Roobens

old montreal

2 days in Montreal

I had been hearing about Montreal for a long time. People kept saying good things about this city. For quite some time, I was telling myself “One day, I’ll go visit Montreal“. The opportunity finally arrived! After visiting New York, I told myself “Why not also visit Montreal? It’s not far…” All right let’s go! […]

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Racism towards black people in Morocco

“No you cannot stay here, the hotel is fully booked” “But I booked a few days ago, many rooms were available!” “Yeah we can see you have a booking but we made a mistake. Actually there’s not a single room available. You’ll have to go somewhere else“. It never happened to me before, check in […]

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subway new york

How to use the NYC subway

This is when I started traveling that I realized how fast, efficient and clear the subway in Paris (my hometown) is. When traveling elsewhere… It immediately gets more complicated! “How to use the New York subway? How does it work? I don’t understand all the signs…” Those are questions many travelers ask themselves and it’s […]

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Visit to the 9/11 memorial

We all remember what we were doing and where we were when we heard about the September 11th, 2001 attacks. Moreover, in my case, I had the opportunity to see the twin towers with my own eyes in the 1990s… The 9/11 memorial is located exactly where the twin towers were. Underground, there’s also the 9/11 […]

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ellis island new york

Visit to Ellis Island museum

Ellis Island was the entry point the United States for the immigrants coming from all over the world between 1892 and 1954. Most of these immigrants were the Jews persecuted in Europe, looking for a brighter future in the USA. Other immigrants were going to the United States to flee poverty, war, etc. Ellis Island […]

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The black Westerner travel privilege

I wrote several times on this blog what it’s like traveling while black : going through immigration takes longer, the locals stare at you in some areas of the world, locals who want to get a picture with you, people asking about your origins (“where are you really from?”), the ridiculous comparisons with black celebrities… […]

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statue of liberty new york

Visiting New York for the first time

New York is probably the most popular city in the United States. People going to the US usually visit New York. Those who’ve never been in the US first think about the things to do in New York, before potentially going to see other cities. Yes, New York hosts more than 60 million tourists every […]

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skyline chicago

3 days in Chicago

I’ve already been to several US cities, but I was often hearing people say “You have to visit Chicago when you go to the US“. I even heard “Chicago is one of the very few US cities where I can see myself moving in“. I thought about it more and more often, and finally, I […]

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Almost stuck in Italy because of coronavirus

It’s 10:30pm. I’m at the restaurant in Catania, Sicily, in the south of Italy. We’re a big group, about 30 people, the food is delicious, the alcohol is flowing in abundance… We could hear bursts of laughter in the room. The atmosphere is relaxed, we’re having a great time, and damn we eat so well! […]

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3 days in Lisbon

Lisbon is getting more and more popular and honestly, I understand why. The weather is nice, it’s a dynamic city, the food is delicious, there’s a rich cultural and historical heritage, and of course life is not expensive. Moreover, Lisbon is a beautiful city and people are nice. I spent 3 days in Lisbon and […]

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Denied entry at the airport : what to do?

denied entry airport

“We will not let you get in the country, you’re going to take the next flight and go back to where you arrive from!” It never happened in my life before, and I didn’t think it would happen to me one day! I guess there’s a first time for everything! I was denied entry to […]

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Visit to Palawan Island, Philippines

starfish island palawan

Since I didn’t have much time, I had to pick one island I would visit during my stay in the Philippines. After doing my little research, I decided to visit Palawan Island. And to be really honest with you guys, I think I made the right choice. Many people say it’s one of the best islands […]

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Visit to the Taal volcano in the Philippines

Seems like the Taal volcano is spewing ash and might erupt anytime, the first time since 1977. More info here. This article recounts my visit to the Taal volcano BEFORE the potential eruption. While visiting Manila, I kept hearing around me people saying it’s useless to stay there and “You better go elsewhere in the […]

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Places to visit in Manila

manila denied entry airport

For a short time, I hesitated. Should I visit Manila? Indeed, ALL the travelers I met agreed : it’s useless, there’s nothing to do there, there are no places to visit in Manila, etc… Even the travelers coming from Europe to visit the Philippines, usually take a flight to Manila, and right after another one […]

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The nod (when you’re black)

the nod traveling while black

“Can I get a picture with you guys?“, asked a Korean girl. “With who?“, I replied. “With you! And with your friend!” “Which friend??? I’m alone!” “Your friend over there, he’s going away!“, pointing at a black guy. I burst out laughing when she said that! She obviously didn’t know about the nod when you’re a […]

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Visit to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan

achgabat

Turkmenistan, does that sound familiar to you? I’m not sure… And Ashgabat, its capital? Even less familiar I guess. Yes, you can open a new tab and check on Google Maps where this country is on a world map. And honestly, like most people, I didn’t know much about this country, Turkmenistan, one of the […]

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Visit to Shiraz, the city of wine in Iran

chiraz

After Tehran and Isfahan, let’s keep discovering this incredible country, Iran, with my visit to Shiraz, in the south of the country. I heard before that Shiraz is the city in Iran known for its poets, its literature, its gardens… And its wine! Known for its wine!? In a country where importing, selling and consuming […]

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Things to do in Isfahan

khaju bridge ispahan

“Hello! Are you a football player?” This one too, I heard it several times before, but in Ispahan we broke all the records! I was asked this question several times a day! After visiting Tehran, I wanted to see all the beautiful things to do in Isfahan, in the middle of the country. Isfahan means […]

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Things to do in Tehran

mosquee teheran

“You’re going to Iran in August? Are you fucking crazy? You’re gonna die of heat! If I were you, I wouldn’t go… I’d wait a little bit… September or October, it seems better…” I heard those kind of remarks a lot before getting in Tehran (heard this in Chisinau, in Odessa, in Tbilisi…). But I […]

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Things to do in Yerevan

Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral

“So… You’re French?” “Yes” “Why are you coming here, in Armenia?” “For tourism” “You come from France and you want to visit… Armenia!!!???“ “Huh… Yeah I want to visit Yerevan” “All right… Oh I get it, you come here to visit friends who live in Yerevan right?” “No no, I’m traveling by myself… I know […]

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