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But not everyone is willing or able to seek an alternative to their homeland, and those who remain focused on the positives.
Eritrea is a curious mix - from its capital Asmara, where the smell of real macchiato pervades Harnet Avenue, to its incredible port city of Massawa by the Red Sea, one of the oldest in Africa.
Ethiopia's annexation of Eritrea as a province ten years later sparked a 30-year struggle for independence, which ended in 1991 with Eritrean rebels defeating Ethiopian and Ethiopian-backed forces.
Independence was overwhelmingly approved in a 1993 referendum administered by the UN.
Eritrea has since expelled the peacekeepers due to lack of support from the UN in having the border ruling enforced.
Eritrea has been ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world, and sits at 177 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index.
Hopes were high when the new state was born but a new border war with Ethiopia erupted again in 1998 and ended only under UN auspices in December 2000.
Eritrea briefly hosted a UN peacekeeping operation that monitored a 25 km-wide Temporary Security Zone on the border with Ethiopia.
But, it is the Eritrean people who make a lasting impression.
Despite their colonial past and the harsh political climate, Eritreans remain a most hospitable and resilient people.
Summary & Terrorism section – updated information and advice following a review of the way in which the UK government describes the threat from terrorism in travel advice for all countries and territories; there’s no change in the UK government’s assessment of the level of threat from terrorism in Eritrea The FCO advise against all travel within 25km of Eritrea’s border with Ethiopia. See Local travel The FCO advise against all travel within 25km of Eritrea’s border with Djibouti.