By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: Exploring all the countries of the world was a dream that came true for American traveler Drew Binsky. He left his homeland in 2012 for adventures that go beyond just a vacation for an authentic travel experience. He explored the unseen culture and hidden gems that regular tourists cannot access. Binsky shows people around the globe the hidden beauty of 197 countries. He currently has an online community of over 11 million followers. The 31-year-old traveler grew up in Arizona, and the travel bug hit him when he was studying abroad in Prague.
During his visit to Kuwait, Binsky told Kuwait Times that realizing his dream was the best moment of his life, when he entered his 197th and final country of Saudi Arabia in October 2021, praising Kuwait as a country of hospitality and generosity. "This is my second time in Kuwait. The last time I visited Kuwait was in September, but now that I'm here in August, the weather is totally different. I can hardly breathe when I step outside," he said.
He praised the hospitality of the Kuwaiti people and the country's rich culture and cuisine. "I'm spending time with other Kuwaiti travelers. I enjoy coming here. I like Kuwait more than other Gulf countries that are more commercialized. I like to experience the hospitality in Kuwait, but I should know how to survive the Kuwaiti summer! Later I'm going to experience the diwaniya," Binsky said.
Binsky loves breaking stereotypes by sharing positive stories about people and culture. "After visiting all countries in the world, I want to continue traveling and deliver powerful stories on YouTube, to change the stereotyping of some places that were promoted as unsafe places and that Islam is evil. Americans stereotype Islam because of the media, and I want to change the narrative and show people what is really happening," he told Kuwait Times.
Binsky revealed that he has a passion to visit dangerous countries, where he finds it exciting to be the only tourist. He developed a love for visiting countries that are perceived as dangerous, such as Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Libya and Iran, where he had his best memories. "My favorite countries are Iran, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Philippines and Mexico. I'm planning to visit Czechia, Serbia, Portugal, and later Qatar for the World Cup, and may come back to Kuwait. I will continue traveling to faraway places and build the strongest travel community," he said.
In his message to Kuwait Times' readers, Binsky said: "The best moment happens when you do not have a plan, and you will realize that 99.9 percent of people are very nice and willing to help you out. The media only shares the bad side of countries. I encourage everybody to travel more. Western media does not reflect what is actually happening in these countries."
Binsky moved to South Korea to become an English teacher after he graduated. During his 18 months living in Korea, he started his first travel blog to document his travel experiences around the world. After three years, he grew his blog to 150,000 monthly readers and had around 100,000 social media followers. His blog was named "Hungry Partier" at first, which he then changed to "Drew Binsky". He left Korea in 2015 and started traveling full-time, with the dream to visit every country in the world.