Friday, December 30, 2016

How Many Countries (But Who's Counting?) - 2016 Year End Edition

We once ran into a couple on a cruise who were strangely proud of having visited 130 "countries" and realized we never wanted to be "those people." It's more common (and a more difficult question) to be asked about our favorite region, country, or city. Still, people do ask us from time to time.  

For those who ask, and for our own amusement, since early 2009 we've been annually counting up the countries we've visited in the course of our travels. In 2016 we added one new country, Peru, to our list.

Based on the Century Travelers' Club current list of 325 entities (they added one in 2016), we've been in a total of 101 to date. (We had not included Scotland on previous lists so jumped up two from 2015.) You'll notice the following list includes a lot of places that aren't sovereign states, but it's one harmless way to keep score. You'll find further down a list of the 75 sovereign states we've visited:



Pacific Ocean (6/39)
Australia
Fiji Islands
French Polynesia (Tahiti,Tuamotu, Austral, Gambier)
Hawaiian Islands
New Zealand
Tasmania

North America (4/6)
Alaska
Canada
Mexico
U.S. (continental)

Central America (5/7)
Belize (British Honduras)
Costa Rica
Guatemala
Honduras
Panama
 
South America (5/14)
Argentina
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Peru
Uruguay
 
Caribbean (15/30)
Antigua & Deps. (Barbuda, Redonda)
Bahamas
Barbados
Cayman Islands
Dominican Republic
Jamaica
Leeward Islands, French (St. Martin)
Puerto Rico
St. Barts
St. Kitts
St. Lucia
St. Maarten (formerly Netherlands Antilles)
Turks and Caicos Islands
Virgin Islands, U.S. (St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas)
Virgin Islands, British (Tortola, etc.)
 
Atlantic Ocean (6/13)
Azores Islands
Bermuda
Canary Islands
Cape Verde Islands
Iceland
Madeira
 
Europe and Mediterranean (37/67)
Austria
Belgium
Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Minorca)
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
England
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Hungary
Ionian Islands (Corfu, etc.)
Ireland (Eire)
Ireland, Northern (Ulster)
Italy
Liechtenstein 
Luxembourg
Malta
Monaco
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Russia
Sicily

Scotland
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Turkey in Europe (Istanbul)
Vatican City
Wales
Antarctica (0/7)
None

Africa (7/55)
Egypt in Africa
Lesotho
Morocco
Senegal (plane refueling at Dakar - did not formally enter)
South Africa
Swaziland
Zimbabwe
 
Middle East (0/21)
None
 
Indian Ocean (1/14)
The Maldives
 
Asia (14/51)
Cambodia
China, People's Rep.
Hong Kong
India
Japan
Korea, North (DMZ tour only)
Korea, South
Malaysia
Singapore
Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey in Asia
Vietnam

If we restrict our list only to sovereign nations, we've visited 75 of 195 such entities:

Antigua
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Brazil
Cambodia
Canada
Cape Verde
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Egypt
Estonia
Fiji
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Guatemala
Holy See (Vatican City)
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Korea (North) - DMZ tour only
Korea (South)
Lesotho
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Mexico
Monaco
Morocco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Panama

Peru
Poland
Portugal
Russia
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Senegal (plane refueling at Dakar - did not formally enter)
Singapore
Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Vietnam
Zimbabwe 


To look at it yet another way, courtesy of the Visited Countries website, we have visited 85 states (they include some entities such as Caribbean islands that are actually dependencies):



Playing with the statistics (a bit obsessively, don't you think?), we realize we've actually visited a higher percentage of the world's current sovereign states - 38% - than our presence in 34% of the Century Club's entries. But - as we always say about countries and our anniversaries - who's counting?
 
Yes, we’re already looking forward to at least one or two new entries in 2017.

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