I was privileged to be able to attend a live interview last night in New York City that involved subjects that interest me most: global travel, global events and international politics. I attended an interview, facilitated by Christiane Amanpour, a CNN International Affairs correspondent, with Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State in the Bill Clinton administration.
Secretary Albright recounted her time as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and then Secretary of State, explaining the decision-making process that went into determining a course of action in such difficult issues as the conflict in Bosnia. She also spoke about her family history, fleeing Czechoslovakia after the Nazis siezed the country in the late 1930s. She recounted her youth during the “golden age” of Czechoslovakia – the time between WWI and WWII, when, with the establishment of the country is 1918 and the adoption of the Constitution of 1920, the country installed a parliamentary system and representative democracy. One of the features of the new constitution was equal rights for all and the protection of national minorities – a concept well ahead of its time.
What interested me most and how it relates to flying north, was the discussion of the flash points in the world and how those flash points affect the people in the regions, and in the same way affect travelers who may be considering traveling to those regions. While Serbia is now fast becoming a hot new travel destination, and Croatia is building its economy on tourism, in the not so distant past these two areas were in or near conflict zones, particularly in regards to regions such as Kosovo.
Today, there are many conflict areas that are of interest to more intrepid travelers. Syria, Egypt, Mali, Yemen, Kashmir, Iran, Libya and Afghanistan are all of high interest to seasoned travelers, but are also mired in conflict, both internal and external. Like the states that comprised the former Yugoslavia, let’s hope these states too will soon be available again for tourism.