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Ryan Haq's Lists
Places I've been
Saudi Arabia: A Whole New WorldThis month, I visited my 52nd country -- Saudi Arabia. There seem to be fewer and fewer places on Earth that feel truly unique, and Saudi is one of them. Now, you may have some preconceived notions about Saudi Arabia (I know I did). Some of it is right, some of it is wrong. Saudi Arabia is a country living in both the past and the future. The country's recent changes have opened it to tourism, eliminated laws that forced women to wear headscarves & niqabs, allowed women to drive, and eliminated the moral police. Yet, Saudis are a respectful people & embrace their traditions and cultures. Saudi is a rich country, full of modern amenities & using their wealth to reimagine the future. Yet, parts of Saudi seem untouched in centuries. Now, this is not a trip I would recommend for first-time travelers or solo female travelers. This isn't because Saudi is uninviting to women, but because Islamic traditions require men to be hyper respectful to women (at times to the point of excluding / separating women for their protection, or feeling uncomfortable even speaking to women). It's helpful to have a guy with you here. Navigating Saudi culture can seem a little daunting. But (even if you're a solo woman), the people are warm, normal, and frankly pretty chill. I enjoyed my trip here and am interested in visiting different parts of the country. If you're interested in chatting more about Saudi, drop a comment!
Road Trippin' Albania to CroatiaThe road from southern Albania to Croatia is a great adventure, at times a bit dicey, but consistently beautiful. This journey starts by flying into Corfu, Greece and taking the ferry to Sarande, Albania. Get a good rental car -- Albania is mountainous, Montenegran highways aren't always paved, and Dubrovnik's roads are super tight. Don't worry, you can handle it. Make a good playlist, pick up some road snacks, and get ready to pull over for pictures.
The Stans to Azerbaijan: A Silk Road Less Traveled[Kazakhstan --> Kyrgyzstan --> Uzbekistan --> Turkmenistan --> Azerbajian. Tajikistan is not on this list because of geographical and safety constraints] I haven't done this trip yet, but it's on my bucket list. First of all, let's talk realistically about this region: you will need to adapt to fewer English speakers, infrastructural gaps, and cultural considerations. From what folks say, Central Asia is jam packed with the most authentic & kindest people, freshest fruits, and breathtaking history. Once you get to Turkmenbashi, cross the Caspian Sea by ferry and arrive in Baku. Anyone wanna join me? Let's roam the cities and countrysides of the ancient Silk Road.
Mexico City: the Best of All WorldsMexico City / La Ciudad de Mexico / CDMX has it all. European charm, Latin flair, Aztec and Mayan dynamism, and all the familiar comforts of the USA. And did I mention the food? Or the 150 museums? Frankly, I'm thinking of getting an apartment there. If you're headed there, get a place in Juarez or Roma Norte (for safety reasons, but also because it's gorgeous) :)
INDIA: End to EndSome well-known and lesser-known magical spots in India for your next trip. India is an extremely diverse country, so definitely try and check off each region. Take in fresh Himalayan air in Northern India; exotic tropical luxury of South India; the deserts of western India; lush jungles of Northeast India; and the rich culture and history in-between.
Seattle - Top Picks 2021 *Live*My live list of top sights/restaurants/bars in the Seattle area
Ryan's Post-Covid Travel ListThese were trips I had planned pre-Covid that I'm itchin' to finish. Who's joining me?
31 Tranquil & Epic Nature Spots!
Calcutta, the City of Joy
Brooklyn Food & Bar Spots
Iceland Road Trip - Food & Sights!
Astrophotography Spots (American Southwest & West Coast)Great night sky spots for seasoned or aspiring astrophotographers! *Work in Progress*