DJEDDAH: “October 29, 2021 at 1:31 am – I crossed the border with Saudi Arabia, my 197th and LAST country! After 10 years traveling the world, American travel blogger Drew Binsky has successfully reached his finish line in the Kingdom, posting the above words on his Facebook account.
Landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Binsky, from Arizona, posted his latest travel vlog on his social media platforms, saying, “I have finally arrived in every country in the world.”
His decade-long journey began as he spent a semester abroad in Prague, visiting 20 European countries. Years later and while working as an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, he decided to take it one step further.
Global traveler and content creator, Binsky has visited 197 countries and told stories about their people and cultures to his online community of 9 million subscribers through his vlog. It has over 4 billion video views.
Saving the best for last, he was greeted by a crowd of cheering supporters at the Gathering Café in the heart of Jeddah.
“It was incredible. The kindness from foreigners and the support from everyone has been incredible, ”he told his Saudi and expatriate followers, who waited hours to meet him.
After touring the world, Binsky told his fans he was happy to be in Saudi Arabia: “I wanted to wrap up my trip to Saudi Arabia because I heard so much about it and I knew it was changing. so fast. So far I haven’t seen it all, but I can’t wait to see other parts of the country during my two week stay here.
On his first visit to Saudi Arabia, Binsky spent two days in Jeddah, exploring the city and sharing his experiences with his supporters.
When asked by a young Saudi Arabian about his first impression of Saudi Arabia, Binsky replied that he had “only received warm hospitality (and) amazing food” and that he “really enjoyed” his stay.
He told the crowded meeting room that he was eager to explore the Kingdom’s tourist attractions and that he planned to visit northern and southern Saudi Arabia, in addition to Riyadh and AlUla.
Speaking to Arab News on why he chose Saudi Arabia as his last destination, Binsky explained, “Two years ago I had 30 countries left on my trip. I looked at the map and thought to myself that I really like the hospitality of the Middle East and the culture of the Islamic world. So I thought Saudi Arabia should be my last destination as it is the homeland of Islam and as far as I know it is the most powerful country in the region. It is also the country that most people in my part of the world do not know much about. “
He also expressed his admiration for the developments in the Kingdom: “I believe the coming years will hold a bright future for the country, and I expect Saudi Arabia to be different because I see the government. working hard to make it a tourist hub. In my opinion, there is certainly potential.
He told Arab News he wanted to inspire people to travel, introduce them to new places and cultures, and break stereotypes. “I like to discover cultures, meet people and show their side of history. “
The American traveler always thought her life would be somewhat traditional: graduating from college, finding a job in a company, getting married and having children.
“I decided to move to South Korea to teach English because as an American who grew up in Arizona, I knew little about life and cultures outside of the United States.”
While teaching English in Asia, the 29-year-old traveled to North Korea in 2012, where he documented life there in his videos, which have been viewed by 10 million people. on his Snapchat account.
It was when his girlfriend bought him a DSLR camera that he decided to travel all over the world and document his trip on social media, becoming a full-time traveler.
While initially traveling on a budget, Binsky explained that travel vlogging has become very lucrative for him in recent years.
The blogger found sponsors and used the profits to continue his travels.
When the pandemic took the world by surprise, Binsky saw it as an opportunity to enjoy the trip rather than rushing to the finish line.
“I continued, albeit slowly. It was really crazy and hard to deal with for a while, but I consider myself lucky, ”he said.
When asked what would happen after his visit to Saudi Arabia, Binsky said, “I want to keep traveling. I want to keep creating content on a bigger and better scale, which means involving a bigger team and creating better productions. And I really want to develop the community so that I can continue to educate and inspire through my videos.