I think my score is around 16-20. The sleepover rule knocks my score down, removing a lot of places like Bahrain (which for all I know could just be a shopping mall in the desert).
Anomalies: I've visited Madeira, but not mainland Portugal. What of Vatican City?
Also got a few European countries I think I've visited, but can't be sure because either I was too young or they serve beer/wine that is particularly hard on the memory.
I have just order a fancy backpack small enough to be handluggage on any plane...
http://www.gumotex.cz/index.php?typ=GUB&showid=89 (Hope its not those colours though!)
It was just under £200 (around $340)
I read a few stories of guys travelling with them...
Maybe, I have just been ripped off. But it is just fun thinking about where I can fly off to and explore!
And I've just discovered a strange problem caused by these characters '''''''''''''''''' tehe!
Vatican City is a puzzler. If that was counted, I'd be at ten already. :-)
I keep track via Virtual Tourist - here's my map: http://www.virtualtourist.com/m/m/f464/
Gary, I think I've fixed the encoding problems. I can now talk about £'s and ¥ and even €'s without problems. Très bon.
How do you count countries that were different when you visited them? E.g. Yugoslavia before 1989, or East Germany before 1989. The number they are now, or the number they were when you visited them?
I think you get to count the countries as they were when you visited them. So if you visited a town in East Germany twenty years ago and you visited the same town last week, you can say you visited two countries.
On the other hand, if you visited a town in Yugoslavia twenty years ago, you don't get to count it twice just because it's in a different country now. Unless, of course, you go back and visit it again.
Norm, you count Scotland - does it mean for example different US states count separately, too? 8-)
Fair point. If it doesn't have its own country code, it isn't a country, I guess.
Blimey - 32 ! Even I'm surprised by that.
rules interpretation please Norm:-) Does sleeping in a ship for a week, moored alongside a country count? If so it doubles my score!
No, Dave, I don't think visiting on a cruise ship counts.
Wow,I've counted and I'm amazed! I visited 12 countries:Ireland,the UK,The Netherlands,Germany,France,Switzerland,Austria,Hungary,Greece,Italy,Portugal and my home country(Belgium) Now I only have to make sure that I double this number before August,I'll be 22 years old then- uhm...a piece of cake?don't think so:)
BTW, I know the pub 'De Groote Witte Arend'in the centre of Antwerp:it has got a very cosy Italian-like courtyard&classical music playing in the background(sometimes live)and old high wooden chairs and benches.. I used to go there with my mom after I went to the theatre.
34! And still got very itchy feet indeed!
90 by my count (54 years old). I am including the vatican city however I have never spent a night there as I think only priests and nuns are allowed to stay the night.
Hi Norman, I'm an avid country counter. I am at 75 or 76 (must check!). I deliberately go out of my way to visit new countries. I recently drove from Barcelona to Andorra to get that one. I started out by counting a visit as putting both feet on the ground, but I have decided now to include passing through a country on a car/train, but not an aircraft, although landing without disembarking is OK. My friend insists that you must use the toilet! I use the www.travelerscenturyclub.org country list and guidelines. Incidentally Scotland (where I am) counts as a country and/or a nation. As does Northern Ireland, Eire (Ireland), Isle of Man, Jersey, etc. The USA is just one big country. Good luck,
hello just visted scotland and got mugged by a group of boys in hooded tops whilst out site seeing in dundee. i was laughed at by the local police
Oh dear Laura. You ought to have known not to visit Dundee without the aid of a small UN peace keeping force. I was at the cinema there last week to see the new Harry Potter film and there was hardly a soul in the cinema. It was spooky considering the film is a new release. Maybe they had all seen a pirate copy of it already on DVD!
Have people seen http://www.passportstamp.com/ ?!
I've been keeping track of my countries for the last couple of years - I'm at 31 now, which at the age of 30 is not too bad according to your target :-) My target was actually the same, but now I am aiming to visit at least two new countries per year... Easy at first if you live in Europe, but getting increasingly difficult!
Anyway, about the rules (I am quite strict with myself on that too lol) - you can't have the sleeping one night rule because a) some places you can't sleep like Vatican City as was mentioned before and b) sometimes it's just not worth it, especially for the small countries, but you can still see enough in order to justifiably say you've been there. On the other hand, passing through an airport or driving through definitely doesn't count. I had been to Zurich airport millions of times before I counted Switzerland. Anyway, sometimes you don't even officially cross the border inside the airport.
So anyway, my rules are
a) you need to have crossed the border officially,
b) for city states and "small countries" (eg. Vatican, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein and I also count Luxembourg here) it's enough if you spent a considerable part of one day there (at least 6 hours)
c) for any other country you should really sleep one night
d) you need to have experienced a significant element of that country's culture - this can be visiting a landmark or touristic site, eating local food, drinking local beer...
e) UK: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland are all officially separate countries in a union, so each counts separately, which also applies to Channel Islands etc.
f) US: How does it go? "One country, undivided? indivisible?" can't really remember, but this definitely counts as one country, although you can keep track of the individual states separately (I'm on 15 ;-)) Of course places like Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands etc count separately
g) Countries which have changed - my thinking is to count the country which the place you've been to is in now. Otherwise, theoretically assuming you'll ever reach that level, you could theoretically have visited more countries than currently exist in the world, which doesn't make much sense. Also if you're talking parcentages of countries visited, it screws things up. So if you visited East and West Germany when they existed as such, these days it counts as 1 - tough luck ;-) On the other hand, if a country splits into two, you've only visited the country which encompasses the place you've actually been to. So if you visited Ljubljana before the Yugoslav split, you've only visited Slovenia, not all former Yugoslav republics!
h) Some disputed places like Palestine, Western Sahara, Kosovo etc, I would count as well - if it is generally recognised as a separate entity. If and when the dispute is clarified and if that region becomes incorporated into another country, rule g applies
i) Islands: If you've been to Hawaii, you've been to the US; if you've been to Madeira, you've been to Portugal.
j) Countries you can't remember - this is a tough one, but I'm going the technical route and saying if you've been there, it counts. But you should really go back to refresh your memory ;-)
Have I gone over the top? LOL
Anyway... there are some side-competitions I like to engage in, which don't necessarily increase the number of countries visited according to the above rules:
*) As mentioned above, US States visited
*) Maximum number of countries set foot in in one day (mine is 4 - Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany - although I don't think I'll beat that anytime soon)
*) Maximising the number of countries you've visited in the last 10 years (you may need to revisit some of those you visited in the 70s, 80's, 90s.... ;-)
So have fun travelling!
Vis-a-vis the rules and 'just passing through': True, you may be just passing through, like at an airport or on a train, but if you were to suddenly drop dead, your death certificate would list that country as your place of death. So shouldn't that count? (Not to mention getting your passport stamped at border crossings, etc.)
20, not counting "passing through" (which would add 3 more)