In 2013, Rus Margolin quit his job to travel the world. He has since completed the quest in 2018 with Yemen being the final country.
What are three of your favourite countries and why?
Antarctica would be my favourite country, although it’s not a country per se – amazing wildlife, penguins, insane landscapes, and once in a lifetime experiences. Australia and the USA would take the second spot for the sheer breadth and variety of natural attractions. France and Spain would take third place for culture and cuisine.
What are three of your favourite travel moments, and why?
Spending 4 days camping on an ice shelf deep in Antarctica with emperor penguin colonies around me – only about 5-7 tourists come here once per year – the uniqueness of the one-with-nature experience is unparalleled. Skydiving over the Jumeira Palm Island in Dubai is the best skydiving in the world – you jump from 13,000 feet and have a surreal view as you free fall toward it. Hiking in Kamchatka – there are 300 snow lad volcanoes dotting the horizon, and you are in one of the most remote and naturally beautiful spots in the world, conquering mountains.
What are three of your worst travel moments, and why?
Every travel moment – good or bad – is a valuable experience and part of travel. That being said – visiting Tokelau wasn’t particularly enjoyable. It felt like tourists are not welcome, and red tape and the amount of effort of getting a permit was overwhelming given the lack of attractions on the islands and hostile xenophobic attitude. Renting cars in Mexico – every agency is running a giant insurance game scam to take as much money from you as possible with “required” insurance which is actually not required at all. Getting from the airport to Dhaka in Bangladesh, moving at about 5km/hour in traffic of cars, tuk-tuks, animals, people, trash, heat, and smog.
What are three of your best travel tips?
Do travel blocks of several neighbouring countries rather than one at a time – air travel to and from is the largest expense of travel. In the third world countries – eat local food from street vendors, it’s safer and tastier and fresher than the “European” food you would get a lot at a hotel. Avoid travel agents and book your own tickets, rentals, hotels – only you know best what you want and need, spend time researching and analyzing it, rather than give away money to somebody who most likely has no idea about the country they are selling you.
Favourite airport: Frankfurt
Easy, well-organized, classic German quality.
Worst airport: Juba
You wait in a tent in 40-degree heat.
Favourite airline: Emirates.
Favourite hotel: Lemala Nanyukie Lodge in Serengeti, Tanzania.
Favourite restaurant: Yama sushi, New York.
Favourite travel movie: Avatar.