Travel to Countries That Don’t Exist, the Future of Nation States, Balancing Cross-Cultural Identities, and Why Countries Are Illusions With Eric Czuleger

What is a country?

American journalist and author Eric Czuleger set out to answer that very question with his recent book, You Are Not Here: Travels Through Countries That Don’t Exist, which shares about his year living in only unrecognized nations, such as Iraqi Kurdistan and Kosovo. The goal of this book is to invite readers to ask big questions about what it means to be a citizen of their own nation.

Eric and I talk about his experience and touch on various topics, such as storytelling and the media, culture and identity, geopolitics, his brief stint as an intelligence analyst, and why he had to learn to like the world again. You’ll learn about the future of nation-states, his near-death experience in South Africa, reverse culture shock, expat life in Albania, and so much more. This episode will give you plenty of insights into the importance of storytelling, perception, and following your “peculiar” interests.

Why do you travel? I’d love to hear your reasons, and I hope you’ll share them by sending me an audio message.

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Tune In To Learn:

  • The changing landscape of Albania and the emergence of geo-arbitrage
  • The importance of asking questions and understanding culture when traveling
  • How the stories we tell ourselves shape our worldview and the intersection of personal and national stories
  • The experience of adopting new perspectives and cultural concepts while keeping (or breaking away from) your own
  • His shocking life-or-death experience in South Africa and what that taught him about having the courage to share your story 
  • Geopolitics and the framework of nation-states and independent nations
  • The fascinating people you meet in non-countries and conflict zones
  • Quick tips for traveling in non-countries
  • The greatest shift in his beliefs after having these experiences
  • A thought experiment on global problems and solutions
  • The future of the nation-state matrix and world economics
  • And so much more


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