PESHAWAR: Visiting 196 countries of the world is a dream for the 34-year old Canadian-born Ian Boudreault and he is just 20 countries away after Pakistan became 176th country he has visited so far during his 15 years as a global tourist.
During his first ever visit to Pakistan Ian also visited Peshawar where he had a chat with The Frontier Post. “Pakistan is a peaceful country and the best aspect about the country is the friendliness of the people here in Pakistan,” Ian said while talking to this scribe.
During his stay in Pakistan, Peshawar was the third city Ian had visited after Lahore and Islamabad. He said he would also be visiting Hunza and Nangaparbat. When asked about what was his perception about Pakistan especially when the foreign media always portray bad image, Ian Boudreault said long ago he banned the newspapers and news channels from his life. “As my personal experience I know what the newspapers and news channels say can be wrong that is why before planning my trip to a country I always do my own research,” the friendly Ian said.
“People in Pakistan are so friendly and I have faced no difficulty in moving around the streets and markets,” Ian said while praising the traditional food of Pakistan. “I have been to India but the food there is mostly for vegetarian people who I am not and that is one of the reason I have developed love with the food in Pakistan,” he said while asking this scribe where he could find the best mutton in town.
He said he would like to visit the country again so that he can go to the cities which he could not visited during his first ever stay in Pakistan.
Informing about his passion to travel he said that at age 17, he worked 2 jobs in a kitchen and in a theater at minimum wage and over 10 hours daily to be able to round up enough money to leave a year later, with a friend of mine, to what would be the very first of his adventures to Western Europe. He said after his first visit outside the country he made his passion a dream and since then he is travelling around the world for almost 15 years with the last twelve years he has been constantly on the road.
He calls himself the first ever digital nomad in the world. “As of 2017, it’s been 15 years that I am a digital nomad and 12 years that I’ve been constantly on the road,” Ian said.
“I set up a small business of web marketing to finance my travels,” he said.
“In 2005, hours after finishing my last exam of my Engineering degree, I set sail on this adventure, and never looked back,” Ian added. He also said that before establishing himself as a digital nomad he had no models in front of him. “With a few blogs and websites I had built and generating small revenue through advertising, I imagined a lifestyle on the road, based on nothing that had been done before,” Mr. Boudreault said.
An interactive map can be found on its website www.thedigitalglobetrotter.com, where you can click on the desired country to obtain information. For each region, a photo gallery is available since the traveler is also passionate about photography.
If there is one thing Ian Boudreault learned after 15 years of traveling around the globe and 176 countries visited, it is that good preparation is the key to a successful journey. The complexity of obtaining visas for certain countries is one of the preparations he has to do before travelling to a certain country.
He said after finishing his dream of visiting 196 countries he would compile his experiences in shape of a book.