Nauru

Country #68

A rock in the sea,
Much better than expected,
But also quite strange.

Nauru is quite a strange country - and also a little strange that it's a country in the first place, being so small and right in the middle of a giant ocean. But, I have to say, it was much nicer than I was expecting. The view of the country as you fly in by plane is quite something, as well.

I was there for a week on a work trip in 2015. Much of the island is actually very pleasant to drive around, with some nice views from up on 'topside', and a good road which takes you around the island in 20 minutes or so. Nauru was a bit more lively than I was expecting, though it helped to have Nauruans to show me around a bit. There are even a couple of cool restaurants, with the Persian one being a must-visit.

The other fascinating thing about Nauru is the demographic situation - by which I mean the immigrant population living alongside the local Nauruan population. Whilst it is something of a crazy 'experiment', it has thus far produced some interesting results from the perspective of a visitor. It feels surreal to be so far away from the rest of the world on a tiny island, yet alongside Nauruans, Iraqis, Somalis, Pakistanis, and more. While Nauru will never be a tourist hotspot - not least because it's not easy or cheap to get to - I feel lucky to have been to this unusual place which most of the world has never heard of.