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Nr.100 / Year 4

November 1, 2016

100th issue with loads of news!

 
We are incredibly happy to have reached the 100th installment of our www.thebesttravelled.com magazine. What started as a shy endeavour in April 2013, when we only had 700 members, mainly aimed to explain some features of the website, has grown into a popular series featuring our staple interviews with travellers great and greater, and with lots more. You can find all our past issues in our archive. We expect many more issues of course and for the following 6 weeks due to the intensity of our launch of our TBT series, we will be running our newsletters weekly in order to ensure all of you are well-informed about our new features. That also gives us a chance to showcase some more extremely interesting travellers we have recently come across!

Two weeks ago we launched our new TBT series - a series of different ways of seeing the world. We remind you that, for now, these are accessible after you log into your profile from the profile menu as explained in the previous issue. Our first series were the Capitals of the World and the quirky XL of 1281 'bizarre' or 'special' places. Both of these have proven popular; on the capital list Paris is the most visited capital, while on the XL list touristy and easy to reach, yet unique, Kotor Bay tops the field. We know you may be eager to see user statistics (rankings) for these, but we are holding out for a little more in order to have more travellers fill up theirs - stay tuned for this!

Last week we launched two new Series, 601 European Cities and 601 American Continent Cities. In Europe, Budapest and Amsterdam tie as most visited so far, whereas in the Americas it is predictably New York City which has been most visited. We will eventually be launching series for Asian and African cities as well, but not quite yet... for now, our 5th series branches out into a different field - airports. And not just a few, but 1281 airports, as many as our TBT regions! A very difficult list to develop accurately, our team has done its best to showcase airports across the globe and appeal to our aviation buffs! In almost every case airports with more than 500,000 passengers annually have been included, though for very big countries aviation-wise (United States, China etc.) we have had to be more selective. Check this novel series out and see how many of the airports you have travelled to, from or through!

More series will be forthcoming weekly with a varied focus in order to appeal to all types of travellers. Meanwhile, we also would like to point out that all our members can now include their social media details or their own webpage in their profiles - existing members need to edit their main profile to include this information. For security reasons, all additions here need to be moderated by our team, and note that anything other than personal websites or social media links (for example general travel, hotel or other links) will not be accepted. Once the links have passed moderation, they are visible, and clickable, in a traveller's profile. Another new feature from thebesttravelled.com which allows greater communication and visibility for all.
Meanwhile, we keep gathering some high-ranking members on trips of truly global calibre. We name no names here, but the above shows some of our globetrotters posing at the stadium in El Obeyd, Kordufan, Sudan less than a month ago. A meeting  of great travellers and thebesttravelled fans that will surely be followed by many more!
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Enclaves/exclaves

Madha and Nahwa
Two for the price of one here! Madha belongs to Oman but is fully within the territory of the United Arab Emirates, more or less in the middle of the road between Musandam - itself apart from Oman's 'mainland' - and Oman proper. Nahwa is a counter-enclave, fully located within Madha itself, making the whole area look a bit like a doughnut. This tangle can only make us chuckle!
The existence of this enclave goes back to the decision of some village elders more than 100 years ago - they decided to stay with Oman, and stay they did. Today, there is no border to get in here, but the territory is ruled by Oman and is part of Musandam governate - and lower petrol prices are here, as in Oman, a good reason for residents of UAE to make a trip over here.

The photo used is from the internet; who has been to Madha or Nahwa? They are both regions in our new XL series!
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TBT Suggests

We have never yet suggested a Facebook page but if there is one we must recommend it is Every Passport Stamp. A closed group requiring admin's approval, this one is aimed for those who have been or are aiming to go, or wish they could go, to every country in the world. This group is intended to complement efforts such as those of thebesttravelled.com, act as a gateway for some new to this kind of travel, and provide help for travellers to meet each other around the world.
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Renato Delboni
Renato, you are a young traveller from Brazil. What do you do when you are not travelling?
In the time I'm not travelling I'm with my family, friends or dogs having some kind of fun, meeting friends on weekends is something that I like, going out to a club to dance, going to some pub with too. Mostly though, when I'm not travelling I'm planning the next trip, or interacting on social networks with my friends.
Do you consider yourself a typical Brazilian? Why or why not?
Yes I do, based on the considerations that I hear in relation to Brazilian: solidarity, love to party, being friendly, optimistic, and loving football and caipirinha; I feel Brazil with the exception of the last two as I don´t play and don’t watch football also don´t drink caipirinha!
You are now spending a very long time travelling in Asia and Oceania. What fascinates you most about these far-away regions? 
The cultural diversity is very large in some situations, situations which even the films, reports or books do not show us in detail. The biggest fascination is due to the simplicity in which most people live, yet keeping their smile. In Asia the architecture of the temples, the existing history in them, the access I had to religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam which I have hardly known in my native country fascinated me, while the cuisine is also something incredible.
 
In Oceania, I have been so far to three countries. The natural beauty and crossing strangers on the street and being greeted with a simple hello are situations or elements that fascinate me.
Do you travel alone or with company? What is the advantage of the way you travel for you?
I travel alone, I've been with friends in some destinations, but almost all the trips were alone, being alone gives me freedom to decide my destinations, the time in these destinations, which sights to visit, the time to wake up and go to sleep, where I can sleep based on price, comfort and my lifestyle. It’s also a way to meet more people and I believe I'm more open to it, and adding to the advantages of being alone is that I can also have my moments of reflection quietly.
How do people react when you tell them you are Brazilian? Can you share some of these reactions with us?
In America (North and South) I have the impression that people have more access to information about Brazil, across the Atlantic the reaction is pretty much the same, all see it as a country of soccer and samba, which lets me surprise many who don´t know where Brazil is on the map, that the language we speak is definitely not Spanish and that our capital isn´t Rio de Janeiro and isn´t Buenos Aires.
 
Are you Brazilian? Hola como estas ? 
Oh Brazilian, soccer, Pelé, Ronaldo, Neymar..
(Laughs)
You have travelled a lot in South America, Europe and the Far East. Which countries you have been to were the greatest surprise (good or bad) and why?
I admit that is a difficult question to be objective. I will answer with some situations.
 
Bad:
In Argentina and Chile the negative surprise was with some dishonest taxi drivers. In Ecuador my baggage was opened and things stolen while I slept on the bus; in Tonga a few weeks ago I was surprised by a small earthquake whose magnitude was relatively low but it was the first time I felt the earth shake. In Thailand to see the exploitation and mistreatment of animals was something that made me very sad, first with elephants where tourists have fun with animals being made like machines to make money, and with monkeys at some points, selling birds in front of some Buddhist temples in Thailand and Laos were negative surprises. The lack of respect with pedestrians in Vietnam I considered a frightening surprise, motorcycles circling the sidewalks, while children driving motorbikes in VietnamThailand and Myanmar without a helmet. Arriving at the airport in Bangladesh, and in the hotel, then in various places around town finding men (military) often heavily armed, I confess that scared me, I didn´t feel safe a minute. Seeing a visually impaired needing help to walk in a subway station in London, or another day a man with cuts in the mouth lying on the ground and everyone passing and not helping left me negatively surprised. The police stopped me in Dominican Republic and though I was in a regular vehicle and with al the right documentation they still asked bribe to let me be on my way.
 
Good:
The receptivity of Chileans, Scottish, and Asians (region I've been to - Southeast Asia) and the people of Oceania in general were great surprises, the solidarity of people in Asia and Oceania, the beauty of Malta, that small and shy country where I lived for 5 months was something to be remembered. Also I visited mosques in Brunei, Malaysia and in the latter in a Hindu temple it surprised me that locals and tourists get meals free in a temple of Melaka. Being present at the opening of the Palace this year and a banquet at the Brunei Palace with local people was amazing and a positive surprise.
What do your friends and family in Brazil think about your journeys? How do you feel when you are back in Brazil?
Many motivate me with their comments, consider me brave, would like to be together, some people think I'm rich, others think that there is someone paying my travels, forget the 22 years I worked without stopping (laughs), my mother would like me to be in Brazil next to her, my father would like to see me working and one day he asked me why do you travel? Are you a gypsy now?
 
I will return to Brazil with a lot of ‘luggage’ of knowledge about the world,  anxious to show pictures and tell stories, but it will only be a visit, today I am passionate about the world, I want to be a citizen of the world and not only of Brazil.
You have a Facebook page for now. Any plans for a blog? Why or why not?
Today I have a personal profile on Facebook and Instagram, follow me (lol), blogs, I believe that there are hundreds of this segment, it is difficult to keep and the idea does not motivate me at this time, perhaps in the future.

What are your travel plans for the next 6 months or so?

By December I will be between Oceania, Asia and Africa and probably in January start my travels through South America visiting countries that I have not been to yet, and then follow to Central America and North America.

Finally, here's a quirky one - if you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Peace and love between nations and a world where there would be no resistance to helping others when they are in need.
The photos in this article are from Renato's personal collection. They show him at Popeye's village in Malta, in Capadoccia (Turkey), as the sign indicates at Loch Ness, playing with local kids during a motorbike breakdown in Bagan (Myanmar), in winter guise in Prague, bungee jumping in Queenstown (New Zealand) and with the locals in Cuzco (Peru).
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