The UNESCO Challenge

A traveling mission to discover and appreciate our heritage

132 sites visited in 41 countries and 5 continents...and counting

theunescochallenge

Alright, here I am…again.

But let’s start from the beginning.

My name is Riccardo, I was born near Rome and I have a passion: traveling. Why did I write that I’m here, again? Because several years ago I started to write a blog but, after a while, I got bored with it and deleted everything. Now, after a long time, I’ve realized that I should have been more patient with my previous one so that now it would contain some (hopefully) interesting entry.

In the meantime blogging has become popular, while traveling has always been, therefore blogging about travels isn’t that interesting anymore. There are just too many people doing it.

So why am I here…again?

I’m here again because my vision about traveling, and blogging, has changed drastically in recent times. As I said, I was born in Italy, near Rome, where I spent the first 30 years of my life, traveling around Europe every time I had a chance to leave my regular life behind, in search of something different. In the last few years, though, my life took a great turn. I first moved to Australia and, a few months later, I made a decision that changed my life for good: I moved to Thailand to become a teacher. Beside the great experience of living in a completely different place, another continent even, an exotic country where nothing is what you are used to, these last few years made me realize that I wanna do something that I consider good for humanity, while I pursue my dream to travel the world.

This is where UNESCO come into place. One day, talking to my coworker and good friend Leon, he asked me how many UNESCO World Heritage Sites I had visited in my life. It was posed in a way that sounded pretty much as a challenge. He was challenging me!

After a first quick count, we began a contest with no written rules in order to keep the leadership of the challenge. It sounds like a very silly thing to do. It did sound like that to me too initially, it was just fun for me to constantly hold the leadership. But…

But while doing that, visiting site after site, I noticed how many of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places of extreme interest. Not only as tourist destinations. Both cultural and natural properties inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List represent the best examples of how beautiful our planet and its people are. They all tell stories, they all mean something, they show how incredible humans can be and how stunning nature always is. They are the perfect example of what is good around us. What should be preserved at any cost, what could teach us more and more, what could finally make us all one single entity where differences are understood and, therefore, accepted.

And that’s what I want to do. I don’t just want to make a list of the UNESCO sites I have visited or I will visit, describing what they are (there’s already Google for that). I want to show to as many people as I will be able to reach, how beautiful the world is. How great people are, without distinctions, how majestic nature can be and how the ingenuity of mankind can lead to great things. I want to transmit my passion for this planet, in its entirety, because I strongly believe that the world would be a better place if everyone could see what I constantly see around me.

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So the challenge has changed. The final goal of my UNESCO Challenge is to make the world aware of its value. My travels and this blog will be my little part to help preserve and protect the diversity, the history, the culture, the nature and the beauty of the blue ball we are all sitting on.

I hope my passion is contagious and you will enjoy reading.

Riccardo

theunescochallenge


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