"The people were so FRIENDLY!" We often hear those CAPS from friends and family returning from abroad, or recollecting an experience many years ago. People do make an impression. Personally, I've found locals to be rather lovely.India, Turkey, Georgia, Laos, Sri Lanka - they certainly rated amongst my most friendly countries. It's a gross generalization, of course, since my experience (like everyone else's) is supremely subjective. Maybe I'm lucky, but it's the reason why one of my maxims is that PEOPLE WILL RATHER HELP YOU THAN HURT YOU. Even in a country like Albania, which has perhaps the worst reputation in Europe, and tops my list as the World's Friendliest Nation. When random strangers go out of their way to show you kindness with no expectations of something in return, that's friendliness. Not to be confused with "I'll help you, now visit my jewelry shop!" or "The time is 11am, now please go away." The least friendly country I visited was Hungary. That being said, I made some wonderful local friends, and in this photo taken in Budapest (above), it doesn't look like I'm a Hungarian Hater at all, does it? Now, now, settle down...
Please come in. Mahalo for removing your shoes.
After many years running a behemoth of a blog called Modern Gonzo, I've decided to a: publish a book or eight, and b: make my stories more digestible, relevant, and deserving of your battered attention.
Here you will find some of my adventures to over 100 countries, travel tips and advice, rantings, ravings, commentary, observations and ongoing adventures.