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.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) on July 10, 2020 at it’s meeting in Paris, designated 15 new Geoparks. There are now 162 designated sites across 44 countries.
UNESCO said »
These sites of exceptional geological and cultural significance showcase the beauty and diversity of planet Earth. Today 162 sites across the world document our planet’s evolution over 4.6 billion years, unlocking our history preserved in the rock record to learn from the past and support local communities.
- Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark in Nova Scotia, Canada (Twitter)
- Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark, Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador (Twitter)
- Xiangxi UNESCO Global Geopark, in Hunan Province, China
- Zhangye UNESCO Global Geopark, in Zhangye City, Gansu Province, China
- Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark in Finland (Twitter)
- Toba Caldera UNESCO Global Geopark, on Sumatra Island, Indonesia
- Rio Coco UNESCO Global Geopark, in Nicaragua
- Estrela UNESCO Global Geopark, in Portugal (Twitter)
- Hantangang UNESCO Global Geopark, in Korea
- Yangan-Tau UNESCO Global Geopark, in Republic of Bashkortostan, Russian Federation
- Djerdap UNESCO Global Geopark, in Serbia
- Granada UNESCO Global Geopark, in Spain (Twitter)
- Maestrazgo UNESCO Global Geopark, in Spain
- The Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark, in England, UK (Twitter)
- Dak Nong UNESCO Global Geopark, in Dak Nong Province, Viet Nam
- Kula-Salihli UNESCO Global Geopark, in the Aegean Region of Turkey (Twitter)
More » UNESCO
More » Wikipedia entry for UNESCO Global Geoparks
When flights to his native Argentina were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, 47 year-old Juan Manuel Ballestero devised an ambitious plan to be with his parents » to single-handedly sail his small 29 foot Ohlson 29 from Porto Santo, Portugal, 12,000 kilometres across the Atlantic ocean, to Mar del Plata, Argentina.
What do you do when you’re prohibited from international air travel but can’t fathom being away from your aged father? Sail 12,000km across the Atlantic, of course.
Juan Manuel Ballestero lives on the small Portuguese island of Porto Santo. When Argentina cancelled all international flights in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he reasoned that the best alternative to reach his 90-year-old father was by sailing. Ballestero‘s voyage from Port Santo to Mar del Plata took 86 days. He arrived on June 17 to a celebrity’s welcome.
So he said he loaded his 29-foot sailboat with canned tuna, fruit and rice and set sail in mid-March.
“I didn’t want to stay like a coward on an island where there were no cases,” Mr. Ballestero said. “I wanted to do everything possible to return home. The most important thing for me was to be with my family.”
Sailing across the Atlantic in a small boat is challenging in the best of circumstances. The added difficulties of doing it during a pandemic became clear three weeks into the trip.
On April 12, the authorities in Cape Verde refused to allow him to dock at the island nation to restock his supply of food and fuel, said Mr. Ballestero.
While he didn’t get to celebrate his father’s 90th birthday in May, he did make it home in time for Father’s Day.
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
The LGBTQ+ Danger Index lists the 25 safest countries for LGBTQ+ travellers »
1. 🇸🇪 Sweden
2. 🇨🇦 Canada
3. 🇳🇴 Norway
4. 🇵🇹 Portugal
5. 🇧🇪 Belgium
6. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom
7. 🇫🇮 Finland
8. 🇫🇷 France
9. 🇮🇸 Iceland
10. 🇪🇸 Spain
11. 🇲🇹 Malta
12. 🇳🇿 New Zealand
13. 🇳🇱 Netherlands
14. 🇩🇰 Denmark
15. 🇿🇦 South Africa
16. 🇮🇪 Ireland
17. 🇦🇺 Australia
18. 🇺🇾 Uruguay
19. 🇨🇴 Colombia
20. 🇦🇹 Austria
21. 🇩🇪 Germany
22. 🇸🇮 Slovenia
23. 🇱🇺 Luxembourg
24. 🇺🇸 United States
25. 🇬🇺 Guam
Sweden has been named the most LGBT-friendly country in the world for travellers according to new research into gay rights in 150 countries.
The LGBTQ+ Danger Index was created by ranking the 150 most-visited countries using eight factors, including legalised same-sex marriage, worker protection and whether, based on Gallup poll findings, it is a good place to live.
Canada ranked second-safest, followed by Norway, Portugal and Belgium. The UK is sixth safest on the list, but the US does not make the top 20. The researchers, American couple Asher and Lyric Fergusson, who blog about staying safe while travelling, said one reason the US is only at number 24 is because gay rights vary from state to state.
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.