Visited Countries List
With Erik, a good friend of mine, I have a lifetime competition concerning
countries. Whoever visits the most countries wins. We expect to finish equal,
after having visited every country in the world.
The only way to get ahead is to visit a country that will disappear before
the other can visit it. One such country on my list is the German Democratic
Republic, which he hasn't visited, and can now no longer.
Unfortunately he visited Yugoslavia before it broke up, but I didn't.
But it is not all competition as we have met each other, sometimes
traveling together for a while, on all the
continents except Africa and Antarctica.
The countries in bold are countries where I actually lived, worked or studied.
Other countries I visited while traveling. (Check out Erik's
The only European countries not yet visited are:
- Netherlands (longest: 7 years - total: 20 years)
- Estonia (longest: 9 years - total: 10 years)
- France (longest: 7 years - total: 7 years)
- United Kingdom (longest: 2 years - total: 2 years)
- Spain (longest: 2 months - total: 3 months)
- Czech Republic
Transdniestr Republic ²
- Serbia and Montenegro †
- Czechoslovakia †
- San Marino
- East Germany †
- Vatican City
Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Cyprus, Turkish Cyprus ² and Malta.
- Nigeria (longest: 4 years - total: 6 years)
- Chad (longest: 2 years - total: 2 years)
- Ivory Coast
- Gambia New!
- Senegal New!
- United Arab Emirates (longest: 1 month - total: 4 months)
- Japan (longest: 2 months - total: 3.5 months)
- South Korea
- Hong Kong ¹
- Macau ¹
- Sri Lanka
- New Zealand (longest: 2 months - total: 4 months)
- Guatemala (longest: 2 months - total: 4 months)
- United States
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
The only South American countries not yet visited are:
Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana ³.
† Country has ceased to exist since I visited.
¹ Although not officially a country it functions as such.
² Not internationally recognized.
³ Overseas territory.
Obviously such a race is also a cause for a good debate on definitions,
of the term country and visit. A visit has been deemed to be doing a least
one thing after having passed through customs (international stopovers
don't count). But the definition of country has been more tricky, I think
a country is a separate (this is not a synonym for independent) country if
it has some of the following characteristics:
- UN membership (191) or recognized by other countries.
- Its own domain name and ISO 3166-1 code (246)
- Its own government
- Its own territory and border (procedures)
- Its own passports
- Its own currency
So by this definition, Hong Kong under British rule, had its own government,
currency, border and passports. Citizens of Hong Kong even needed a permit
to live in the United Kingdom.
Therefore Hong Kong was clearly not part of Britain and can be seen as a
By contrast many E.U. countries have no border procedures and also use the
same currency, but they are still separate countries.