Hi – my name is Sarah and I have always been fascinated with traveling Afghanistan. The rich culture, the food, the exotic people, it’s complex history – it’s all exciting to learn about, and my dream is to one day travel this interesting country. In preparation for that eventual day, I thought I would write a blog about it to gain more information and to share with those on the same path.
Afghanistan is a country with a rich and colorful if war torn history. It has been at the center of political machinations between colonial powers and what was called ‘The Great Game’ for control of the entire region. It was thought that whoever could hold and control Afghanistan would be the power that would ultimately hold an vast swath of Asia.
However, the country has been called the ‘Graveyard of Empires’. The British and Russians and it seems most countries in Europe have tried to hold the country. That have not succeeded. The proud nation has seen invaders come and go – from that period when the British were trying to hold it to when Russia tried to hold the area. Today even the American fight against insurgents has come to a grinding stalemate.
The weather, the mountainous terrain and the proud nature of the Afghani people themselves has made it a country that will defy any invader.
However – it is the mystery of this country that has largely been cut off from the rest of the world that has only increased its allure to those who want to take a walk on one of the wilder shores of international tourism.
So – for those who want to tour Afghanistan and immerse themselves in its rich history and culture, what is the best way to go about it?
The first step in the process is to find a tour operator or travel agent that is intimately familiar with the country. Although the capital city Kabul is a metropolis that can rival many other cities in terms of population (well over 4.5 million people) and is relatively safe – the key word still remains ‘relatively’.
Although the Taliban is now focused on more rural areas the cultural differences between Western cities and Afghan cities can be challenging to those who are used to travel to more recognized places.
It is essential that the traveler to Afghanistan find a trusted adviser that will know local customs. This is not a country that will be forgiving of those who choose to wander and trust in their own abilities.
That said there are wonderful opportunities to enjoy cuisine and culture and the rich sense of history that is on offer for the savvy traveler. The Afghani themselves are proud and welcoming and the landscape is filled with hints of a past that can only entrance those who want to delve a little deeper into a region that is filled to the brim with history.
The key to experiencing Afghanistan is to know the limits of what can and cannot be achieved – and have that adviser at your side when you set out to explore the many wonders that the country has to offer. Without that person at your side what could be one of the most marvelous experiences of any adventurer might very well turn into a trip that would be regretted.
That said – this is a country that will delight and charm those who make appropriate arrangements for the trip of a lifetime.