Sunday, June 16, 2013

Introducing The Virtual Travelers

Emad Al Sagheer | The Virtual Traveler | Palmyra | Syria
October 2010, Palmyra, Syria

Are you curious about the world around you?
Do you dream about traveling around the world?

I have been dreaming about leaving my nest and travel around the world for years.

I think most of us dream about such journey at some age. Only a few of those dreamers get to realize the dream.
I have been always amazed by the brave ones, those who leaves everything behind in their 20’s (which are few) and start the exploration journey, seeking to have a real life experiences before they commit to their universities and get busy holding on to a career.

The rest of us, we keep pushing and rescheduling, hoping that one day we will get the courage, the time & the budget to finally realize this dream. Some are lucky to start their exploration while they are in their 30’s while they are still young enough for most of the activities included within this journey.
Not to forget the seniors who catch up with their dream while in their 50’s or 60’s.
I’ve seen many of them around my home city, but most of them usually looks for a luxuries short trips to the world ancient cities.

In my point of view, the ultimate trip is to buy a VW Kombi, modify it to be a campervan & equip it with all what you need and drive to where the roads leads you.

The life complicated equation and the relation between (time, money & youth).

  • 15-25 years old; you do have the youth and the time but you don’t have the money.
  • 25-45 years old; you do have the youth and the money but you don’t have time.
  • 45-60 years old; you do have the money and the time but you don’t have the youth.

It’s your call on when you decide to start the exploration journey but you will be missing one of those elements for sure.

As for me, I am caught in the 25-45 period with a few other complicated ties. I committed to a career so early that till now I could only do local trips in Syria and no more than a few regional trips to Lebanon, Jordan & UAE.

We (Syrians) not like other nationalities, we have troubles obtaining visas of many countries like Gulf Countries, Western Europe, Some of Eastern Europe countries which is not in the Schengen Area [see map below], UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada & USA. We also consider South America very far and the cost of reaching that destination is really expensive and could take a huge part of your budget.

Schengen Area EU

The info-graph below present The Walled World - 73% of World's Income, 14% of World's Population vs 27% Income, 86% Population. Walls, fences and high-tech border surveillance are under construction in order to secure the citizens and their high quality of life within this system.

Walled World

Above all that, the current situation in Syria doesn't help at all, I was forced to leave everything -that I have worked for my entire life- behind without the hope of being able to go back anytime soon. Apart from Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon & Jordan, Syrians are now un-welcomed Aliens in many countries, we are facing dramatic changes regarding visa regulations. When applying for a tourist visa every embassy will consider you a potential refuge and they don't want to deal with such developments. For example, the UAE tourist agencies require you to leave a 1000 USD security deposit with them before they can proceed with your visa application, then if you leave the UAE without violating the tourist visa policy you could come back and collect your 1000 USD.

Another example for work permits, the Gulf countries are not accepting Syrian work forces very easily, at first they only accepted Doctors and Engineers but lately if you are applying for a work permit in Dubai mainland it is like if you are applying for a trip to the moon, many complications and barricades are facing us.

Because all of the above and because I am so passionate about the subject, I have decided to start a virtual journey, equipped with my laptop and my internet connection.
A virtual journey like a real journey in everything except that I am not there. Some might call it a trip planning but for me it’s going to be different and I will show you how different through this blog

The journey will be divided into trips which will make it easy for me to research.
I promise you that this virtual journey will be very close to reality as much as possible.

See you on the road.

Originally posted on Monday, August 20, 2012. Updated Sunday. June 16, 2013


  1. Hello... I loved your blog so much, and I share you the same interest. As you I was forced to leave everything behind and flee Syria. Now I'm in Malaysia working. Only Allah knows how hard was it to get there. But I'm so glad to take the risk and the journey. Even though I feel like a stranger for the past year.
    Btw I wonder where are you now?

  2. Thank you, I hope that one day we will be able to go back and build what has been destroyed.
    I am in USA right now and you can notice that from some of the recent posts on the blog.

    May Allah protect you and give you guidance in your journey.

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