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The Henley Passport Index has released its third quarter ranking of the world’s most powerful passports in 2019.
The index is compiled from data provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and measures global mobility based on visa-free access to destinations. It also uses data from the index’s 14-year history, “to show how travel mobility has changed over the past decade, looking at which passports have gained in strength and which have fallen behind.”
Japan and Singapore hold the world’s strongest passports, with Visa-free access to 189 destinations. South Korea dropped to second place, joining Germany and Finland with Visa-free access to 187 destinations.
The United Arab Emirates entered the top 20 index for the first time in the list’s 14-year-history, moving up an astonishing 41 spots. Other countries that climbed standings include Taiwan, which climbed 24 places over the past ten years and ranks 30th.
Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Malta, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the USA or the UK.
Most Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
1. Japan, Singapore (189 Destinations)
2. South Korea, Germany, Finland (187)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (186)
4. France, Sweden, Spain (185)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland (184)
6. Canada, Norway, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, UK, US (183)
7. Malta (182)
8. Czechia (181)
9. Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Lithuania (180)
10. Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia (179)
The Least Powerful Passports of Q3 2019:
101. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Iran, Lebanon, North Korea (39 Destinations)
102. Nepal (38)
103. Libya, Palestinian, Sudan (37)
104. Yemen (33)
105. Somalia (31)
106. Pakistan (30)
107. Syria (29)
108. Iraq (27)
109. Afghanistan (25)
Source: Henley Passport Index
National Geographic put together this brief 4:22 minute video about the epic, strange, and iconic Yellowstone, the world’s first national park.
Exploring some of Nepal’s famous temples and holy sites, including Swayambhu, a hilltop where Buddhist stupas and Hindu temples coexist.
A short film by Damien Blue, Bryan Mir, Christie Suchomel and Cody LaPlant.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan will begin on May 5 and end on June 4, 2019. Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.
If travelling during this period to a country with a Muslim community, take time to learn about Ramadan to ensure you respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules, and customs.
According to the 2019 World Happiness Report
8. New Zealand
The USA ranks 19th, down 5 spots since 2017, a significant drop in just two years.
Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
~ Miriam Beard
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have, if only we seek them with our eyes open.
Rick Steeves, the man who tires to “inspire, inform, and equip Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening,” has some advice for his compatriots. But they are not restricted to Americans. His suggestions apply to everyone who travels internationally, and not just to Europe.
Travel more like Gandhi — with simple clothes, open eyes, and an uncluttered mind.
By developing a knack for connecting with people and their culture, we become temporary locals — approaching a new country on its level, accepting and enjoying its unique ways of life. When I’m in Europe, I strive to become what I call a “cultural chameleon” — a temporary European. I consume wine in France, beer in Germany — and when I get the urge for a good old-fashioned American breakfast, I beat it to death with a hard roll.
Find ways to really be in the place you came to see. If you can think positively, travel smartly, adapt well, and connect with the culture, you’ll banish the ugly and have a truly beautiful trip.
Read the whole article on Rick’s website. Follow his recommendations and you’ll have better, more enriching adventures.