Most of the time, headlines about Afghanistan are ringed with tragedy: food shortages, orphaned children, and even executions.
Since the Taliban took full control of the country in 2021, the humanitarian situation there has deteriorated, as economic and diplomatic isolation does little to alleviate strife caused by human rights abuses perpetrated by the country’s new rulers.
Yet daily life goes on.
Now experiencing their first significant pause in conflict for decades, Kabul and other towns continue to bustle with commerce. Shops and restaurants are still open. Battered autos throng the roads. Electricity is in short supply, but generators keep lights on in hotels and the homes of those who can afford them.
And while many outsiders might be under the impression that Afghanistan is sealed off, that isn’t entirely the case. Its airports and border crossings are open – and despite advice from multiple governments to avoid the country, some bold travelers are making trips to see what it’s like.