not just a pretty place

travelling beyond beaches, photo ops and flexible principles

Argentina used to be rich a century ago. Why is it poor now?

In 1914, Argentina was among the ten richest countries in the world and had a higher GDP per capita than…

The first country to find a former head of state guilty of genocide

For 36 years, from 1960 to 1996, Guatemala was stuck in a civil war in which various right-wing governments fought…

Nauru has the most overweight population in the world

I’m sure you can’t wait to find out why nearly 90 per cent of Nauru’s population is overweight. But before…

Women’s rights in Azerbaijan: no need to be euphoric

Azerbaijan granted women the right to vote in 1918 – as the first Muslim-majority country and one of the first…

Why is Cyprus made up of three different states?

Cyprus became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1571. So its population has been part Greek and part Turkish…

Albania: poor but plenty of Mercedes

Communists ruled Albania from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s. At first, they were friends with Yugoslavia, then with the…

How Malta is both Catholic and LGBT-friendly

Catholicism is Malta’s state religion with 84 percent of the population being Catholic. Though atheism spreads exponentially, religion is a…

A short introduction to Czechoslovakia

Before the First World War, the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy was a big multinational state and stretched from modern-day Italy to…

Japan between internationalism and isolationism

The first Europeans visited Japan in the 16th century. As elsewhere, they established trade posts and started to convert locals…

Was Ethiopia unaffected by colonialism?

When he’s not looking for booze close to the beach or climbing temples and stuff, the standard traveller is very…

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