Montenegrin Edin Krnic has visited 111 countries so far: I do not go to expensive hotels, but I met a king, lived with the tribe and had a great time in Pyongyang (PHOTO)
"Because of wars in former Yugoslavia I have lost ten years of my life. And not just me, but all the people of my age who could clearly observe life before the war, as well as life during sanctions and inflation"
Travels are the best way to meet the world around us and to get new experiences. By stepping out of the known environment and wondering in new areas, meeting different and interesting people, we are trying to make our life richer and more beautiful. More and more people are making a decision to go on a trip into far and exotic areas, and the development of technology and the process of globalization are making everything that surrounds us much more accessible.
They say that it is never too late for travels and that a man forms during his entire life. The best is to see everything first hand, and if someone has the opportunity for that, the experience is unique.
Edin Krnic from Montenegro is going to that kind of travels into far and unusual areas. He has visited over a hundred countries, and each year he goes in some new adventure. He likes to explore, and sometimes he returns to some area he has visited already. He wouldn't want to trade his experiences for anything in the world, and the greatest support in his endeavors is his wonderful family.
He spoke about his adventures for Telegraf.rs, about the beauties of what he had the opportunity to see and what places and people positively surprised him.
He had the idea to travel around the world ever since he was a high school boy, and this is what motivated him to do this.
- Like all good ideas in life, it came spontaneously, that was the case with my inclination for travels, it came quite spontaneously, at the time when I was in high school. I have graduated from the High school for Tourism, and after that I enrolled into Faculty of Tourism in Sarajevo, thinking that one day I might be a tourist guide.
That idea didn't come true, but another one was born out of it - I am in a role of a passenger, not a guide, but I share my experiences with other people and I gladly help those who like travels and some unusual destinations, where the procedure to receive a visa is often complicated.
Because of wars in former Yugoslavia I have lost ten years of my life. And not just me, but all the people of my age who could clearly observe life before the war, as well as life during sanctions and inflation.
It made me realize that a life is too short and the meaning of man's existence is to get to know the planet where he lives on, as much as he can. My goal is to travel over the entire world, and if the technology in future provides possibilities to travel outside of our planet, I am prepared for that challenge as well, of course, if I am lucky to live that long - he said.
Edin lives in Tuzi, ten kilometers from Podgorica and he loves spending time with his family.
- When I am not on my travels, I spend all of my time in my birthplace with my family. I have been a craftsman since I was twelve, and I inherited my craft from my father. It is a car repair shop. That job is a tradition in my family, so my son is now successfully doing this job and I am very proud of that - he states.
So far he has traveled to 111 countries.
- In order not to list each of them individually, I will only mention here the countries that left a striking impression on me: Palestine, North Korea, Ethiopia, Namibia, Madagascar, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, India, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia - he says.
The greatest impression on him had Palestina, and the reasons for that are numerous.
- I will mention only a few: first of all, Palestine is the hundredth country I have visited and therefore it has a symbolic meaning for me. In addition, I went to Palestine to see with my own eyes whether it is possible that in the 21st century there are still open concentration camps, without barbed wire. And there are.
The Palestinians are the most discriminated people on the planet. My visit to Palestina had the goal to present the real truth about what is really happening there. Nobody g me, so I am not obliged to report subjectively. There is a different view of the problem of Palestine in the public, but believe me that I can say firsthand that elementary human rights are being violated here. In a symbolic sense, the fight of Palestinians for freedom and equality always reminds me on my struggle during the travels, when I am lonely and far away from my homeland, and I don't know what can happen to me - said Edin.
There have been many events that left a great impression on him, but he would especially mention swimming among the glaciers in the Jokulsarlon Lagoon in Iceland.
- Adrenaline was hitting me so hard that I wasn't even aware that I was swimming in water that is around zero parallel. Prior to my trip to Iceland, I have made a decision to swim among glaciers, no matter how cold it was.
When I reached a place where I could try that, I was so excited and full of positive energy so I didn't care about the cold and the possible consequences, because the nearest hospital from the place where I swam was 63 km away, and various notices and signs stated that it is strictly forbidden to walk on glaciers, while no one remembered to put a sign for no swimming allowed. Luckily, I dove in and dove out of the icy water. The experience was unforgettable - he said.
On his travels, he had the opportunity to meet the real king, which left a strong impression on him.
- It is without exception my encounter with the king of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta, on the island of Java in Indonesia, Paku Alam X. I had a unique opportunity to attend his inauguration and as an ordinary tourist to be in the among first ranks of officials, as well as to talk to him personally. Just to explain to readers: this is an event that happens extremely rarely, because crowning is a rare act that can happen once in 10 years, and also in 50 or more - Edin is honest.
It was difficult for him to isolate a country that was especially dear for him, but he nevertheless referred to Ethiopia and Namibia.
- The reason for this is a meeting with the tribes and leaving the civilization, where for several days I was practically separated from the modern way of life and technology. In particular, I would like to emphasize my stay among members of the tribe of Himba, which left a very strong impression on me. I spent two nights and three days with them. Chief Boni told me that I was the first foreigner who had ever had the privilege of staying with his tribe because such a thing is forbidden, he says.
Although he visited a large number of countries, he nevertheless points out that his heart remained in his native Montenegro.
- But since I traveled many countries, it is logical that there are many places in which I could live, among others: Thailand, Zanzibar, Spain, and Portugal, and I would add here also, Iceland, where the climate on that island state isn't so harsh - says Edin.
As far as food is concerned, he had the opportunity to taste a number of local specialties, which you can't just see every day.
- On all journeys, I usually eat local foods that women make in their huts and sell alongside the road. This trend is very pronounced in third world countries, and most of all I like to eat something in such huts, for example, braised beef with vegetables that can be found in many places in Africa. In Asian countries, I often try something exotic. Those are mostly various insects: locusts, scorpions, tarantula and the like - he admits.
He had the opportunity to see first hand the nightlife in many world metropolises.
- Believe me that it is relative. Nightlife in North Korea surprised me, a state of a firm system of government, where I saw that nightlife was similar to those in many European countries, which for me was unthinkable before I departed to Pyongyang.
The contrast to such nightlife is, let's say, Rio de Janeiro, where people have crazy time until early morning hours. While people in nightclubs of North Korea or some Arab countries are decently and classy dressed and they behave well, poorly dressed girls and men are coming out of the clubs in Rio and Bangkok, there are a lot of men dressed as girls and vice versa, and undecent sights on pavements and walkways are not rare.
I don't want to discuss what is moral or immoral, because it, unfortunately, it became a relative thing, I am just offering a comparison between what is a trend in a western and eastern world - he said.
He admits that before leaving for North Korea, he had a different picture of the country and their way of life, mostly due to the stories he had heard from the media.
- However, my stay in that country convinced me in something completely different. People are living decently there, they enjoy many rights, except that political order is such that the freedom of movement within the state itself and outside it is limited, only certain individuals have such privilege.
You will be shocked by the information about their education system, which functions perfectly and their students are very polite and well behaved. I would like to mention a Children's Union Camp in Wonsan, where children have complete sports-recreational contents and, for a moment, you don't even know that you are in North Korea, you would think that you are in some rich country of the world.
At universities and libraries, you can choose one out of a couple of hundred thousand books in various languages that you choose from a computer, and it comes to you by a conveyor belt. Regarding the streets, cities, and subway, hygiene is at an impeccable level, and citizens are working on it besides communal services, they are cleaning by themselves the area or quart where they live and work. Many European cities couldn't boast witch such level of cleanliness - Edin states.
He acknowledges that his family provides full support for everything he does.
- If it wasn't for their support, I surely couldn't stay for months far away from my home and my state. I have to emphasize that it is my luck that my children have already grown up at this moment because it would be harder if they were smaller. Besides parents and children, there is my brother who takes care of the business and children while I am not in Montenegro - said he.
For the past fifteen years, he has been actively traveling, mostly from September to May, and he is rarely in Montenegro for New Year's Eve.
- I chose warmer destinations in the southern hemisphere, while it is winter on the north, so I am on my travels mostly "during summer". There are exceptions and I go to some colder destination, but that is for very short time, I visit them because I love to see something different, since not all attractive destinations are where it is hot, like for example, Iceland, Alaska, Antarctica, Northern Canada, Siberia, Scandinavia, Greenland etc. - he says.
He emphasized that he was never afraid for his safety because he has a very good communication with the local residents.
- I never encountered any inconvenience or discomfort even on most dangerous destinations. I can distinguish several cities where I have been many times and I never had the slightest problems, and those are Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Bogota, San Salvador, Mexico City, Manila, Cape Town or Johannesburg.
To avoid any inconvenience and problems, it is best to be inconspicuously dressed, and not to have any technical items and purses on your person, which are attractive to pickpockets. And if you are carrying any cameras, spare batteries or phones, it is best to pack them in some sports bag and to put in on your shoulder and freely move around the city, without much watching over your shoulder - Edin gives an advice.
He told us how people react when they hear that he comes from Montenegro and from the Balkans.
- That depends on the destination you are staying in. If you are in a third world country, the term Yugoslavia still has its meaning, especially for older generations, which I could see in North Korea, while the best ambassadors of our republics are our athletes for younger generations.
I've noticed that Montenegro is recognizable in the world by football players like Stefan Savic, Stevan Jovetic and other, or Serbia by Novak Djokovic and that is the way they perceive us. A lot fewer people in the world are observing states through their identity - said he.
He points out that he finances his trips on his own, and he talked about the prices.
- I am financing my travels on my own. Just like I said at the beginning of the interview, I have been working since I was twelve. I am staying in very modest accommodations on my trips and I am not spending my money on expensive hotels, luxurious villas, and restaurants. I am not picky about my food.
Moreover, I like to try the local food which is usually not expensive. So my greatest expenses are plane tickets and visits to national parks while I am staying in Africa or certain activities like extreme sports with an airplane, diving with sharks and similar things I like to try - adds Edin.
(Telegraf.co.uk / A.Taskovic / firstname.lastname@example.org)
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