all. We can, we go to three more cities. I’m like, are you crazy? I mean, this is just the country to three days. How can you go? There’s an overnight train. We can make it happen. And we might just be a little late for the flights and make sure you tell them that we’re coming. I’m like, that’s in a country you’ve never been to. That’s crazy. But I don’t know if that’s your style. But I thought that’s just adding a lot of stress to that exercise. So they clearly didn’t enjoy the country so much. Maybe they would, but they really packed all that experience. And that’s just not for me. I think that’s too much. Yeah. And I don’t know so much. It’s having to pack it in, but it’s, you know, like you said, if there’s one flight a week and it’s here to here to here, how do you connect it to, to get that? And I’ll leave, I’ll leave big gaps of what I’m going to do on the ground. But often I don’t have the flexibility to just say, I’ll just wait and figure out when the next flight is. That’s just not the lifestyle I have. So I do, I put together the transport very carefully. And then, and then as you said, if you’re behind the wheel or whatever, you can, you can turn and go this way, that way, figure, figure something out, what I do love. Well, it’s a big, big problem for lots of people to travel. I did keeps them from traveling because uncomfortable environment. It’s an unknown environment. And I feel you got to strike that balance. So which is odd, right? I travel a lot and like airports all the time. But I usually go to the airports really early. Like people would say, oh, you just have to be there an hour and a half early. I’m like, no, no, I’m going to be there four hours early. And they say, well, it’s crazy. What are you wasting all your time? Well, like I can work there the same way I can work from home. And, but that’s really helps me to, to go through these trips with zero anxiety. So I never have trouble. I never have anxiety when many of those trips I enjoyed and tremendously generally, some more than others. And I think this is what a lot of people associate with travel stress, right? There’s all these unknowns that they come to you and they put you on the spot in that moment. You don’t have the right paper, especially now with COVID. But I feel like there’s always a way to work that up. Not always, but especially with COVID. Many things have been harder. But if you keep that flexibility in mind, things will be okay, 99.9% of the time. Yeah, I mean, I flew for the first time in over a year and I felt a little nervous. It was the same airline I flown over 2 million miles on. I think I know it, but you know, it is, and that’s just part of the fun. And that’s, yeah, if you, if you can get in the mindset of it doesn’t have to be perfect, you know, it doesn’t have to be the way you expect it. If you, if it works out and you, you, you gain something out of it. And especially I think Americans are so guilty of putting all these expectations on a trip and it has to be this way and that. And I don’t redeem for business class flights usually because I get disappointed because then I start looking for flaws or economy. I’m looking for things that are happy. Yeah. Well, no, but economy, then I’m, I get a Korean Airbnb bop and I’m like, wow, this meal is really good. And it’s economy, you know, and I get it in business class and it’s like, why is it only the economy class? Even Bob, there should be more, you know, but yeah, it’s one thing that happened to me. I was in Sri Lanka and I tried to get out of the country. I was really early at the airport and the immigration was kind of waiting for me. They knew I would be coming, right? And they were like, you have to go and talk to someone else. I’m like, okay, fine, whatever. And they told me this is a fake passport and I’m basically a criminal. I’m like, oh, what do you mean? This is the passport I’ve been traveling with into the country and forever. So you know, it’s all fake and we got a list from the embassy and you have to come with us. So I get into this holding cell for two hours. I’m like, dude, I want to talk to the, to the State Department and to the embassy in Sri Lanka. Like, no, no, no, no, we, we, we got you and we just wait for, for the police to come. And strangely enough, 10 minutes later after I meet that speech, they say, oh, yeah, it’s the State Department on the phone. I’m like, what do you mean? It’s like 11pm, the State Department. And as they notice here in Sri Lanka, it’s really easy. And I talked to someone, she said, oh, yeah, sorry, maybe we had the wrong person and they sent me on my way. But that was really strange, right? So they were convinced I’m the terrorist and then five minutes later they say, okay, sorry, that was the wrong document, right? Literally just, I don’t know, a clerical error for that. And that was the US, it sounds like the US was driving that too. You got on a US list. No, it’s in between. That was the UK, the UK embassy sent us this list. So they all mixed that up. I don’t know what it actually was in the end. Nobody wanted to tell me and then, well, I just made it to the flight, right? I got like 15 people coming with me. So I went through all the different checks one more time. Very strange experience. But it helped that I was only at the airport. I saw me at that same flight. Yeah, yeah, I’ll close by saying sometimes you start traveling and a decision that seems ridiculous, a Cameroon, I had a transit situation where my flight to Gabon was cancelled for a week and they wouldn’t extend even with the national airline telling immigration, his flight is cancelled, it will be this day, just extend his transit visa. They would not do it. They would not do it. So there were two flights that would get me out before I’d get arrested. And one was to Paris and was to a Bengi Central African Republic. Central African Republic, of course. Somebody on the hotel shuttle was heading there and it said it was now visa and arrival for American citizens. I just booked it. And, you know, I’m sure when I started traveling, I never would have thought that’s the decision I would make. But I had, you know, after enough travel, I’d had the resourcefulness to talk to people and socialize on even when I didn’t expect to have to need it. And it worked out and there were wonderful people all along the way and wonderful experience. So I feel like people should not get intimidated away from travel. You can solve language, you can solve so many practicalities, you can have a wonderful time in the world, you know, really anywhere you go. And often the least touristed offbeat and offseason, I often say, are places that are actually in the easiest and many respects to welcome people, have a wonderful experience, not have incredible pressure. If there’s no tourist industry, there’s not going to be many pickpockets, right? I mean, there’s just ways to look at things. That’s like, well, it is a bunch of dangers, you know, being kidnapped is a problem in certain places or if you put in some it’s a real problem and you just stick out in some place or I stick out. And that is something you got to watch out for that makes you uneasy. It’s hard to enjoy a place where, you know, this every you develop a central paranoia. It’s just, it’s hard to do unless you bring your own security details. So some places in Nigeria are tough right for anyone. Oh, yeah, I mean, certainly. And if you stick out, you know, you got to take some extra precautions, which is all good, but it makes your paranoid and then you’re like, man, do I really want to go back there? Yeah, but I’d say those places in the world are so limited and specific. I mean, most places, I’ll just get a shopping bag from a local convenience or grocery store. I know I’m not going to blend in, but at least they look like an expat who just came back from buying the milk for the day. And I’m not, I’m not, I don’t go to the Louvre dressed like I’m on safari, you know, with zippers and, you know, you know, these detachable pants and vests and safari gear and $2,000 camera. And, and when I, when I do talks for people starting out traveling, when I give my three D’s rule, which is don’t be drunk, drugged or debauched. And if you want to do that stuff, do it in your home country. If you know the rules, you know who to call, you know, you know what the local 911 is, what the legal system is. It may be not as cheap or not as fun or not as accessible, but it’s so much where people get into big issues, especially since I’m traveling alone so much as, is when they, when they start drinking or partying late at night, you know, the dark empty alley. I mean, that, that stuff that it seems like common sense, but, you know, it’s, it’s true. I mean, you, you have an invincibility feeling in a way like I notice I drive faster when I’m overseas and other, it just feels like the rules somehow don’t apply a little bit because it’s different. So I have to watch myself and make sure I’m driving safely because somehow that excitement, you know, you just, your judgment gets a little bit different in terms of some of your inhibitions. Yeah. Well, if you can blend in, I think that’s, that’s, I think good for, for making the trip more, well, not just more social, but also more real, but it’s also good for your own security precautions. So if you bring, if you don’t bring a lot of clothing, but buy it’s something that isn’t really great, but really cheap and buy it locally. And, you know, you have face masks, so it’s even easier to blend in. So that’s when, when it gets a little tricky, I feel if you, if you can blend in, so nobody picks you out immediately, obviously sooner or later people pick you out because obviously don’t speak the language in most places. That is usually a recipe for, for making the trip more enjoyable. Ethiopia is one of those places, right? It’s not dangerous, but it is a place where you get buck 24 seven. There’s so many kids on the street that are begging and they’re really, really, they’re hunting you through the streets anywhere. And you don’t have, there’s not touristy area, right? So this, it doesn’t really, well, there’s a few museums, but there is no touristy area in, in Addis or in Bahia Dar. And you got these tons of people, you literally have 40 people walking behind you with a little bit of distance, maybe a few feet the whole day and they never tire. It’s tough. Well, they’re not dangerous, dangerous, it’s, I don’t know, it’s, if you’re not prepared for this mentally, it’s really tough, especially for first time travelers. How do you deal with this? You know, because you think they will be dangerous. They’re not. Yeah. And, or just building in downtime. I mean, I found what works for me in India is every fourth or fifth day I plan a down day, which I don’t plan anywhere else, but India is so exciting, wonderful. But I mean, even beyond, I lived in China so I can, I’m used to crowds, but India is just, it’s overwhelming for me. So I’ll take that fourth or fifth day and just relax, read, catch up, you know, not, not plan any kind of tourist activity and then recharge a bit and keep going. And I, I found I needed that. And that’s, give yourself permission to do that. Right? It’s a, doesn’t, it shouldn’t be the travel you don’t want. And I think that reflection, you, you started asking about the, the people that set records and go as fast as possible. And I don’t think that, it probably might not even be so much that it’s so fast, but it’s totally continuous that even when I’ve had very fast trips, if it’s in isolation and I’m back to daily life for a few weeks, a few months, that trip settles in and you think about it, you gain appreciation. It’s like reading a book or a movie that you, you think about that night, the next day, if it’s just one continuous, a one year sprint, one after the other, after the other, it’s so much harder to have any, any real takeaway from that, that you could still have with a quick weekend somewhere that’s powerful and meaningful and, and you have that space between the next one. It’s actually one thing that I, that I plan it. It’s obviously not, it’s not possible right now, but if, if enough places reopen, I hit this plan of 52 weeks, 52 cities. And I still keep playing with this and just basically string them along. Obviously that this shouldn’t be too long drivable or I’m okay with flying. It just literally stay in, in the, in the city, in an urban environment for a week and then just keep going, doing this and just getting better and better. Obviously you do the same thing again and again, right? Where’s my productivity, right? I write my emails, where’s my coffee shop, where do I get food? So there is a certain nasty repetition to this, but I was under the impression, if you force yourself to, you get really good at this. Even if you switch borders or go through border checks in between and change your SIM card, you know, all these, these, these things you still have to do. I want to try that out. And I think what, what is in my mind goes on is that your, your mental picture changes. You come from this world, right? We, we are in this sheltered world and we really enjoy it. How time flows differently when we go to a different place, past or as well. Or, but in that way, you, you, you’re just a straight arrow of travel. So I’ve never done that before. Probably people have done this. I’ve traveled longer, like three, four, five, six months, but it was, you know, two weeks at the beach and then two weeks hiking and we can have a hard time. Five weeks is my longest trip and I was recovering for a while. Yeah. Yeah. I had, after like a couple of months, I had trouble with just, you know, going back out to this PTSD. Well, we’ve got your podcast extra turning the tables and hearing more about you. We got the bonus section and you, you were successful, Stefan. We did it. It’s been a delight. Same here. Same here. Again, thanks for all the insight. That was really awesome. My pleasure. And I hope if everybody’s listened to this and the result is they want to travel, then we’ve succeeded. If they haven’t, shame on me. Please travel anyway. Then we have to do it again. Yes. Absolutely. All right. I hope to see you out there. Thank you. Talk to you. Take care. Take it easy. Bye. Bye. Bye. Goodbye.