Illegal adventures? Places Our Parents Weren’t Allowed to Go from Illegal adventures? Places Our Parents Weren’t Allowed to Go

Illegal adventures? Places Our Parents Weren’t Allowed to Go

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Illegal adventures? Places Our Parents Weren’t Allowed to Go

Planning a vacation is in many ways just as exciting as actually going on one. All that researching gets you fantasizing about what you’ll do, who you’ll meet, and the unforgettable memories you’re going to create. Nowadays people expand their horizons and travel to places they know little about or to locations that don’t get a lot of tourists.  No destination is too far thanks to the many travel options – and discounts – out there. This wasn’t always the case.

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Cuba

Cuba is probably the most famous country Americans were not allowed to visit as tourists. Since the restrictions were loosened over a year ago, it is becoming a hot spot for adventurers. Cave diving in the country is superb – you can’t dive and explore the depths of a cave that reaches 70-feet deep in many places. Scuba diving and zip lining are popular, too. Sign up for the Havana Marathon, go rock climbing, and visit in time for carnivals, which are usually in the summer.

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Nicaragua

Nicaragua has a history of instability and the late 1970s and 1980s were marked by political violence and a revolutionary war, but its evolving atmosphere has begun to welcome visitors from around the world. Volcano boarding there will be one of the craziest adventures of your life. Racing down an active volcano at 25-30 miles per hour is a thrill like few others. You and your wooden board can literally crash into sharp volcanic rocks. The country boasts both a beautiful landscape and culture that invites travelers to explore its colonial cities, markets, and even rainforests.

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Iran

Americans are not exactly banned from going, but the U.S. government’s economic sanctions on Iran since 1979 has led to a strong resentment in the nation. Even though major sanctions were lifted two years ago, some still consider Iran to be a hostile nation and won’t go. It is, however, becoming an ‘it’ destination for trend-setting travelers, thanks in part to British Airways launching direct flights to Tehran. European hospitality brands are making plans to open new hotels to capitalize on, what the Wall Street Journal calls an “uptick in tourism.” However, in light of recent events - the Trump Administration being against the nuclear deal reached in 2015, and Iran supporting the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, which the U.S. opposes - the country could very well soon become a no-go for U.S. citizens again. 

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Former Soviet Union

Relations between the U.S. and what used to be the Soviet Union were tense during the Cold War so, understandably, Americans were not welcome and did not go. Foreigners in general were required to follow strict schedules set up by the Soviet government. Russia and the U.S. are not friendly now either, but no one will be in charge of your plans. Go to Azerbaijan for mountain adventures, to Estonia for beautiful architecture, and Latvia for ancient temples. Russia itself offers prehistoric cities, a rich cultural heritage, as well as a vast and diverse natural beauty and traditions.

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Myanmar

The repressive military junta that ruled from the 1960’s until 2010 was the reason why not only Americans but foreign tourists in general did not visit the country, which used to be called Burma. Now, one of the most spectacular attractions includes the Irrawaddy River, whose shores feature sacred stupas filled with Buddhist relics and awe-inspiring Bagan temples that date back as far as the 11th century. The U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak footbridge, is one of Myanmar’s most photographed sites. Yangon is an offbeat honeymoon destination for adventurous couples.

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Angola

Angola makes it very hard for people with a U.S. passport to visit. Customs officials at the airport have detained foreigners without cause and demanded gratuities before allowing them to enter or leave the country, according to the U.S. State Department. For a tourist visa, you need to write a letter or request addressed to the Consular, an international certificate of vaccination, evidence of means of subsistence and accommodations, a return ticket, and a copy of the (non-refundable) hotel reservation with the official stamp from the hotel.

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China

China was not on Americans’ travel radar before Former President Richard Nixon took a step to formally normalize relations. China is one of the world’s most culturally rich countries. The Imperial Palace nin Beijing is a must-see. The Forbidden City is physical testimony to the power and civilization of the Ming and Qing dynasties in late feudal China. The remote area of Xinjiang Tianshan in western China –more than 2,000 square miles of spectacular glacier-capped peaks – is absolutely stunning. Pristine forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes, and red-bed canyons sit alongside the arid expanse of the Taklimakan Desert, one of the world’s largest and highest deserts.

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Cambodia

Genocide in the 1970’s and political and civil unrest until peace agreements in 1991 made the country an undesirable and dangerous international location. Today, Cambodia is a nice alternative to the much more crowded with visitors Thailand. Visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom and learn about the country’s tumultuous history, enjoy the beautiful untouched beaches, encounter wild animals in the lavish jungle, and eat delicious local food.

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Colombia

Colombia was not on people’s radars until recently. It is the 17th most dangerous country in the world, according to GPI, and in the top when it comes to popular cruise destinations. The South American nation has long had a reputation for high crime rates largely due to gang wars. Bribery, extortion, drug trafficking, and theft are some of the biggest concerns for tourists. The country boasts many diverse landscapes and cultures that tourists would be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world. Special emphasis has been put on Cartagena’s UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Photo Modified: Flickr / Clay Gilliland/ CC BY 4.0

North Korea

North Korea is mostly famous for being the most isolated dictatorship in the world. The State Department strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to North Korea due to the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention. Unduly harsh sentences, including for actions that in the U.S. would not be considered crimes, are common. The regime has detained American tourists who traveled independently and those who were part of organized tours. North Korea is a ski destination and a place you would never know had a dangerous active volcano.

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Vietnam

Go on a vacation in dollar-friendly countries. Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a good off the beaten path destination. Go on a tour through the Mekong Delta, a vast maze of rivers, passing by rice paddies and houseboats. The beautiful Ha Giang province boasts a uniquely preserved tribal culture. The scenic landscape includes everything from terraced rice paddies to large forests. If you enjoy heart pumping thrills, look no further than the Monkey Bridges in Vietnam. They were built by hand and consist of a huge bamboo log for your feet and one hand rail.

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Algeria

Go on a vacation in dollar-friendly countries. Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a good off the beaten path destination. Go on a tour through the Mekong Delta, a vast maze of rivers, passing by rice paddies and houseboats. The beautiful Ha Giang province boasts a uniquely preserved tribal culture. The scenic landscape includes everything from terraced rice paddies to large forests. If you enjoy heart pumping thrills, look no further than the Monkey Bridges in Vietnam. They were built by hand and consist of a huge bamboo log for your feet and one hand rail.

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Saudi Arabia

The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia due to continuing ISIS-directed or inspired attacks across the Kingdom. Women traveling alone are not allowed to enter the country unless they are met at the airport by a husband, a sponsor or male relative. Also, in many areas, particularly the capital, Riyadh, women have to wear a full-length black covering and to cover their heads. Women in restaurants not accompanied by a male relative often are not served, and religious police in public are watching for violations.

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Antarctica

Going on a vacation to such a pristine environment – the coldest, driest, highest and windiest continent in the world – is not an easy task. Some argue that it should even be banned. Parts of Antarctica can be traveled on foot, but the passageways left by ice breaker vessels make paddling the optimal way to explore in the summer. Dip your paddle into the icy waters and float past glaciers, seals, penguins, and whales. See spectacular mountains. Visit the Lemaire Channel, go on a boat tour and cross the world’s roughest seas through Drake Passage, or go camping on Deception Island.

Photo Modified: Flickr / NH53 / CC BY 4.0

Libya

Libya, one of the most dangerous countries to drive in, is another country with tumultuous history that has been subject to U.S. sanctions since the 1980s over its suspected terror links. In 1981 President Ronald Reagan invalidates use of U.S. passports for travel to Libya. Even now the Department of State warns Americans against going there and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in the country leave immediately due to violence between militias.

Illegal adventures? Places Our Parents Weren’t Allowed to Go