Canever's fascination with unrecognised nations become apparent after visiting Somaliland in 1991. Picture: @saiporai/Instagram
Canever's fascination with unrecognised nations become apparent after visiting Somaliland in 1991. Picture: @saiporai/Instagram

Brazilian author visits 16 countries that don't exist

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jul 9, 2020

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Brazilian author Guilherme Canever had a very peculiar travel bucket list. His aim was to visit 16 unrecognised countries between 2009 and 2014. What makes these countries so interesting is that some don't officially exist.

Canever has now documented his travels in new book "Unrecognized Nations: Travels To Countries That Do Not Exist." His fascination with unrecognised nations become apparent after visiting Somaliland in 1991.

"I was traveling through Africa by land in 2009 and ended up going to Somaliland," he told CNN Travel. "I was shocked when I realised I couldn't use Somali money there. Then I started to understand this was a nation with its own institutions, laws and currency.

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Somaliland . There are a few good tourist attractions in Somaliland, like Las Gell paintings, camel market, gold market, scubadiving at the Gulf of Aden and the ancient town of Zeila. But to tell you the truth, nothing like changing money on the streets, having tea at a local tea house reading the local English written newspaper! Somaliland was the first “Country that do not exist” that I visited. My new book, Unrecognized Natios - travels to the countries that do not exist will be available @ Amazon next Saturday, 4th of July. . 🇧🇷 Existem algumas atrações turísticas interessantes na Somalilandia, como as pinturas rupestres de Las Geel, os mercados de camelo e de ouro, mergulhar no Golfo do Adem e a cidade histórica de Zeila. Mas nada como trocar tinteiro na rua, bater papo na casa de chá local lendo o jornal em inglês da região. A somalilandia foi o primeiro dos “países que não existem” que conheci. A versão em inglês do meu livro “uma viagem pelos países que não existem” fica disponível a partir do dia 4 the julho na Amazon. . #unrecognizednations #paisesquenaoexistem #book

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"But it wasn't recognised by any other country. It felt like I was in a parallel universe."

Canever then began researching other countries in similar positions. He found out that for a country to be recognised as such, it needs to have a permanent population, a defined territory and border controls, and the ability to govern itself independently. It also needs to be officially recognised by the United Nations.

After narrowing his search to 16 regions, Canever started planning his trip.

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🇬🇧 What is a country? the answer might not be that simple. The UN has 193 member States (+2 permanente observers). According to international law, it must have the following characteristics: Permanent population, defined territory, ability to govern independently and have relations with other countries. . But what if these other countries are not UN members? Pic 1 - Abkhazia and South Ossetia Embassies in Tiraspol, Transnistria. . These 3 countries have their past connected to the Soviet Union. You could imagine a bunch of old Russian Lada’s on the street, but there are also @bmw and @mercedesbenz there as well, with the local car plates (pic 2,3,4) . My book “Unrecognized Nations - Travels to countries that do not exist” is now available in English (pic 5) . 🇧🇷 O que é um país? A resposta pode não ser tão simples. Existem 193 países na ONU (+ 2 Observadores permanentes). De acordo com o Direito internacional, para ser um país precisa seguir as seguintes características: Populaçäo permanente, Territorio definido, capacidade de se governar e Relação com outros países. . Mas é se estes outros países não forem membros na ONU? . Foto 1 Embaixada da Abecasia e Ossétia do Sul em Tiraspol, Transnístria. . Estes 3 países tem suas origens s na URSS, mas nem por isto só se encontra velhos Ladas russos na rua. BMW e Mercedes são uma paixão nacional, todos com as devidas placas de seus países. O livro Uma viagem pelos países que não existem agora ganhou uma versão em inglês!

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Canever used global homestay and Couchsurfing while travelling in order to connect with locals and gain a deeper understanding of what it's like to be from a place that's existence is questioned, CNN reported.

"One of the things I liked most about travelling to these [unrecognized] countries is that the interactions with the locals is very unique," he told the publication.

"It doesn't feel like they're providing a service to a tourist. The tourist really becomes part of the community.

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Unrecognized Nations - Travels to countries that do not exist 🇬🇧 I finally got one of my books translated into English. It is about my travels to countries with limited international recognition . . Have you ever heard of South Ossetia, Transnistria or Somaliland? And what about Abkhazia or Nagorno-Karabakh? These are all countries that, despite being independent, are not recognised by the United Nations. In other words, they are currencies with borders, populations, visas, their own currencies, and even their own systems of Government, but that are not among the 193 members of the United Nations. . 🇧🇷 Saiu a versão do meu livro em ingles! Conto com a ajuda de vcs para ajudar a divulgar para amigos estrangeiros. Marquem na publicação ou encaminhem por msg por favor 🙏. . 1- Book cover 2 - Nagorno-Karabakh 3- Somaliland 4 - Abkhazia

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"They open up their houses to you and allow you to take part in activities with them."

Some of the territories Canever visited included South Sudan, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and the Turkish-occupied territory in Cyrus.

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