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"You're from Canada like Bryan Adams," is what I was told more than once the first time I ventured out on an international trip on my own outside of Canada when I was still a teenager — venturing out on a student work abroad program in England, back in the early 1990s.

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"Over there is where the Paris-Dakar Rally used to end," said my guide when I travelled to Lac Retba, Senegal, a couple of years ago (also known as Lac Rose). Many of the local people I spoke to, living along the salt-producing pink lake, were nostalgic about the rally's heyday. I had heard a lot about the mythical Dakar Rally growing up in the late 1970s and '80s. Being there felt a bit surreal.

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Within the last couple of years, I discovered a new café in Jeddah, which has now become my favourite spot in town for the perfectly frothed cortado. The Caffeine Lab is serious about its mission to create the best possible coffee experience. Behind the cozy and stylish coffee shop, the founding team brings years of experience, training and skill in the coffee market.

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Cape Town, colloquially known as South Africa's Mother City, is the country's legislative capital and the main city of the Western Cape province. I first visited Cape Town in 2010, just after the FIFA World Cup. I still have the emblematic vuvuzela plastic monotone horn, which became part of the world's lexicon during the World Cup that year.

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I had planned a two-night stop-over in Johannesburg, South Africa, before Amaria and I headed on to our self-drive adventure in Namibia. It was our second time in Johannesburg. We had already experienced driving to Soweto, sampled the vibrant life there, as well as visited Pretoria the last time; so the idea this time was to explore more of Johannesburg itself.

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The Republic of Namibia is situated in the south-western part of the African continent. Positioned along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s bordered by the Republic of South Africa to the south, by both Angola and Zambia to the north, and Botswana to the east.

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If anybody would have told me back in the summer of 2012, when I first arrived in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that I would one day attend a concert in this country featuring Sean Paul, Mariah Carey and DJ Tiësto, I would not have believed it. 

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No expat experience in Saudi Arabia would be truly complete without venturing out into the desert, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. One of the best and most memorable ways of doing that is by trekking or trail running through the rocky and mountainous parts of the Arabian desert.

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Nearly five years into my experience as an expatriate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I can still point to the historical district of Old Jeddah, known as Al-Balad (translates as “The Town” in Arabic) as one of my all-time favourite travel destinations. Only a few places on earth provides visitors with a genuine feeling of travelling back in time to an authentic by-gone era, unspoiled by modern-day mass tourism. Al-Balad is literally an open-air, living, museum.

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My favorite part of any large city I visit has always been the bohemian neighbourhoods. It’s sacrilegious for me not stop by Soho when in New York City to take in the art galleries, trendy coffee shops and cast-iron architecture. It’s also true that my French-born wife, who has been responsible for passing on to me a true appreciation for artisanal pastries, will always also make sure that we find the perfect pastry shop, serving authentic French chocolate croissants, to accompany a great cappuccino.

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