How to Discover the World – For FREE!
Momondo, one of my favourite flight search engine and the reason way I manage to travel a lot: cheap flights, has a very cool marketing campaign. Awesome concept and a must have prize:WIN a trip to every single country you’re from with The DNA Journey.
Back in 2010, I was very curious to find my ancestors and to discover where I am from. Since, in my native town Focsani would have been quite a pain in the ass to find at lest the past 2-3 generation due to bureaucrat-icy and logistics I looked for an alternative. And that alternative in 2010 was the Genographic Project by National Geographic. I was one of the 779,696 participants in the project. I was an student back then and did not have that much money. But from that moment, some part of me, wanted to to discover the world and go where my ancestors came from.
Back then did not have this idea; and thank you Momondo for giving me this idea: to make a discovery trip of me! Man, I wish I thought about this when I got the results from my ADN test 6 years ago.
The contest has 2 phases (and only a few countries are eligible). See the full list here. For the first phase you have to answer to a simple question: Be as creative as you can so you can win a Momondo DNA kit – and enter the next part of the competition; in 250 keywords or less. Then only 500 participants will get the ADN kit and are qualified for the second phase where you have to send video. More details on the official page.
Above is my ADN Map. So if I would win the Momondo competition (finger crossed) my itinerary would include the following countries. Even if I have already visited them, I would go one more time!
- Bangladesh – to be honest Bangladesh was not on my to visit country lists; at least not the top 100. Few weeks ago I meet in the middle of the night, outside a club in Yangon, a Romanian fellow. He was living in Dhaka, Bangladesh and I promised I would visit him if he will still be there.
- Nepal – Even if I used to climb a few mountain, culminating with Kilimanjaro a few years ago, Nepal was far away and to to a trip only to go to Base Camp and to pay a lot of money was not my thing. But Nepal has a lot of cool things to offer beside Himalaya.
- India – My friend has been to India 3 times of ready. Each time I had other plans; and to go alone I was not very excited. India is such a big county with so many things to do and visit and probably I did not know what to look for and was never interested in visiting it. Now is a good time!
- China – My first impression about China was not a good one: unfriendly and taught country in terms of visiting it. My after I actually went to China my opinion changed: easy, friendly people, great food and amazing landscapes! The south-western part of China is off the beating track but there are some nice tribes to be discovered. How know, maybe I meet one of my cousins there!
- Uzbekistan – a visit to Samarkand is a must!
- Tajikistan – where people meets nature! The Fann Mountains are excellent for some day trip trekking!
- Armenia – Erevan and the country side!
- Georgia -Lack of low cost flight connection to this part of the world from Romania made me not consider visiting it. But things have changed in the past years and now there are plenty of flight carriers flying to Tbilisi. Mountain, great wine and food are on my list in Georgia.
- Azerbaijan: Since Visit Azerbaijan is the main sponsor of Athletic Madrid, the country has became more popular. Baku is the perfect place to start my trip to discover the country.
- Turkey – is more than Istanbul; even if is a great city. Anatolia, the rural part or even the ballon ride to Cappadocia are a must in Turkey for my next visit!
- Saudi Arabia – OK; this will be a hard one. It’s not very easy to travel to Saudi Arabia but not impossible. Asking the expats in Saundi Arabia would be a good start in planning the journey!
- Jordan – Twice I had the opportunity to visit Jordan the Petra. Twice I sad no to my good friend Madalina. Now is time to say YES. Petra is an amazing place and on my bucket list!
- Egypt – Visited Egypt and to be honest I was very disappointed. Maybe it was not the perfect timing: the Tahir Square Revolution was still ON when I visited the country few years ago. Now, Alexandria is on my list and a swim in the Death Sea!
- Syria – I really hope the war will end soon. This is the perfect example on how a country is destroyed by war. Millions displaced and thousands killed. Such a great country with a rich history and amazing syrian food!
- Sudan – There is nothing to see in Sudan, a Romanian girl I met in Yangon who had been working in the area for Medicine Sans Frontier; amazing stories from an amazing girl! If there is nothing to do in Sudan, let discover something to do!
- South Sudan – back in 2011 when South Sudan gain independence from the North, I discovered their national anthem which was very cool! And me and a good friend became huge fans of the newest country and said one day we will visit it. Now, one day has come!
- Central African Republic – While I was in Uganda, Bogdan a romanian working there told me one day at a pool game: just got an email from a friend who lives in CAR; they are told to exist the country as soon as possible to do internal conflicts. Well, visiting a country in war would be one of the dumbest and crazies ideas – but we know there are war tours no? Even if so there are some part of the country which are a bit safer.
- Democratic Republic of Congo: Romania draw 1-1 last week with the Congolese team and a racist scandal erupted after it; some guys from a popular radio station made some bad jokes. Now it’s time to visit DRC to apologies to my brothers!
- Rwanda – the home stay experience was one of the best travel memory I have every day in my trips. Would love to relive it again!
- Tanzania – Zanzibar has the best beaches in the world; in my top there are number one. Would be an excellent finish of my trip. Plus I did not drink the famous milk+blood from the Masai Tribe or seen the big migration – I was a bit too late visiting Serengeti!
- Kenya – on the way back to Europe from my African Adventure I have stopped for one night in Nairobi; I was tired after 8 months of traveling alone and a bit scared and did not wanted to explore the city and do the amazing Kenya’s safari. Now I am not scared anymore!
- Ethiopia – our days in Ethiopia did not allowed us to visit the city of Harar. Which is famous for the hyenas feeding experience and the ancient buildings and impressive city walls. Maybe this time will have more free time.
- Eritrea – one of last frontiers and closed country. It is said that the most beautiful women in the world are hope. Hope me or my friends Mihaela and Stefan with their project: The Atlas of Beauty will have a change to make amazing photos!
- Kaliningrad (Russia) – this small Russian enclave is not a popular destination. Just a typical Russian city, located between Poland and Lithuania. Few things to do in Kaliningrad.
- Belarus – 21th century and there are European countries ruled by a dictator. Should I or should not go to Minks?
- Iran – Iran in on my next country to visit. It would probably be in spring 2017 and I am looking forward to it!
If I forgot any country (where the red line crosses the map) or added an extra one just let me know. I hope the Momondo prize will be big enough to visit all the countries on my new travel list!
Now it time to share your AND future map? Where the past will take you in the future?