What is the challenge?
I have been challenged – to travel 100 countries before one of my friends (either Dave or Miriam) does! It’s not going to be easy since I have the tendency to return to places/ countries I really like – must. go. somewhere. else. With a demanding job, it’s even harder to hop from one country to another freely but I still relish the chance to be the one that beats them to the finishing line ;)
Only the 192 member countries (as per start of challenge in 2007) in the UN list are eligible, and a transit at the airport doesn’t count. We must stay overnight somewhere for at least one night and do some of the sights. And oh, we also have a “midterm target” – 50 countries by the time we hit the sensible age of 40.
How am I doing so far?
I’m charting this from the point when I hold my first international passport.
1998 – 5 (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Ireland, UK-Wales)
1999 – 5 (note UK-England)
2000 – 8 (+ France, Germany, Austria)
2001 – 10 (+ Italy, Spain)
2002 – 10 (no new country travelled)
2003 – 10 (note UK-Northern Ireland)
2004 – 11 (+ Czech Republic)
2005 – 12 (+ Australia)
2006 – 14 (+ Sweden, USA; note UK-Scotland)
2007 – 15 (+ Canada)
2008 – 17 (+ Belgium, Netherlands)
2009 – 17 (no new country travelled)
2010 – 18 (+ UAE)
2011 – 21 (+ Monaco, Luxembourg, Sri Lanka)
2012 – 25 (+ Iceland, Slovenia, Croatia, Switzerland)
Mind, I don’t travel just for the sake of adding country count. Quite often, I’m back to “visited” countries but exploring other cities. Sometimes, same cities even. Afterall, the challenge is not meant to take away the joy of revisiting places.
Where to go next?
This is my sort-of bucket list for these couple of years as indicated. We won’t even try to go into the full list because frankly, with that, I’ll need to hit the lottery jackpot before I could afford the money and time to do absolutely everything unless someone wants to give me a travel sponsorship? There’s no guarantee I would be able to visit all these listed either but hey, a girl can dream… Moreover, now that I’m more likely to travel as part of a duo, it’s not pick-up and go like I would do previously ;)
2013 is most likely going to end up as the year of South-East Asian countries. Frédéric will be visiting Malaysia with me (and meet the whole extended family and all!) and while we are there, we should take advantage of low-cost carrier in the region and perhaps try to visit Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. In between, we have other corners of France to tackle.
In 2014, a big trip to South America will be high on our priority. That’s if Attenborough’s Africa hasn’t manage to convince us that we should put Africa ahead of South America. For now, an itinerary looking along the line of Ecuador – Peru – Bolivia – Chile – Argentina – Paraguay – Brazil sounds good, no? The trouble would more likely be: how to save enough and to get that 2-3 months off work to do this trip?
Why not cross them off?
I shall try to work off the list slowly, and to view things a bit easier, I’m splitting them into the 6 continents (minus Antartica).
Algeria | Angola | Benin | Botswana | Burkina Faso | Burundi | Cameroon | Cape Verde | Central African Republic | Chad | Comoros | Congo, Republic of the | Côte d’Ivoire | Democratic Republic of the Congo | Djibouti | Egypt | Equatorial Guinea | Eritrea | Ethiopia | Gabon | Gambia | Ghana | Guinea | Guinea-Bissau | Kenya | Liberia | Libyan Arab Jamahiriya | Madagascar | Malawi | Mali | Mauritania | Mauritius | Morocco | Mozambique | Lesotho | Namibia | Niger | Nigeria | Rwanda | Sao Tome and Principe | Senegal | Seychelles | Sierra Leone | Somalia | South Africa | Sudan | Swaziland | Togo | Tunisia | Uganda | United Republic of Tanzania | Zambia | Zimbabwe
Afghanistan | Armenia | Azerbaijan | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Bhutan | Brunei Darussalam | Cambodia | China | Democratic People’s Republic of Korea | India | Indonesia | Iran, Islamic Republic of | Iraq | Israel | Japan | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Krygyzstan | Kuwait | Lao People’s Democratic Republic | Lebanon |
Malaysia | Maldives | Mongolia | Myanmar | Nepal | Oman | Pakistan | Philippines | Qatar | Republic of Korea | Russian Federation | Saudi Arabia | Singapore | Sri Lanka | Syrian Arab Republic | Tajikistan | Thailand | Timor-Leste | Turkey | Turkmenistan | United Arab Emirates | Uzbekistan | Vietnam | Yemen
Australasia / Oceania (1)
Australia | Fiji | Kiribati | Marshall Islands | Micronesia, Federated States of | Nauru | New Zealand | Palau | Papua New Guinea | Samoa | Solomon Islands | Tonga | Tuvalu | Vanuatu
Albania | Andorra |
Austria | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Georgia | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Monaco | Montenegro | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Republic of Moldova | Romania | San Marino | Serbia | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | Ukraine | United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland |
North America (2)
Antigua and Barbuda | Bahamas | Barbados | Belize |
Canada | Costa Rica | Cuba | Dominica | Dominican Republic | El Salvador | Grenada | Guatemala | Haiti | Honduras | Jamaica | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama| Saint Kitts and Nevis | Saint Lucia | Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad and Tobago | United States of America
Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Guyana | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay | Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Page last updated: 09 January 2013