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Couple Travels to Iraq After Vowing to Visit All 195 Countries — Their Experience Goes Viral (Exclusive)

Hudson and Emily Crider are vlogging their way around the world on a mission to visit every country

<p>Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider</p> Hudson and Emily Crider

Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider

Hudson and Emily Crider
  • Hudson and Emily Crider are traveling to every country in the world — so far, they've visited 179 out of 195 countries total

  • The married couple journeyed to Iraq and documented their visits to historic, holy and ancient sites around the Middle Eastern country

  • Through their videos, the Criders hope to shine a light on the country's welcoming citizens

Globetrotting travelers Hudson and Emily Crider are opening up about their experience in Iraq.

The married content creators are on a mission to explore every country in the world and document their cultural experiences on social media.

The Criders — who have visited 179 countries of the total 195, plus all 50 U.S. states — have posted videos from their time in New Zealand, Japan, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and beyond, but their most recent trip to Iraq has grabbed the attention of millions across Instagram and TikTok.

In a series of over 20 videos, the couple details what it's like to be an American tourist in Iraq, offering travel tips and disproving misconceptions along the way.

One video — which has over 35,000 views on Instagram — opens with several screenshots of comments criticizing Iraq as a travel destination before cutting to footage of Hudson and Emily enjoying their time in the Middle Eastern country.

<p>Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider</p> Hudson and Emily Crider

Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider

Hudson and Emily Crider

“The more we travel, the more we realize that countries are so much more than their governments," the Criders wrote in the caption. “There are incredible people all around the world, and some of the friendliest and most hospitable people we've met are in Iraq.”

(The U.S. State Department has placed Iraq on the highest travel advisory level, warning against American tourism in the country due to safety and security risks.)

Their latest visit marks the Criders' second time in Iraq, and they've vlogged their journeys to the country’s holy sites, marshlands and major cities, like Baghdad, Karbala and Nasiriyah. The full-time travelers tell PEOPLE that the ancient history in Iraq is "on another level."

<p>Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider</p> Hudson and Emily Crider

Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider

Hudson and Emily Crider

“The ‘cradle of civilization’ is based in modern day Iraq," the couple says, detailing how they visited historic Mesopotamian locations like Babylon and Ur. "Being able to walk through history was truly amazing,” they add.

Hudson and Emily's more contemporary excursions granted them an unshakable new perspective on global affairs, especially during a visit to the city of Mosul, which was under ISIS occupation from 2014 to 2017.

<p>Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider</p> Emily Crider

Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider

Emily Crider

“Walking with locals through the destruction of their city as they shared their stories is something we will never forget. Despite all the horrific things they’ve experienced, the people’s joy is incredibly inspiring. This was also one of the most hospitable places we have ever visited. They said tourism is a sign of hope for them," the Criders tell PEOPLE.

The couple says they were met with no shortage of kindness and generosity from the Iraqi people. On multiple occasions, they said vendors offered them goods for free, “just because they wanted us to know we were welcomed in Iraq,” the couple says, adding, “We had to insist on paying!”

<p>Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider</p> Hudson and Emily Crider

Courtesy Hudson and Emily Crider

Hudson and Emily Crider

Their fans and followers' most frequent questions concern safety while traveling in the Middle East. The couple tells PEOPLE they haven’t felt any threats of danger during their trips to Iraq, though they advise interested travelers to book a local guide.

“You can travel to Iraq on your own, but some places are more difficult to reach or to get access to visit,” the Criders share.

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Read the original article on People.