Ursula Martin defines herself as an ‘extreme rambler’. And that she certainly is. Between 2014 and 2015, she walked 3,700 miles in and around her homeland of Wales, all whilst undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. Along the way she raised over £12,000 for cancer charities and helped to draw attention to the symptoms of ovarian cancer to thousands of people.
A few years later, Ursula embarked on another trek, hitchhiking from Wales to Eastern Europe to begin a solo walk across the bulk of the continent. Starting in Ukraine, she travelled through the Balkans and into Southern Europe, steadily making her way towards the Atlantic Ocean. All was going well enough until the beginning of 2020, when a roadblock arrived in the form of a global pandemic.
The US News and World Report has again ranked countries according to how well they break from the norm and fulfill people’s wanderlust and desire for adventure.
The top 30 adventure rankings for 2021 are »
- 1. Brazil 🇧🇷
- 2. Italy 🇮🇹
- 3. Spain 🇪🇸
- 4. Greece 🇬🇷
- 5. Thailand 🇹🇭
- 6. Mexico 🇲🇽 (Up from #11 in 2020)
- 7. New Zealand 🇳🇿
- 8. Australia 🇦🇺 (Up from #10 in 2020)
- 9. Portugal 🇵🇹 (Down from #6 in 2020)
- 10. Costa Rica 🇨🇷 (Down from #8 in 2020)
From December 2022, non-European Union nationals who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, will need to request prior authorisation to visit Schengen countries.
You will be able to apply online for authorisation via the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).
The ETIAS authorisation is not a visa. Nationals of visa liberalisation countries will continue to travel the EU without a visa but will simply be required to obtain a travel authorisation via ETIAS prior to their travel. ETIAS will be a simple, fast and visitor-friendly system, which will, in more than 95% of cases, result in a positive answer within a few minutes.
An ETIAS travel authorisation does not reintroduce visa-like obligations. There is no need to go to a consulate to make an application, no biometric data is collected and significantly less information is gathered than during a visa application procedure. Whereas, as a general rule, a Schengen visa procedure can take up to 15 days, and can in some cases be extended up to 30 or 60 days, the online ETIAS application only takes a few minutes to fill in. The validity will be for a period of three years, significantly longer than the validity of a Schengen visa. An ETIAS authorisation will be valid for an unlimited number of entries.
The ETIAS travel authorisation will be a necessary and small procedural step for all visa-exempt travellers which will allow them to avoid bureaucracy and delays when presenting themselves at the borders. ETIAS will fully respect this visa-free status; facilitate the crossing of the Schengen external border; and allow visa free visitors to fully enjoy their status.
The exact date on which these changes will come into force is not yet clear.
Updated 2021.06.02 » Rebecca McPhee of Explorersweb reports »
After walking for 16 weeks, and making his way across 10 regions, the walk has come to an abrupt halt. Origoni is in the hospital with several broken ribs after an avalanche.
Originally published 2021.02.20
Over the next eight months, Elia Origoni plans to hike 7,000 km through his home country, across 20 regions, the Alps, the Apennines, to Italy’s islands. He plans to cover 30 to 40 km per day.
To make the entire journey human-powered, he will row from Sardinia to Sicily, across the Strait of Messina and across Lake Maggiore — 300km in all.
Starting in Santa Teresa di Gallura, a small seaside village on the north coast of Sardinia, he “indulged in one last beer” on February 7 before finding shelter for the night away from the wind. He didn’t bother putting up his tent but came to regret it when it began to pour in the middle of the night.
For Switzerland, the 2020 ranking is the the fourth consecutive yearhas been judged No. 1 by residents of 36 countries. Canada was chosen second, overtaking Japan in the U.S. News’ fifth annual survey.
The Best Countries report, produced from an annual global survey of more than 20,000 people in 36 countries including the United States, reflects increasingly negative views of the world and within countries. Nearly half of survey respondents say conditions around the world have worsened in the past year. Likewise, an increased percentage of people say the gap between the rich and poor has grown and that nationalism is increasing.
According to the ranking, here are the Top 25 Countries in the World
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
The Bottom 5 of the U.S. News 2020 Best Countries rankings are
That’s the view of the Henley Passport Index, which periodically measures the access each country’s travel document affords.
Singapore and Japan’s passports have topped the rankings thanks to both documents offering access to 190 countries each.
Finland has benefited from recent changes to Pakistan‘s formerly highly restrictive visa policy. Pakistan now offers an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) to citizens of 50 countries, including Finland, Japan, Spain, Malta, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates — but not, notably, the United States or the UK.
The best passports in 2019 are:
1. Japan, Singapore (190 destinations)
2. Finland, Germany, South Korea (188)
3. Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg (187)
4. France, Spain, Sweden (186)
5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal (185)
6. Belgium, Canada, Greece, Ireland, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland (184)
7. Malta, Czech Republic (183)
8. New Zealand (182)
9. Australia, Lithuania, Slovakia (181)
10. Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Slovenia (180)
More at the Henley Passport Index
» Canada has been ranked 6th four years in a row. They were ranked 2nd in 2014, then dropped to 4th in 2015, and have been holding steady in 6th since 2016.
» The USA been on a steady decline since 2014 when they were ranked 1st. They dropped to 2nd in 2015, 4th in 2016, 5th in 2017 and 2018, and to 6th this year.
» The UK has been on a steady decline in the rankings, dropping from 1st in 2015, to 3rd in 2016, to 4th in 2017, to 5th in 2018, to 6th this year.