I just want to start off by saying, FORGET EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT PAKISTAN!!! Seriously. I can’t tell you how many time I got told before and during this trip “don’t go to Pakistan, Eric. Its dangerous. There are a lot of terrorists there… etc. etc. etc.” Obviously I was a little nervous about riding through here, but once I entered the country it took about an hour for me to completely forget all of the media hype and one-sided BS I’ve heard about Pakistan my entire life.
What changed my mind? Well, we were sitting at an entrance to a national park and there was a family in the vehicle in from of me. As I took off my helmet so I could go pay the entrance fee the family started walking over towards me. The guy walked up to me and without saying anything, handed me his baby and started taking pictures! After the photo session we chatted for a little bit, he and his whole family were very warm and friendly. This first interaction really set the tone for the rest of the ride through. Everyone, and I really do mean EVERYONE I met was this friendly. As a tourist they would always ask if I needed anything or if I felt safe or if there was anything they could do for me. Not once in Pakistan did I feel like I was out of my comfort zone.
Now about the terrain. This is another thing that just blew my mind. The sheer beauty of the mountains in Northern Pakistan took me by surprise. Even when you look at the pictures it looks beautiful. But I’m telling you, they don’t do it justice. There was a contrast in the colors made me keep telling myself “I can’t believe I’m seeing this right now!”
And now I want to reiterate the fact that you need to forget everything you think you know about Pakistan. It’s a beautiful place with beautiful people and you’re really doing a disservice to humanity by holding on the ideas that have been placed in your head since 9/11. You can do the research yourself about terrorist incidents in Pakistan, yes it happens. But seriously, how many school shooting, drug cartel uprisings and murders happen in the US that don’t get near as much attention? I’m telling you, JUST GO!! Stop listening to everyone that says it too dangerous. You’ll be welcomed with open arms and experience their hospitality which is second to none.