from the editor
“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