Nuseir Yassin, also known as Nas Daily, is an Israeli-born Arab vlogger who is famous for creating 1,000 daily one-minute videos on Facebook, where he has more than 20 million followers. In this exclusive interview with Every Country in the World, Yassin shares some of his favourites.
What are three of your favourite countries, and why?
It depends on what you want to do there!
My favourite country to travel to is definitely the Philippines. Nature will take your breath away, and it’s very affordable. The people are super friendly, they all speak English, so it’s easy to make friends! You should definitely check it out.
For work, I’d have to say Singapore. It’s safe. There’s no corruption. It’s easy to get around because the country isn’t too big. It’s next to amazing countries like India, Japan or the Philippines, which opens up great business opportunities. The people are super friendly and hard-working, and it has a lot of tech companies and that start-up vibe made it the perfect place to start Nas Studios and Nas Academy.
United Arab Emirates
Finally, my favourite country to live in, I think, is the UAE. It’s safe as well, it’s got no taxes, and the weather is amazing. It’s super dynamic (50 years ago, this country was just a desert, and now it has the tallest buildings in the world.). The UAE is the new land of opportunity. Living here feels like living the American Dream.
What are three of your favourite travel moments, and why?
A day spending no money in Manila
The first one that comes to mind is Day 276. I tried to see if I could live a day without spending any money and by relying only on the kindness of strangers in Manila. It turns out I could. It showed me that there are still good people in this world.
Visting Mount Fuji
Then there’s the time I visited Mount Fuji on Day 235. It was breathtaking. When you see that mountain, you realize how powerful nature is. And how tiny we are compared to it.
Meeting the Keyboard Warrior
Finally, I’d say when I met Irfan, the Keyboard Warrior, in Sri Lanka. That guy’s been bedridden for the past 19 years. His entire muscle system collapsed when he was 18. He only has strength in one finger, and with that finger, he taught himself how to read and write English and wrote three books that sold many copies. When you meet a guy like that, your perspective on life completely changes.
And that’s my favourite thing about travelling, by the way, it gets you out of your own head, your own culture, your own little life. It opens up your understanding of the world.
What are three of your worst travel moments, and why?
Not allowed to fly on Kuwait Airlines
There was Day 540 when I booked a flight from New York to India via Kuwait Airlines. Because I’m an Israeli, I was not allowed to fly on the plane, even though I was not going to Kuwait. This was a classic case of daylight discrimination. Very frustrating.
When Trump won the election
Of course, there was also November 8th, 2016, Day 214, which is the day Trump won the elections. I’ll always remember it. I was in San Francisco. It was supposed to be a great day for Muslims, migrants, women, and humans all over the world. A day for progress. But then Trump won, and it felt like we went a step back.
Visiting North Korea
There was also my time in North Korea. I cried the day I left. This place is like an open-air prison. There’s no Wi-Fi, no Facebook. People can’t even afford cars or to pay for electricity. It’s all military parades and propaganda. The worst part is that there’s no hope for those people. I don’t see how things could change for them anytime soon. It’s the most depressing country I’ve ever been to.
What are three of your best travel tips?
The Mountain Test
The first thing you need to try is the Mountain Test. When you’re packing before a trip, make a list of all the stuff you want to put in your bag. Then, for each of those things, ask yourself, “would it be worth carrying, on my back, up a mountain?” If the answer is no, then don’t take it! Your bag will feel lighter, and so will your mind.
The next one is obvious, but I have to mention it: Budgeting. Before going anywhere, figure out how many friends are coming with you, and agree on how much you’re willing to pay on transportation, accommodation and food, per person.
Finally, if you’re looking for a unique way to visit a city, do a marathon in it. You’ll get to see places you would have never visited, meet locals and burn calories all at once. It’s a bit crazy, but I can tell you, it’s worth it.