There’s a competitive rule in travel culture that long-term travelers come to realize: All countries are categorized by their coolness. Usually, the more dodgy a place is, the more kudos and bragging rights you get for visiting it.
Europe, for instance, is for beginners. Australia, the US (except Alaska), and New Zealand are Level 2 cool. Level 3 is Southeast Asia — a place for mildly hardcore travelers and avid grasshopper eaters. Africa, meanwhile, stands somewhere on the the same level as Papua New Guinea, remote islands in Indonesia, and unexplored corners of the Pacific.