When Peter Schleifenbaum retired as general manager of Haliburton Forest & Wild Life Reserve a few years ago, he enthusiastically pursued an opportunity to scratch a long standing, metaphorical, “itch.”

Retirement gave him the time and opportunity to travel to exotic, dangerous and inhospitable locations.

Yours Outdoors, which is presenting the story as part of its speaker series, May 10, said Schleifenbaum’s interest, “clearly is not the ‘holiday’ tourism featured in the weekend editions of the daily newspapers. This is small group excursions to some of the most difficult places to get into, and get out of. These expeditions are not booked through a local travel agency, and they don’t come with glossy brochures.”

Schleifenbaum will be talking about visits to North Korea, Eritrea and El Salvador.

“These countries, for a variety of reasons, are some of the least visited nations in the world,” the Speaker Series team said.

“For example, North Korea and Eritrea issue fewer than 10,000 visas per year – some even suggest the number is as low as 5,000. Yet all three countries have a lot to offer to western travellers, if, in the case of North Korea, it is only to experience in-person Orwell’s 1984.

“Eritrea’s capital, Asmara, has some of the best art-deco architecture in the world and El Salvador is probably, Afghanistan and Venezuela notwithstanding, as close as you can get to a failed state with all the consequences,” organizers said.

“Peter Schleifenbaum is an outstanding, passionate public speaker and a very accomplished, expert photographer. For all of those who haven’t been out of the Highlands for so long due to the virus, and who may also harbour a travel ‘itch’, this will be a wonderful way to see and hear about these intriguing and exotic countries from someone who has been there.”

The event takes place at the Fish Hatchery 6712 Gelert Rd., at 7 p.m. May 10. Admission is $15. Reserve your seat by booking online at yoursoutdoors.ca.