At this point, "let’s not and say we did," might be the best way to approach a trip to Afghanistan. Not that Afghanistan's incredible mountain ranges, still turquoise lakes and ornate mosques aren’t breathtaking, but the country's been in a state of emergency for 30 years straight. Tourists, and especially American tourists aren’t exempt from violent attacks. If you're still up to the task of experiencing rugged beauty, a nascent modern renaissance and the steeled resilience of the Afghani people, proceed with extreme caution:
Dusty trails to you. There's dust in the wind, dust on the roads, dust coating practically every surface in Afghanistan, so prepare to eat, sleep and breath it. Wear glasses or sunglasses to keep the dust out of your eyes and know your clothes are going to take a beating.
Major buzz kill. The flies in Afghanistan are big, fat and vicious, and they're everywhere. In the winter, they're a bit less ubiquitous, but when it warms up, you’re a fresh juicy piece too tempting for them to ignore.
Be a real Nowhere Man. To avoid the inconvenience of being kidnapped, you might want to look into hiring a professional bodyguard and buying yourself a "camouflage passport," a faux passport "issued" by a non-existent country. They're great gag gifts and can be used to throw off terrorists and abductors, who may be looking to single out a person from a specific nation.
Fashion Advice for the savvy traveler:
The burkah is a women's fashion classic that never goes out of style in Afghanistan, but in Kabul and Herat, women have been adopting the hijab, a less is more approach to head coverage. Western women are wise to follow their lead and wear a headscarf while visiting Afghanistan.
Did you know showing the bottom of the foot is considered rude? Now you do, so put a sock on it.
Invest in a stylish, yet practical bulletproof vest. There are a wide variety of flattering vests on the market that are light, comfortable and capable of stopping most pistol bullets and even some shrapnel. And they look great paired with casual khakis or jeans.