American? Don't go to these countries: Russia, Belarus, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Somalia and more!

My family is from Venezuela and i have not been back to visit for about 20 years now. It pains me not to be able to do so but i’m just not willing to take the risk. My parents on the other hand, especially my mom, have gone back to visit a handful of times over the past few decades with no problems but they do take a lot of precautions to make sure not to stand out. The stuff listed as reasons not to go are all accurate.


Canadian? Don’t go to India!


I want to go (back) to Central Asia, but about half the flights go via Moscow, so that’s out. The other half seem to go via Turkey, which is probably OK, assuming that nothing happens to the plane to make it divert to somewhere unfriendly.

Much though I’d like to go to Nigeria (a mere Level 3 nation), large parts of that are still on my personal no-go list. I guess that if you get kidnapped in Port Harcourt, though, it will only be spirited local entrepreneurs trying to turn an honest profit, rather than hostile governments trying to put diplomatic pressure on the US.

Nice to see that Gabon is still a welcoming Level 1, despite a recent coup.

I note that the Republic of the Congo is a mere Level 2, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo rates a 3. Based on this, my new theory is that you start at Level 1 and go up a level for every occurrence of “Democratic”, “Republic” or “People’s” in your official name. North Korea, aka the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, gets 3 bonus points, taking it all the way to Level 4.

The Kyrgyz Republic and the Czech Republic are either exceptions to this rule or due for an upgrade real soon now.


I’m so sorry.


Pete the Lion didn’t like Africa… too dusty. (skip to 0:47)

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Its certainly a huge bummer, but at least i have some relatives in the US now so i get to see them on occasion. Still i’d love to go back sometime but the situation over there is too sketchy, i still hope that some day it’ll improve.


But it does have that sweet, sweet Libertarian angle going for it…


My wife and I are trans. Our list of countries is much bigger, unfortunately.


Just make sure you don’t accidentially book flights to Switzerland. It won’t be at all what you expect.

Cant Speak Nathan Fillion GIF

You may be on to something here.


I didn’t realize Myanmar was that bad, I thought the trouble was only out in the boonies. I’m also surprised at China (not on the list) being a level 3–I wouldn’t advise a big fish to go there but I didn’t realize it was an issue for the average person.


What about flying over some of these countries? I’m kinda nervous about that.

Dude… there was a fucking genocide happening there…


Thanks for asking - the title is “Trashed Forsaken” and the author is Manko Eponymous. A slightly fictionalized memoir of my Peace Corps experience, with a dash of Heart of Darkness and a few strobes and mirrorballs. Some folks say it’s really quite good.


I’ve been to Iran, and it’s amazing. The history of the joint goes back as long as people have been building stuff.
I’m sure things have changed since I was there, but we had no trouble getting a glass of wine with dinner. It turns out Iranians like a drink, despite what their government says.
I’m not American though.


[leaving aside the glaring omission of the genocide of First Nations Peoples of North America, before and after the U.S. became a nation…]

Countries the U.S. has invaded since 1776:

the list (both “successful” and failed) is very long, but Pakistan appears a lot on it

see also

It’s a dang miracle that U.S.ians can travel anywhere, without serious harm.


I wouldn’t recommend anyone travel to any of those countries from anywhere… even native citizens, if possible.

I have a coworker from Belarus. At this point she’s resigned to the fact that she may never be able to visit her home again. The only way she can see her family is if they also travel and meet up in a safer country that citizens from there can still travel to, like Poland or Serbia.




I know loads of people who have been tourists in Iran. Like, normal people, not adventure seekers. But yeah none of them are American.


I have a good friend from Iran (he got his PhD in chemical engineering here in Japan). I would love to visit some day. I wonder if they would let me in without any trouble if I leave my US passport behind and just enter with my Japanese passport.