Meet the Jewish travel blogger who quickly may have visited each nation
JTA – In 2012, Drew Goldberg spent his junior year in college studying abroad in Prague. It was his second time leaving the United States – another time for the Birth of Freedom, a free trip to Israel for Jewish adults.
A trip to the Czech capital changed life, really. Goldberg spent the next five months separating his studies from traveling, visiting more than 20 countries. He was later connected.
It is now closing in on a goal inspired by the Prague trip – a visit to 193 countries recognized by the United Nations. In a few months, the 28-year-old will do so.
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He was able to do this on the go.
Goldberg, better known as Drew Binsky on the internet, sends videos daily for his travels and earns $ 5,000 to $ 30,000 a month through promotions and sponsorships.
His videos include everything from learning about the situation in North Korea, discussing the competition in South Africa and talking to the Assyrians who had fled their homelands because of the war. Goldberg has 4 million followers on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
It also has two Guinness World Records – visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 24 (12) hours and the fastest packing time (35.59 seconds).
“I haven’t been in one place for more than two weeks in eight years,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a video interview from Manila, where he lives with his Filipino-born girlfriend Deanna.
This spring, Goldberg begins the final leg of its eight-year tour, heading to five countries it has never been to: Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Jamaica and Palau. He will bring in a group of filmmakers and hopes to document the tour.
“It’s surreal,” he said. “I have been working on this goal for eight years.”
Goldberg grew up in a Jewish family in Scottsdale, Arizona. He went to Temple Chai, a Reform church, where he had his own mit mitvava bar.
After graduating with a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Goldberg began teaching English in South Korea. He set up a blog to write about his experiences in Asia in the next 18 months.
Goldberg tries to visit Jewish areas in the countries he visits, and he says travel helps him connect with Judaism. He has visited Jewish areas in Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia and the Philippines.
“I feel very connected to the religion all over the world because I have also entered Jewish homes around the world,” he said.
Although he claims to have been well received as a Jew, it helps to spread it under the name Binsky, his childhood name, which is less likely to be Jewish than Goldberg.
“I think it’s not the worst thing in the world to have an opinion, especially when I go to countries like Syria and Libya and other things,” he said. “It’s not fair to give back Goldberg.”
Goldberg says he enjoys teaching Judaism in areas where there are few Jews.
“Obviously I think I have the opportunity to promote Judaism to Muslims and to people who do not know religion,” he said.
Goldberg often feels safe on the move and says he has not bothered to visit North Korea since he was on a planned trip. However, there have been dangerous times, such as falling asleep to the sound of a bomb falling off a few miles from his hotel in Libya, and missing an hour-long car bombing in Yemen. On a recent trip to Syria, he had to lie that he had visited Israel to enter the country.
“I had to hide all my Israeli videos on my page,” he said.
Goldberg says he doesn’t stop walking as soon as he achieves his goal, but he has also changed his interest in long distances and writing frequently. He also hopes to find a travel show like Anthony Bourdain, a late-night tourist who Goldberg sees as an icon.
“It’s great to get people to go with me and encourage them and educate them about the world,” he said. And I find satisfaction in doing this more than I feel. ”