from the edi­tor

Let's Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

“Peo­ple travel to faraway places to watch, in fas­ci­na­tion, the kind of peo­ple they ig­nore at home.” Dagob­ert D. Runes (1902 – 1982)

What is it that none of us can travel with­out? What makes us ‘freak out’ if we get to the airport and find we’ve left it at home, and gives us peace of mind when we are trav­el­ling with it? No…NOT our Smart phones, but the good old Kiwi Pass­port of course!

As New Zealan­ders we take it for granted, but in re­al­ity it is a valu­able and much sort af­ter doc­u­ment by many around the globe.

Re­cent up­dates on www.pass­portin­dex.org have the NZ pass­port ranked at 7th (along with our good Com­mon­wealth friends Canada). The rank­ing is cal­cu­lated by the num­ber of coun­tries said pass­port can get you into with­out a Visa. Our to­tal is 153.

The “Best Pass­ports” ac­cord­ing to Pass­port In­dex are Ger­many and Swe­den with a to­tal of 158 coun­tries able to be vis­ited Visa free. Aus­tralia has a rank­ing of 9th with 151 ac­ces­si­ble coun­tries, whilst other top rank­ing coun­tries in­clude Fin­land, France, Switzer­land and Norway.

But spare a thought for gen­uine travellers from the likes of Afghanistan, Pak­istan, Iraq and So­ma­lia (all with only 24 to 31 coun­tries where they don’t need a Visa). Visa forms and queues must make the whole process a night­mare in those coun­tries.

The rank­ings don’t mean they can’t get in to other coun­tries it’s just a re­flec­tion of how lucky we are that we can ‘rock up’ and say “Hi, we’re here to en­joy your coun­try and spend money… can we come in?”

En­joy­ing the va­garies of in­ter­na­tional travel in this is­sue are Rod­er­ick Eime, with his ex­plo­ration of The Mal­dives, along with Shane Boocock’s week-long Samoan so­journ. Cather­ine Mil­ford hits the Big Sky Coun­try of Queens­land and Tim Roxborogh takes care of an item on his own per­sonal bucket list when he walks The Great Wall of China.

Live long and prosper

Gary Dick­son EDI­TOR-IN-CHIEF

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