Micronesia

This is an up-and-coming country, with endless possibilities. Flying into Pohnpei you pass by the light blue outer reefs and then by Sokehs Rock, a much smaller version of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. FSM’s economy is based on farming and fishing and its government employs a whopping 60% of the population (funded by the US Compact which expires in 2023). The population is exploding and 50% are under 24 years old.

When I arrived in Pohnpei (’17), my ride didn’t show and Anthony Silbanuz with Sunset Car Rental was so nice and dropped me at my hotel. Speaking of hotels, the Mangrove Hotel is (by far) the nicest hotel in Pohnpei. All rooms overlook beautiful Mangrove Bay and Sokehs Rock, and Valentina will set up diving and other types of tours as she did so fantastically for me. Adjacent to the Mangrove is a great sushi restaurant.

Because the Mangrove was full of surfers riding the island’s amazing waves, I was forced to stay elsewhere and ended up at the Oceanview West Wing. While the view and restaurant were great, the rooms were reminiscent of a 2 star roadside motel, and certainly not up to Western standards. My towel had crust on it. There were critters in the room, and my pillow stunk.

The average worker earns $3-5 a day in Pohnpei, and the prices of most things are very cheap. For example, a taxi ride to most anywhere on the island is $1.00.

What’s there to do in FSM? The diving is wonderful, and Palikir Pass shouldn’t be missed.

Here are the other top things to do:

  • You can’t miss Nan Madol (insert video text here).
  • Gifted a Nan Madol chief (nan wargi) a University of North Carolina hat
  • Went to a pepper farm
  • Visited a spectacular waterfall

Tajikistan

To get from Turkmenistan to Tajikistan in '16 I had to fly to Dubai, endure an 6 hour layover and then fly 3 hours to Dushanbe. Tajikistan is the smallest of the “Stans” in terms of population and definitely the poorest. This country has recovered little since its...

Cuba

In 2017, went to Cuba with my son Kenan! We had such a blast traveling to this quirky and cool destination. Here was our itinerary with Cuba Adventures Travel: Day One: Took a private walking tour of Old Havana with our guide. Checked out the art, architecture,...

Somalia

Bricks of money in Somaliland Country Information:  The capital of Somalia is Mogadishu and the country's population size is about 12 million. The official languages are Somali and Arabic, and the dominant religion is Sunni or Shafi’i Islam. For those who do visit,...