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The Ultimate Travel Challenge

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.

Rules: (1) only the 192 UN member countries (as per start of challenge in 2007) are eligible, (2) a transit at the airport doesn’t count, (3) at least one overnight stay plus some sightseeing, and (4) “midterm target” of 50 countries before we turn 40.

Lately though, with the bigger-than-ever presence of real life (career, family etc), we are made very aware of how idealistic our dream was. We love to travel, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking we’re some kind of intrepid globetrotters! Should we call it off? Should we change the rule? Should we make it “40 by 40”?

 

How am I doing so far?

I’m charting this from the point when I hold my first international passport.

Visited Country Map 2015

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)
2013 – 27 (+ Greece, Indonesia)
2014 – 29 (+ Montenegro, China)
2015 – 31 (+ Denmark, Portugal)
2016 – 33 (+ Bulgaria, Jordan)

 

How about a little continental break-down?

Europe is the best travelled so far, and sadly I have not yet been to Africa nor South America…

Africa
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

Asia (8)
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

Europe (22)
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

South America
Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | Guyana | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay | Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

 

Page last updated: 15 July 2016

6 scribbles & notes

  1. Dante Harker says:

    Hey,

    This is my aim too, I’m at around the 30 countries, mark though a couple of them don’t count under the rule of spending a night – might have to go again :)

    Have fun on your travels.

    Dante

    • Lil says:

      That’s really good going – keep it up! That’s just our arbitrary rules, but I think it works very well. ;)

  2. Joanne D says:

    Wow….you have been to so many places. That makes me feel like ‘katak di bawah tempurung’. I am hoping to finally make a trip to Italy next year, crossing my finger. Good luck in you challenge!

    • Lil says:

      I’m sure you’ve been to plenty of places, just that US is so vast that there’s much to do within the country, and so far from most places that it’s not easy to travel with limited number of paid holidays. I’m lucky, Europe is easy to travel within.

      Italy is wonderful and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you to make a trip over too! (Tack in France as well? ;) )

  3. Sunny says:

    Hi, Lilian
    This is also my goal. Cheers. Glad to see your update thru internet. I am a Chinese girl who went to school in NY, US. I also lived in Australia for several months. Now I am pursing my Ph.D. degree in Europe.
    I am hoping to travel to Nordic someday.
    Wish you do more tips in future and realize your goals !

    Regards,
    Sunny

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