not just a pretty place

travelling beyond beaches, photo ops and flexible principles

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…

Ghana’s press is comparatively free

Ever since I’ve been sharing my travel research I’m asked to be more positive. Considering I’m writing about politics, history…

Human rights in Tanzania? Going south.

Tanzania is one of the few sub-Saharan countries where the standard #adventurous traveller dares to go – of course, to…

Is Bhutan a heavenly country on the roof of the world?

Most self-respecting travellers eventually stumble upon Bhutan and find it quite a turn-on. The Buddhist mountain country stuck between China…

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