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Though pretty much every travel advisory in the world suggests against traveling to Somalia, there are still fascinating things to learn about this country on the horn of Africa.

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The constantly-at-conflict nation still has 15 million people living there, and life in the capital city of Mogadishu, while no longer “hell,” can teach us all a thing or two about perseverance and adaptation.

In the eastern part of the country you’ll find the coastal beaches of Somaliland (a smidge safer than Somalia), the scenic highlight of the country. Here people surf the days away and, though the economy is poor, it still draws people back. It’s also home to the Laas Geel caves — dwellings from the dawn of civilization — where you’ll find depictions of ancient agriculture on the walls. Though visiting right now might not be advisable, it’s still worth keeping in the back of your mind should things ever settle down.

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