Butt Naked Passport? Five Places To Go For First Time Travelers

My strong, Anne Frank-like belief in the goodness of people makes leads me to believe every city in every country in the world is a safe place to go for everyone, but after hearing many stories, that may not be true. So here I am with this list of places to go for you folks with a naked passport to get your feet wet.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Oddly enough, I used to talk trash about people who considered going to Canada “traveling.” Then I went to Montreal, and magically, my mind was set on it being one of the greatest places on earth. It’s close enough to home for you folks who may need to run back early, and far enough to feel like you’ve gone away. French is everywhere, but most people also speak English if you’re too lazy to learn conversational sentences. Go!

London, UK

Everything you love about NYC, you’ll find in London. The people, the diversity, the language barriers (LOL), the partying, the food, the getting home at 5am, and the creativity! Getting around the city is extremely easy on the Tube, and if you have great shoes, you can even walk safely through neighborhoods. Guns are scarce, so you don’t have to worry about a kid jumping out of a van on you near Buckingham Palace. And it’s a hub to get anywhere else in Europe, and maybe Africa, for the LOW.

Barcelona, Spain

Oh what a time! The architecture was amazing, the Mediterranean Sea popped up out of nowhere, we weren’t robbed by the girls who hang out in groups of three, and the views were spectacular. This place rocks! The public transpo is great, but the walking is better because you get to take photos of those vintage streets with clothes hanging on a rope and a woman watering her plants. Take a walk by the markets at 6am and grab a bag of warm pastries before figuring out the rest of your day.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

My favorite little city in all of the world! Never have I been around such amazement! Outside of the canals and views, and just the overall vibe, I felt completely safe. The open mindedness of the folks, the “hello” from the Politie, and the fast food even tastes better. The locals were throwing themselves at me to give me a proper tour, showing me what 99% of tourists miss. All I did was say “howdy.” Please go! Give the folks a kiss for me.

Marrakech, Morocco

What a welcome I received! From the shop owners to the chefs and the hostel hosts, this place was amazingly warm and welcoming. Though the inside of the Medina at night is as dark as the other side of the moon, I felt absolutely safe and carefree. Finding genuine characters like my new friend, Marwan, was dope because he disproved all the hecklers on the travel rating sites who said the folks in the town are only helping for money. I was welcomed into homes, offered foods I never knew existed, shown the work that goes into creating the lights and spices and smells we carry back home to share, and it was all so amazing.

Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.


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