Destinations out of our comfort zone – Reizen Waes

Travel-minded Belgians were probably glued to their tv screens yesterday when the first episode of “Reizen Waes” was broadcasted on television. In yet another mind blowing ‘show’ Tom Waes is going to introduce us to 8 destinations which are not commonly associated with tourism:

-Turkmenistan (September 3rd)
-South Sudan
-Transnistria, South Ossetia & Abkhazia

For those who aren’t aware of who Tom Waes is, allow me to refresh your memory with some of the highlights of three seasons of the Flemish television show Tomtesterom during which he ran the Marathon des Sables, flew a Boeing 737, recorded the hit single Dos cervezas, set a Belgian record in ski jumping, climbed El Capitan, .. He’s a walking bucket list. An awesome one to say the least.

Let’s get back to Reizen Waes. I really liked yesterday’s episode on Turkmenistan, most of us didn’t know much about the country, mainly because Tom was the first reporter ever to have received an official invitation to do a travel documentary. We did see several issues arise regarding freedom of press as the crew was constantly being monitored and the itinerary was really restricted. Luckily, we did get to see a glimpse. Regardless of him mentioning at the end that he is most likely not to return anytime soon, he and his team did get to experience one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ trips.

Most of my recent travels and even upcoming trips have been drenched in luxury travel, and although I do enjoy getting pampered, I strongly feel it should not be a constant factor (except for my birthday & New Year’s Eve).
I wouldn’t want it to define me, to make me lose sight of the things that truly matter in life. So time to get out of the comfort zone once in a while.

A few weeks before it was brought to my attention that Reizen Waes would focus on these destinations, I had gotten intrigued by one of them. And unless we are on the verge of another serious war in the Middle East that would destabilise everything even more, in 2014 I plan on travelling to.. IRAN.
Well, it perhaps isn’t really stabile at the time of writing, but to me it seems safe enough. Have a look at “Rick Steves’ IRAN – Yesterday and today”

This is one of those countries you cannot show up unprepared or misinformed, I recently bought an e-book Het Andere Iran which I hope will provide me a basic understanding of the country’s religion, history and politics. This one book will not hold all the ‘wisdom’ I seek, but it will be a start.

het andere iran

I have yet to set the dates, book my flights, think about possible itineraries, pinpoint most interesting places on a map and perhaps more importantly if it will be necessary to use a guide during some parts of the trip. The Belgian Embassy strongly advises against travel to the some regions of the country, so honestly, I do not know.

Why I write about this now?
Doesn’t matter what Tom is going to say in a couple of weeks to his numerous number of viewers, I’m going. Can’t take it back now. I simply have to. I’ll listen carefully to his pointers and other information, but I plan on going nonetheless.

Q: Why Iran?
A: Why not?

You can also have a look at Stella31R her Instagram account and check her pictures, she recently travelled through the country. (might have to scroll down a bit)
or Nate Roberts’ YOMADIC blog

Reizen Waes
Tuesdays 8.40 PM on E

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