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Around the world before 40

  • Published at 06:32 pm June 14th, 2019

A sneak peek into Randy’s mission in life

Randy Williams is a ‘world traveller’ with a mission to travel to every country before he turns 40. The 123rd country on his list was Bangladesh and it turned out to be one of his favourites.

We got in touch with Randy and here’s what he had to say.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I've been a radio DJ since I was 15 years old. I was really lucky to get such an early start in my career. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had my own nightly show at the commercial radio station in town. I have since worked in Phoenix, Arizona, Los Angeles California, and today, I live and work on the air in San Diego, California. I also host and produce syndicated love songs and dedications show called Sunday Night Slow Jams. It is heard every week on about 200 radio stations in 13 different countries.

When and why you decided you wanted to visit every country? How many countries have you travelled to so far?

I've been to 125 countries out of 193.

I can't remember the exact day or moment where I decided I wanted to visit every country in the world, but it was a culmination of a few different moments in my life. Most importantly, it was when I realized that one actually could physically visit every country in the world. For example, most Americans are under the impression and myth that countries like Iraq, North Korea, and Somalia are impossible to visit. While there are a handful of countries that prove a little more "difficult" to visit, almost every country in the world has a way in. Some are just a little trickier to visit.

How was your journey in Bangladesh?

Candidly, I wasn't looking forward to visiting Bangladesh. A couple of my fellow travellers had told me it was their least favourite, so I'd built up a negative impression in my head before seeing the country myself.

I am happy to report that after only a few hours in Dhaka, Bangladesh earned a spot in my ‘Top 10 Favourite Countries’ list. I absolutely loved it!

What did you like most about Bangladesh?

I loved the energy of Bangladesh! I started my exploration in the centre of the old part of town, at Chawk Bazar. I was blown away at just how many people filled the streets and alleyways of old town and how much work was being done!

All the commerce, the transportation of goods on people's backs, bikes, and carts - all the commotion and pure energy that flowed through every corner of old town. I was also amazed at how so many people were able to flow through the city's intersections without traffic lights.

Dhaka was the most intense and insane city I have ever visited and I loved every moment of it. I also loved how nice people were to me. Complete strangers smiled and talked with me, everywhere I went. No one was unkind. So many new friends!

What was the worst thing for you here? 

Well, the traffic! It was really insane! I couldn't imagine having to get to and from work every day in Dhaka. It must take a lot of patience!

What did your friends tell you exactly that created the negative impression?

As I mentioned, a few of my friends who had travelled here didn't love it. They mentioned the crowding. One of my friends told me she almost died in a bus accident. Bangladesh intimidated me for sure!

You talked about people being friendly. How would you describe the hospitality you experienced? 

The people of Bangladesh are some of my favourite in the world! I was impressed by how many strangers smiled at me, shook my hand, and even asked to take a picture with me. It was so nice to come to a strange land and experience so many people reaching out their hand to me to welcome me. I felt so much love! The people of Dhaka made such an amazing impression on me. I felt like I could walk anywhere and speak to anyone.

Would you recommend Bangladesh to your other traveller friends?

Absolutely!

If you had to pick one country that seemed perfect to you, which one would it be?

I love all the countries. I really love my country because of our freedoms, conveniences, and economy, but our country is not perfect - no one's country is. Every country has its good and bad points. So, while I can't pick one, a few countries I would consider living in are Armenia, Philippines, and Indonesia. I have also lived in Brazil and am very fond of it as well.

Do you plan on coming back here? 

100 percent absolutely! I'm currently on a pretty fast-paced mission to visit all 193 countries in the world. When I finish, I will return to some of my favourites, and Bangladesh is at the top of the list!

To know more about Randy’s travelling experiences, visit - https://www.ramblinrandy.com/