Maliha Fairooz stated her first reminiscence of touring was from Bangladesh to London when she was 4 years previous.
“Most youngsters, after they’re on an airplane, they’re crying and throwing tantrums,” she stated. “However not me — I used to be so excited. I bear in mind flying via the clouds, wanting down on the sky and considering ‘I am principally a fowl.'”
She’s simply as excited to journey now, she stated.
Fairooz has traveled to 102 international locations and is greater than midway towards her aim of visiting each nation on this planet.
The Bangladeshi passport solely permits visa-free entry to 40 international locations. As compared, Singaporeans, who maintain the highest passport within the rating, can enter 193 international locations with out a visa.
Fairooz has traveled to 102 international locations and goals to go to nearly as many extra.
That makes touring a lot more durable, with extra purple tape to handle, she stated.
For instance, earlier than Fairooz might apply for a visa to go to Kyrgyzstan, she wanted an official a call for participation from a journey company within the nation. To get the letter, she had to purchase a journey package deal with a Bangladeshi journey agent first.
Then she waited 5 to 6 weeks for her visa to be authorized, she stated.
At 16, Fairooz left Bangladesh together with her mom and lived in numerous components of the world, together with East Africa and the UK. She now resides in Berlin and works for a human rights and democracy non-governmental group.
For her, a significant problem she faces whereas touring is the stereotype that Bangladeshis are unlawful immigrants, she stated, mentioning that international locations with stronger passports are usually wealthier, which provides to the mindset that these vacationers are explorers and adventurers.
There are additionally many challenges that solo feminine vacationers endure, Fairooz stated, nevertheless it will get even worse when one’s nationality is added to it.
Fairooz received a NomadMania Award in October for being so properly traveled regardless of having a passport that opens few doorways.
“I am extraordinarily privileged — when it comes to class, schooling and financially,” she stated. “Regardless of all this stuff, individuals nonetheless see me as a quantity or a statistic.”
Fairooz stated one among her most traumatic experiences whereas touring was being detained in an airport within the African nation of Cape Verde.
Although she had the required visas and paperwork to enter, she stated officers did not let her enter after they noticed her passport. In accordance with her account of the incident, the authorities threatened to deport her to Senegal, the place she had come from, despite the fact that she not had a visa to return.
CNBC reached out to Cape Verde’s tourism authorities however didn’t obtain a response.
“The rationale they gave me was that no person would journey there for simply three or 4 days, despite the fact that they’re only a small island,” she stated.
Maliha Fairooz in Ghana.
Fairooz stated she was detained for 17 hours. Officers lastly let her go after her mom, who works for the United Nations, contacted the U.N. workplace there, she stated.
“They gave me a very tough time,” she added. “I used to be extraordinarily traumatized.”
The nervousness and feeling of being trapped in a cell was a horrifying expertise, Fairooz stated, including that she’s now afraid each time she goes to an airport.
Nevertheless, dangerous experiences have not stopped her from touring.
Fairooz stated she believes her optimistic experiences outweigh the destructive.
“There’s simply a lot magnificence and kindness and generosity on this world, and I really feel so privileged to have been in a position to join with so many individuals from so many locations,” she stated.
Maliha Fairooz in Slovenia.
“I journey when nothing’s occurring in life to make one thing occur in life, and I journey to disconnect from the world,” Fairooz added.
Some individuals get monetary savings to purchase a home or a automobile, however not her.
“I receives a commission higher working as an expat than I might be if I lived in Bangladesh,” she stated. “So no matter cash I make, I spend nearly all of it on journey. And it is the most effective.”
Her recommendation for many who wish to journey the world? Begin someplace.
“The daunting factor we do to ourselves is to set this aim, and from the start this aim is such a terrifying factor,” Fairooz stated. “However begin someplace small — journey inside your nation alone, journey to close by international locations, after which you’ll slowly construct up the braveness to do extra.”
“Encompass your self with individuals who care about you and who additionally consider in your aim,” she added. “That can be what retains you going as properly.”