Some of us are born, so to speak, with explorer genes in our DNA. For us, life without travel to the world’s far-flung corners is unthinkable. A glow comes over us when we share our stories. We are driven, restless, unquenchably curious. Had we lived centuries ago, the boldest among us might have sailed the uncharted seas with Leif Eriksson, Columbus, Magellan or Cook, or walked the Silk Road with Marco Polo, or across Africa with Henry Stanley. Today, the perils of exploration have greatly shrunk, but we still crave the challenge. “Why would you go to North Korea?” you ask. It’s the call of the remote, the mysterious, the forbidden. It’s an inner force magnificently captured in the lyrics and melodies of Orinoco Flow by the Irish musician Enya.
I don’t have to persuade anyone. If you share this feeling with me, let me take you to North Korea.