Nomad Revelations
• Adventure travel blog •

Nomad Revelations is a travel blog written to inspire independent travelers and audacious backpackers through exotic narratives and unexpected traveling ideas.

Welcome to my adventure travel blog about exciting journeys into more than 130 countries across Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North to South America and Oceania. Traveling since 1999. The greatest aspect of traveling is the ability to witness all elements of life come together into a kind of foreshortened timeline. It’s as if we are simultaneously time traveling through our past and future. Secured by its focal present, collectively combining all lessons into our own being at each point in time and in each present moment.

Adventure travel

Djemaa El-Fna Marrakesh – Insanity beyond expectations

Djemaa El-Fna Marrakesh – Insanity beyond expectations

Adventure
Visit Djemaa El-Fna Djemaa El-Fna Marrakesh - Insanity Beyond Expectations Marrakesh is a fascinating city. Founded back in 1071 by...
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Lake Tana, stone castles and holy wars – Ethiopia

Lake Tana, stone castles and holy wars – Ethiopia

Adventure Africa
Visit Lake Tana Lake Tana, Stone Castles and Holy Wars - Ethiopia All along the 16th and 17th centuries, the...
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Cycling the Sahara Desert – Bicycle trip in Morocco

Cycling the Sahara Desert – Bicycle trip in Morocco

Adventure Africa
Cycling in the Sahara Desert Cycling the Sahara Desert - bicycle trip in Morocco Traveling slowly, humbly and with the...
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Chernobyl & Pripyat, Ukraine – Surviving the dead zone

Chernobyl & Pripyat, Ukraine – Surviving the dead zone

Adventure Europe
Visit Chernobyl Chernobyl and Pripyat, Ukraine - Surviving the Dead Zone Chernobyl is an infamous place in Ukraine that got...
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Why is this blog about adventure travel?

While the concept of adventure travel differs from person to person, indeed I do have blog posts about less traveled countries such as Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo, etc. I personally like to explore places that are off the beaten path and that are usually off-limits to normal travelers.

What is the biggest adventure I’ve ever had?

Well, it’s quite difficult to analyze trips after all these years on the road. Many travels I made somehow slipped into oblivion, and only a few still resist time. Back in 2010 while traveling from the newly independent country of South Sudan, I crossed the border to Congo, and furthermore to Uganda. This was a quite harsh trip, where I had encountered not very friendly people with machetes in the middle of the jungle. Finally, I got protection from the Moroccan Blue Helmets, and I crossed the wilderness inside a U.N. heavy-armed Hummer through dangerous areas. I furthermore got Malaria and was in a D.R.C. hospital where I receive treatment for this infamous disease.

Since when I write my travel blog?

I am blogging since 2003! I had my first photography website back in 2001 when I began my photo project called People of the World. I was around the world portraying people from different countries. In 2003, I started sharing my adventure stories and travel photographs on the Internet on a popular travel website that is now extinct. Finally, in 2006 I opened my own domain – this one you are now – and commenced writing more information about the places I had been in since 1999. I first started writing in my native language Portuguese, and in 2010 I decided to open the English equivalent “Nomad Revelations Travel Blog”.

How many countries have I been?

As of December 2019, I have visited 127 UN countries but also about 20 non-recognized countries or autonomous territories spread around the globe. I would have finished all the countries in the world if I wouldn’t repeat my trips and always come back to the places I really like in order to explore in-depth. Mauritania I’ve been 7 times, Uzbekistan 5 times, Turkey 14 times, Iraq 4 times, etc, etc…

How long have I been traveling? How long I was on the road?

I can make an average of 6 months on the road per year. This means, that I’ve spent around 10 years on the road in the last 20 years.

What is the main focus of my travels?

I like to focus on people, history, and nature. I somehow have a preference for dusty and warm countries, so it is fantastic to be able to visit an ancient desert city with friendly people. I like to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites that I now count 329 in total. I love petroglyphs and castles.

What are my top five most preferred countries?

  1. Morocco » A colorful exotic kingdom full of welcoming and positive people, with ancient history and landscape diversity.
  2. Turkey » Historically rich and diverse, amazing food and friendly people.
  3. Portugal » My home country, full of history, great food, humble people and the country in Europe with more heritage per square km.
  4. Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan » This mountain region gets my attention due to the incredible landscapes and a very specific culture.
  5. Brazil » Friendly people, good food, incredibly diverse, the Amazon regions and the Portuguese heritage architecture spread all around its territory.
  6. And a few more? Yes of course: Afghanistan, Sudan, Uzbekistan, and amazing Iran.

Which is my most preferred country for travel and why?

Morocco is my top favorite country to travel to. Although I live and work in Morocco for more than 12 years, every day I feel that I’m on the road. The colors, the smiling people, the rich gastronomy, the breathtaking landscapes and above all is the safety and feeling welcomed by Moroccan people on a daily basis

What is the single best lesson I have learned about the world during my travels?

Traveling means exploring the unknown. I don’t really travel to discover myself since at every stage of my life I knew what I wanted, or the goals I desire to achieve.

I travel to see new things and to meet different people and cultures. Basically, I think I travel to broaden my horizons. That’s it. I get great satisfaction from being on the road, especially when I have a bit of adventure on the go.

During traveling I learned that we all smile, cry, love our family and like to eat, have fun and enjoy life. Travel can truly reinforce and challenge our convictions greater than any experience. We are pushed to the limit in understanding humans.

Motivation

One-week itinerary in southern Thailand: Phuket & Phang Nga

One-week itinerary in southern Thailand: Phuket & Phang Nga

Motivation
Going to Thailand a second time was a bit unexpected, but by invitation of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in...
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Doors of Marrakesh, Morocco – Voyage Through Time

Doors of Marrakesh, Morocco – Voyage Through Time

Motivation Africa
Doors of Marrakesh, Morocco - Voyage Through Time I love doors. When I travel, I have particular interest in doors...
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Monsanto de Idanha-a-Nova – Awe-inspiring Stone Village, Portugal

Monsanto de Idanha-a-Nova – Awe-inspiring Stone Village, Portugal

Motivation Europe
Visit Monsanto Monsanto de Idanha-a-Nova - Awe-inspiring Stone Village, Portugal Monsanto is a unique granite built village in the center-east...
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Tierra del Fuego Travel Guide • Argentina & Chile

Tierra del Fuego Travel Guide • Argentina & Chile

Motivation
Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego Travel Guide Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago that doesn’t look like a group of...
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Van Life

Distance calculator: Find travel road distances between cities

Distance calculator: Find travel road distances between cities

Driving Resources Vanlife
ROAD TRIP DISTANCE CALCULATOR Welcome to my personalized road trip distance calculator. This distance calculator is a useful tool for...
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Van Life Kazakhstan: two-week road trip with a 4×4 camper van

Van Life Kazakhstan: two-week road trip with a 4×4 camper van

Vanlife Asia Driving
Driving a camper van in Kazakhstan Two-week road trip in Kazakhstan with a 4X4 Camper Van Traveling while driving is...
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How to choose and buy a 4X4 camper van – Ideas & advice

How to choose and buy a 4X4 camper van – Ideas & advice

Vanlife
How to Choose and Buy a 4X4 Camper Van - Ideas & Advice My wife and I decided to go...
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Van Life Iraq: one-month road trip with a 4×4 camper van

Van Life Iraq: one-month road trip with a 4×4 camper van

Vanlife Driving
Driving a camper van in Iraq One month road trip in Iraq with a 4X4 Camper Van Ok, I have...
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How long did I spend on the road with a camper van?

I’ve made a few van life trips before. But this last one took me one full year when I drove 35,000 km crossing Russia, Central Asia down to the Middle East in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey.

What type of van did I had?

My van life baby was a 2012 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 CDI 170 HP.

Was it dangerous to drive Tajikistan, Iran and Iraq with a European camper van?

No. I’ve never had any type of dangerous situation during my year on the road with a camper van. I spent 1 month in Tajikistan, 2 months in Iran (a very safe country that I don’t even know why people mix Iraq and Iran together in the same sentence concerning safety), and 1 month in Iraq.

Did I travel alone for one year?

No. I traveled with my wife and 2-year-old son. He turned three years old in Serbia when we were almost finishing our trip in August 2018. He stopped wearing diapers somewhere in Iran.

What happend to your 4×4 Mercedes camper van?

After I came back from my trip, I sold my 4×4 Sprinter. Why? Because I bought it in Poland, and I live in Morocco. Due to different reasons, bringing the truck back home to Ouarzazate was out of the question. I sold my van through the online website Mobile.de. I got more than 90 people interested and I finally sold it to an Austrian guy.

Driving

Motorcycle adventure in Sahara Desert – Morocco

Motorcycle adventure in Sahara Desert – Morocco

Africa Driving
Motorcycle in Sahara Moped in Sahara Desert - Moroccan Motorcycle Adventure NOTE: these pictures were taken 10 years ago with...
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Driving in Russia – Winter road trip – Madness edition

Driving in Russia – Winter road trip – Madness edition

Driving
Driving in Russia Driving in Russia - Winter road trip Madness Edition Russia is the biggest country in the world....
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Driving in Cuba: two week road trip – All you need to know

Driving in Cuba: two week road trip – All you need to know

Driving North America
Driving in Cuba Driving in Cuba - Two Week Road Trip - All you need to know Cuba Road Trip...
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Driving in Iceland: ring road + Westfjords road trip – 15 days

Driving in Iceland: ring road + Westfjords road trip – 15 days

Driving Europe
Driving in Iceland Driving in Iceland - 15 days road trip - Ring Road + Westfjords Iceland Road Trip I...
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Boat travel

550 hours Amazon River boat trip: Brazil, Peru & Ecuador

550 hours Amazon River boat trip: Brazil, Peru & Ecuador

Boat travel Favorite South America
543 hours on Amazon River Boats - Brazil, Peru & Ecuador Have you ever considered crossing the Amazon River by...
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Galapagos Islands Last-Minute cruises – What to know

Galapagos Islands Last-Minute cruises – What to know

Boat travel South America
I spent 16 days in the Galapagos Islands. When I decided to travel to Galapagos, I didn't want to make...
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Antarctica 15-day cruise ship crossing the 66º circle

Antarctica 15-day cruise ship crossing the 66º circle

Antarctica Boat travel
Antarctica Cruise Ship Antarctica Cruise Ship Anyone who’s been bitten by the travel bug and feels adventurous is undoubtedly fascinated...
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Brazilian Amazon river by boat – 70 important travel tips

Brazilian Amazon river by boat – 70 important travel tips

South America Boat travel
Travel Amazon River by Boat Brazilian Amazon River by Boat Traveling the Amazon River by boat is an amazing experience....
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Beautiful places

Visit Antarctica – 20 inspiring places in the 7th Continent

Visit Antarctica – 20 inspiring places in the 7th Continent

Beautiful places Antarctica
Visit Antarctica Visit Antarctica Antarctica is an astounding travel destination, though most people would love to go there but don’t...
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Visit Ras Musandam – The forgotten peninsula Of Oman

Visit Ras Musandam – The forgotten peninsula Of Oman

Beautiful places Asia
Visit Ras Musandam Visit Ras Musandam Musandam is a peninsula in the north of Oman, a small isolated region surrounded...
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Photos that will make you want to visit Saudi Arabia

Photos that will make you want to visit Saudi Arabia

Beautiful places Asia Favorite
Visit Saudi Arabia VISIT SAUDI ARABIA - PHOTOS Lately, people are quite curious and searching for photos of Saudi Arabia....
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Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia

Beautiful old mud-brick villages in Saudi Arabia

Beautiful places Asia
Villages in Saudi Arabia Old Mud-Brick Villages in Saudi Arabia Do you love old mud-brick villages as much as I...
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Resources

Travel insurance – All you need to know

Travel insurance – All you need to know

Resources
Travel Insurance How to Get Travel Insurance Are you thinking about getting travel insurance before traveling? People often ask me...
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How to do laundry while traveling – Step-by-step tips

How to do laundry while traveling – Step-by-step tips

Resources
When we are backpacking, we have limited space, so we have to try to take less clothes. On this page...
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7 important tips on how to plan a trip – Travel planning ideas

7 important tips on how to plan a trip – Travel planning ideas

Resources
How to Plan a Trip - Travel Planning Ideas Traveling requires some planning. Even the most free-spirited wanderer - the...
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Distance calculator: Find travel road distances between cities

Distance calculator: Find travel road distances between cities

Driving Resources Vanlife
ROAD TRIP DISTANCE CALCULATOR Welcome to my personalized road trip distance calculator. This distance calculator is a useful tool for...
Read More

Van Life • 1 year on the road

Two weeks in Saudi Arabia

With a notorious passion for driving, I am emphatic about heading out on the road and traveling. With the ability to decide where to go to and where to stop, I have a full sense of freedom while on the road.

I just came back from a 35.000 km (21.750 mi) road trip with a DIY camper van. Check out this short video of driving the icy mountains of Kyrgyzstan at 3.112 m (10.210 ft)

Saudi Arabia just recently opened its doors to foreign tourism. This unknown country has plenty of natural and historical wonders that will make most adventure travelers anxious to visit.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most photogenic desert countries that I’ve ever visited and is packed with breathtaking photo locations.

Featured destination: Iran

Iran, what else can I say about this amazing country? The blend of welcoming and friendly people, an incredible variety of landscapes, and a vast historical heritage make of the Persian nation, a perfect travel destination. I visited Iran four times and was able to explore the country extensively for four months.

Check out my pages about traveling in Iran

Who is the author of this blog?

JOÃO LEITÃO


My name is João Leitão and I was born in Lisbon – Portugal – back in 1980.

With a degree in Visual Arts, I like adventure travel, photography, and cooking. Human contact and communication are crucial, so interacting with local people during my travels is very important to me as an individual.

Being on the road fits my personality perfectly, and this blog is my way of sharing those experiences with you.

I am a guy who defines himself as curious. Basically, I am a sponge, a kid exploring the world, absorbing new experiences and new encounters daily: architecture, vestiges of the past, religious beliefs, flavors, aromas, languages and dialects, musical expressions.

Although I moved to Morocco back in 2007, so far I also lived in countries such as Finland, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States of America and more recently Brazil, and Poland.

Now I am here to welcome you to my travel blog, where I have gathered useful information and inspiring narratives to motivate you to travel more!

My 52 best travel tips after 20 years of traveling the world

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