Globetrotter

Travelling around the globe for well over 20 years presumably makes me one of those Globetrotters. There are not many countries I did not visit at least once. So, as to answer your question which countries I did travel I'd likely reply with a list of those I haven't; yet.

Luckily I've never had any major troubles. Well, I took a little timeout in a Bolivian prison cell and a brief vacation in a Lybian desert camp though. I recall it as yet another experience and playing Poker with the guards wasn't all that bad after all.

I have been to nice places, bad places, and strange places. Met nice people, bad people, and strange people. I guess it's part of travelling. Poor of you if you spend all year in some boring office just to save enough for a two weeks vacation in some dummy hotel compound. Of course, these days I spend a little extra tine checking my papers before I go; and I am a little less restless.

Europe

There must be something special about this little group of rocks in the North Atlantic known as the British Isles, Great Britain, United Kingdom, or simply England. The narrow ditch of Atlantic Ocean surrounding Britain has seen many failed attempts to conquer Britain. There was a time when most of the known world was under British rule.

France is a country with many different aspects and plenty of Afro-Arabian influences. The countryside is absolutely terrific. You'd be well advised to supply your trip across France with plenty of extra funds. Some French would come in handy, too.

Germany once had a handful of colonies, too, but never really played an important role in global Imperialism, except for the common assumption of having started not one but two worlds wars.

A look back in history shows that Spain has been home to many different conquerors. The most dominant surely were the Arabs ruling for some 900 years. They once sent an enormous fleet, the Armada, with thousands of troops to invade Britain and failed miserably.

Asia

When I had come down from the northern parts of the Indian sub continent I went down south along the Western coast. Many people have a very wrong idea about cities like Bombay and Kolkata (Calcutta if you are old enough). They sure have a very special flair but are miles away from being dream locations! No matter how thirsty you may be: Never drink any water without boiling it yourself for at least 10 minutes. Unless you have a cow's stomach you will also pay great attention to what and where you eat. Always keep in mind that medical services are rather limited unless you are prepared to spend a fortune for some outdated third class toxic laboratory leftovers.

In Kolkata I somehow managed to hire on as a deckhand. I still wonder how it came into place but after all this rusty wreckage finally arrived in Singapore. When asked to stay on I politely declined. Well, you know how it goes with those plans. I was about to visit some friends in Malaysia when an offer came around to hire on as a deck steward aboard a cruiser full of pseudo VIPs doing a regular turn between Singapore and Hawaii.

Singapore is a city state like Monaco or the Vatican. The exception is that it's ten times cleaner. If you are planning to visit Malaysia use the opportunity and take a daytrip into Singapore. However, if you are a Smoker or like chewing gums make sure you have something to put the remains. On my last visit snipping a cigarette came at a bargain of 500 US Dollars. Spitting a chewing gum was worth the double. There are no excuses for tourists. If you cannot pay the fine you are introduced to the Governor's Holiday Inn; a local prison cell.

While Malaysia is truly fascinating it has many problems; in particular religious. They are Muslims. You girls who like to show off what's underneath that top: just forget it. Do so in this part of the world and you are in for some serious trouble. Stay away from dubious places. Keep a low profile. Doublecheck your luggage.

It may contain someone else's little present. Never take your eyes off it while waiting at the Airport to return home. Both Singapore and Malaysia have an active death penalty for drug related cases! Hong Kong is number two on my personal list of favourite cities with number one occupied by London naturally. If you are planning to visit Hong Kong try to make it around the first week of June for the Dragon Boat Festival. Arriving there by plane has always been special.

Japan has been a very special experience. The cities are typically so overcrowded it's a miracle how they continue functioning rather than fall into chaos. On the contrary there are rural areas totally lost in time. The Japanese are a self-restrictive traditional, even religious people. Unfortunately newer generations share the same tendency to abandon traditions like in most Western countries. Japan is the paradise for technology junkies. Most gimmicks are available three to five years before they arrive elsewhere on the planet.