With excitement pulsating in every ounce of my body, a wide smile had spread across my face as I came to terms with the fact that I just had the incredible opportunity to talk to famed American travel blogger and YouTube star Drew Binsky whose recent adventures in Pakistan are serving major travelling inspiration to the youth across the world.
An acclaimed travel content producer, Drew is an eminent YouTube personality who enjoys a massive fan following that transcends borders and spans across territories.
At 27, he has been to a record-breaking 162 countries across the globe, after taking on the baton of shattering stereotypes and pre-conceived notions regarding places that are deemed as relatively unsafe, as part of his journey to visit every country in the world.
Not just this, by visiting and exploring the unseen parts of these states, Drew aims to highlight the image about this side of the world that does not currently persist in the media.
So he knew he had to visit Pakistan, even if that meant trying to obtain a visa for five years, and I knew that I had to interview him.
During an exclusive chat with The News, Drew revealed what his favourite thing about Pakistan is.
"The people, of course! Everyone here is so warm and welcoming that it's amazing. So far I haven't even spent any money because nobody lets me. Not only my friends but street vendors and other people too."
He added, "Pakistan has already become one of my favourite countries in the world after only a week. There's nothing about the country that I dislike so far."
Taking him back in time, I next ask him about the moment the incredible idea of embarking on such a distinct mission strike him.
"Studying abroad in Prague, Czech Republic in 2012, is where I got the travel bug and teaching English in Korea is when I started my blog. When I left Korea it just started growing and then I picked up a video camera a few years ago, started posting videos daily. Now I have almost a billion views and over 3 million followers on social media," he shared.
Harbouring his lifelong passion to travel and explore every country in the world by 2020 since he was a kid, Drew went on to list his top three countries.
"Philippines, Vietnam and Iran are definitely my favourite countries, and so far Pakistan is encroaching on that list," Drew said with a chuckle.
However, what is more intriguing is that Drew's favourite city in Pakistan is Lahore.
"I like the history of the old town in Lahore, it's such a magical place. If there's one thing about Pakistan that I would want the US to have is its amazing history, most of which is saturated in the city of Lahore. Also, the architecture is astounding too!" he said further.
Talking about the future prospects of the country in terms of tourism, the travel blogger went on to state how Pakistan is an untapped market for tourism to unlock a lot of cultural value.
"We recently had a meet and greet during our stay in Karachi and it is one of the most memorable experiences I've had here. Primarily because it was kind of revolutionary, over 250 people came to meet me and my girlfriend Deanna. Also not many content creators or bloggers have been able to come over here and make content about Pakistan because it has been mostly closed to tourists in a general sense. So for us, it was very special to come here before the wave of tourists come in the near future."
Drew's incredible expedition in Pakistan, he adds, starting from the serene shores in Karachi, will take him as far as the scenic valley of Kashmir.
In the end, of course, I had to ask Drew my favourite question to ask any tourist.
"Out of 15, how much would you rate Pakistan?" I inquire.
"Oh, definitely a 500! After receiving so much love and warmth here I can safely assert that the hospitality in Pakistanis here inarguably stands out from everything else."
Meanwhile, the Pakistani government has been investing in foreign travellers heavily of late in a bid to open the country's doors to the rest of the world. For the purpose, the country will be hosting a tourism summit next month to encourage the exchange of people from world over.