As it reads I choose Suriname as the next country (número 50) and I even included a jaunt to Guyana because why not!
Suriname you may ask, Where the hell is that?
You might then ask, Why? (as I always have a reason for the next adventure…)
Suriname is here in South America, a small, lesser known country wedged between Brazil, Guyana (Next to Venezuela) and French Guyana. It is not in Asia nor Africa and it is nearly 90% Amazon Rainforest and touches the Atlantic Ocean. It was previously a Dutch colony that celebrated independence in 1975. It was first settled in 1651 but discovered as early as 1498 with failed attempts to settle by British, French, Dutch and Spanish early on due to resistance from local Indian tribes.
It´s history started mainly from plantations of Sugar Cane, Cocoa, Coffee, Cotton and followed later by Rice and Aluminum. African Slaves were those who originally inhabited Suriname and some Europeans. Later when slavery ended (which was bullshit since they were then forced into 10 year labor contracts but anyway this is now in the past), contract workers from China, India and Indonesia came to help.
All of this history brings me to the next question, WHY.
First, I have no clue how I even got to 50 countries (there has been more places visited but they are not official countries so…) but whatever I made it and I know for many that seems like a lot but people there are over 190 countries in the world so time to move and explore people!
I was struggling to decide where country No. 50 would be since I didn´t want it to just be any country but something more exotic and interesting. I thought for sure I was headed to Asia (Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines) or Oceania (Tasmania/New Zealand)…I even purchased half of the trip…only to completely change my mind a week later…oops.
Originally I posted on Facebook looking for ideas and one person mentioned Suriname. I had heard of it but knew literally nothing so I started to read about it and what I read was quite intriguing! The more I read the more interested I became, so exotic took a new form for me. It was now more exotic because few people knew anything about Suriname, let alone where it was in the world. I was set, no more Asia, I was going to Suriname. I bought my ticket which had an additional plus….to get there I had to go through Curacao (tiny Dutch island off coast of Venezuela) that I was already interested in visiting…so layover for a few days on a beautiful island, hell yes!
Funny after booking I asked the person who suggested the country for tips….ha ha but turns out they have never even been..lol. So more research took place, something that was definitely not an easy task for a country where few visit, let alone backpackers (yes, I was not interested in tours…though I´d lie if I said I did none…but I´ll explain later). Information on how to get places was super scarce, things to do there seemed to only be tours; expensive tours I might add, but I did find some blogs about Suriname and Guyana, enough to give me an idea. Really though I went with plans only for the first 4 days, aka the first 3 were in Curacao! LOL
Besides that not many have been calling my attention what I read about the culture was amazing. Referring back to the previous question´s response where I mention all those cultures that came to work on the plantations in one way or another is what made Suriname even more exotic. All of these cultures exist there, their food, music, religion, languages, traditions, etc, etc and they live all in harmony together not looking at the past problems nor their differences (as the rest of the world would see them), they are all Surinamese!
I was curious to see this mix, which spoke of churches/temples/synagogues right next to each other or in front of each other…something unheard of anywhere else…or as I might view it from a brand stand point…to have a Nike store next to an Adidas store…generally not what you want. This mix of culture also spoke of food from India, Indonesia, China and Creole mixed….like yumm
Oh and did I mention 90% of it is Amazon Rainforest, hello animals and nature!
So off I went to exotic Suriname with a stint in Guyana and layover in Curacao!
Details about the trip in a separate blog…
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