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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 country list.)

Visited Countries Map

Europe

  1. Netherlands (longest: 7 years - total: 17 years)
  2. France (longest: 7 years - total: 7 years)
  3. Estonia (longest: 9 years - total: 10 years)
  4. United Kingdom (longest: 2 years - total: 2 years)
    Gilbraltar
  5. Spain (longest: 2 months - total: 3 months)
  6. Germany
  7. Poland
  8. Lithuania
  9. Italy
  10. Belgium
  11. Luxemburg
  12. Finland
  13. Switzerland
  14. Austria
  15. Hungary
  16. Czech Republic
  17. Ireland
  18. Portugal
  19. Sweden
  20. Iceland
  21. Slovakia
  22. Bosnia
  23. Slovenia
  24. Russia
  25. Turkey
  26. Greece
  27. Romania
  28. Moldova
    Transdniestr Republic ²
  29. Ukraine
  30. Azerbaijan
  31. Georgia
  32. Armenia
  33. Serbia and Montenegro †
  34. Bulgaria
  35. Albania
  36. Macedonia
  37. Czechoslovakia †
  38. Norway
  39. Latvia
  40. San Marino
  41. Croatia
  42. Denmark
  43. East Germany †
  44. Monaco
  45. Liechtenstein
  46. Vatican City
  47. Belarus
  48. Andorra
    Wonderland ²
The only European countries not yet visited are:
Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Cyprus, Turkish Cyprus ² and Malta.

Africa

  1. Nigeria (longest: 4 years - total: 6 years)
  2. Chad (longest: 2 years - total: 2 years)
  3. Ghana
  4. Ivory Coast
  5. Tunisia
  6. Morocco
  7. Togo
  8. Benin

Asia

  1. Japan (longest: 2 months - total: 3.5 months)
  2. Malaysia
  3. Indonesia
  4. South Korea
  5. Thailand
  6. Singapore
  7. Hong Kong ¹
  8. Macau ¹
  9. Taiwan
  10. China
  11. Laos
  12. Vietnam
  13. Cambodia
  14. Myanmar
  15. Brunei
  16. India
  17. Sri Lanka
  18. Maldives
  19. Bangladesh
  20. Nepal
  21. United Arab Emirates
  22. Oman

Australia-Pacific

  1. New Zealand (longest: 2 months - total: 4 months)
  2. Australia
  3. Fiji

North America

  1. Guatemala (longest: 2 months - total: 4 months)
  2. United States
  3. Mexico
  4. Canada New!
  5. Panama
  6. Nicaragua
  7. Belize
  8. Costa Rica
  9. El Salvador
  10. Honduras

South America

  1. Ecuador
  2. Peru
  3. Bolivia
  4. Chile
  5. Argentina
  6. Uruguay
  7. Brazil
  8. Paraguay
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 separate country. By contrast many E.U. countries have no border procedures and also use the same currency, but they are still separate countries.

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