It’s been a bit of a while since I’d made a post so I thought I’d put together an update of my upcoming plans and also put up a little bit of media coverage I’ve had in the last few weeks :).

Firstly my next interesting trip is now only 6 weeks away. I’ll be travelling to Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region of Iraq at the top end of the country that borders Turkey and Iran. Whilst travelling to Iraq may sound like a dangerous ordeal this area of the country has maintained an air of calm to it managing to mostly avoid the Shia/Sunni civil war due to the population consisting mainly of people of Kurdish ethnicity. There has been some ramping up of suicide bombings and conflicts in the Southern part of the country recently but hopefully this will not affect the trip. I’ve been reading a few books on Iraq and would highly recommend the following to anyone interested;

Red Zone: Five Bloody Years in Baghdad by Oliver Poole : This book details the experiences of a British journalist whilst stationed in Baghdad covering the war, subsequent trial of Saddam Hussain and the beginning of a civil war. It’s a refreshingly honest description of what life was like for a journalist and refrains from putting in too much political input into the narrative.

On top of that book it was also quite hard to find any information on travelling in Iraqi Kurdistan but I managed to find out that there is a chapter on it in the Middle East Lonely Planet. It contains a very rare set of hotel contacts details which you would struggle to find online.

After Iraq I have trips planned to Moldova (visting the Mafia breakaway state of Transnistria) in August and a pencilled out trip to Iran and Turkmenistan in October (pending approval of two of the trickiest visas to get on earth!). I had intended to pop into Afghanistan as part of this trip but it has turned out to be a very expensive ordeal for the few days I would get there so this will be delayed until another year.

Hopefully these trips will lead to many interesting experiences and blog posts so please subscribe to this blog if you’d like to read about them :). I’m also hoping to complete a photo project in Iraq so it’ll be fun to see how that comes out!

Onto the other topic, I’ve had a couple other first times this month being interviewed about the Chinese mock-English village of Thamestown for an English newspaper as well as being interviewed live about what it is like to visit North Korea as tourist by SkyNews. You can find the newspaper article HERE and the video is at the top of this post. Whilst a little bit nervous about both of these pieces I think they’ve come out well and hopefully people find them informative.

Once again thanks for reading and please do subscribe if you’d like more updates.

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