by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Grenada was 167th country visited; impressed by gorgeous landscapes
- Arrived by boat into Carriacou and fell in love with that little island
- 28 countries away from his goal of visiting the world’s 197 countries
At present, there are at least 10 people under the age of 30 who have visited every country in the world. When he visited Grenada earlier this month, Australian explorer Daniel Herszberg was 30 countries away from achieving his goal.
“Grenada was my 167th country visited, which means I have 30 countries left to visit. Those 30 countries are predominately based in West and Central Africa, as well as the Middle East. So, I am certainly enjoying my time in the Caribbean before some rougher destinations,” Herszberg said.
“I arrived by boat into Carriacou and fell in love with that little island. I enjoyed the raw beauty of Paradise Beach and especially having the whole place to myself; I pretty much spent every day over there! After moving on to Grenada, I embraced the charming streets of St George’s with its vibrant market, delicious street food (I had such good callaloo!) and those exercise-inducing steep streets! I also managed to travel through the Grand Etang, as well as visit the old Pearls Airport which was a particular highlight for me, given that I am a little bit of an aviation and Cold War enthusiast!”
Herszberg described the uniqueness of Grenada as compared to other islands. “There are a number of things which make Grenada truly unique. Firstly, the landscapes of Grenada are absolutely gorgeous: the rugged coastline and ribbons of white sand beaches which rise up into mountains covered in rainforest. I can safely say that nowhere in the Caribbean offers such a contrast! There were so many moments driving through Grenada where you just stop and think, “wow!” Next, I think it’s fair to say that the Caribbean isn’t exactly known for its urban centres, but in Grenada and in particular, in St George’s, you have one of the charming and picturesque towns in the world. St George’s is a fantastic place to just lose yourself in the alleys, learn some history at the forts and climb the steep hills for those jaw-dropping ocean views. The Carenage would have to be a top contender for one of the prettiest harbours in the world!”
His experience of Carriacou was equally impressive. “I should also add that I loved Carriacou – it’s the perfect spot to just “lose yourself” for a few days. I loved hopping in those minivans and crossing the pretty hills with classic Caribbean architecture before finding myself at a secluded cove for a dip. I know that I will need to return to visit Petit Martinique! In Carriacou, I stayed in a guesthouse, but in Grenada I actually opted for the most lovely Airbnb. This was the perfect opportunity to experience some “island life”, as I had the most beautiful “host mother” who proudly showed me how to navigate the public transport system and explore Grenada. The apartment was also perfectly located at the top of a hill, with the most stunning views!”
Despite having visited the country outside of Grenada’s cultural peak season, Herszberg immersed himself in Grenadian culture. “Grenadians are extremely friendly, so whilst I didn’t participate in any formal activities, I found that I was experiencing a lot of music, some calypso and soca and lots of delicious food! I will certainly need to return for carnival.”
Herszberg’s world-crossing odyssey began in his late teens but the inspiration to travel came much earlier when he was inspired by reading books on travel. His childhood room was filled with globes, flags of the world and travel books.
About a year ago he left his job in Hong Kong to complete his travel goal full-time. “By most estimates, only about 150-200 people have visited every country (crazy when you consider that 600 people have been to space!). Of those, less than 10 would be under the age of 30. My dream is to join that select group, and in the meantime learn about our world and the people that inhabit it. I should also mention that I am extremely fortunate to have a very engaged and active following on my Instagram (@dhersz) which has encouraged me to continue to pursue my passions.”
How does he cover his travel costs? “I spent about 7 years at university in Australia, during which I would work part-time and save up money for travelling during the holidays. During this period, I managed to visit about 140 countries! I have always travelled on the cheap”, cutting costs on accommodation and food to make up for ever-increasing flights, visas, and other unavoidable travel experiences,” he said. “After university, I moved to Hong Kong for three years. Hong Kong was a great geographic base to explore more of the world and working full-time meant that I had a little more income, but less time to enjoy it! I have recently taken some time off to pursue my goal and am also working through my Instagram with hotels and tourism brands to assist with the costs of travelling.”
Some of Herszberg’s most memorable experiences include trekking to Angel Falls (Venezuela), descending by plane unto Kaiteur Falls (Guyana); swimming across the mouth of Victoria Falls to reach Devil’s Pool (Zambia/Zimbabwe); riding underneath Iguazu Falls in (Argentina/Brazil). He has had phenomenal wildlife encounters including getting smacked by a gorilla in Uganda, tracking orangutans in Sumatra, snorkelling with whale sharks in the Philippines, spotting lemurs in Madagascar, and walking amongst zebra in Botswana. He has also engaged with the diversity of our world’s cultures and religions including voodou ceremonies in Benin, breaking Iftar on the rooftops of Xinjiang, having pineapples thrown at him during the Guelaguetza festival in Oaxaca, Mexico, sitting alongside chanting Sufis in Pakistan, and the numerous songs and dances of Pacific and Caribbean nations.
The most challenging experience for him is to travelling overland through Africa on public transport – having done various routes from Senegal to Guinea Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire to Benin, Uganda to the Congo.
“Truthfully, the greatest lesson from all my travels has probably been from seeing the world that we know exists, but often choose to ignore: visiting refugee camps, seeing people so weak from hunger that they can barely raise their hands, meeting those orphaned by malaria or entering the homes of those whose only worldly possession is the clothes that they’re wearing, or if they’re lucky, a mosquito net,” Herszberg said.
“You never really desensitise to this kind of raw human experience. These experiences have led me to be conscious of the fact that I shouldn’t “glamorise” or “normalise” my travel to conflict or post-conflict zones. Through my Instagram I have also attempted to focus on the positive work being done by NGOs and other community players in rebuilding these often broken parts of our world.” He has over 25,000 followers on Instagram (@dhersz).
Herszberg is working toward being the youngest Australian to visit every country in the world. As of writing, he is 28 countries away from his goal of visiting the world’s 197 countries.
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