People often ask me, “So, how many countries have you been to?”
Truth be told, there was a time (not so long ago) when I didn’t have an exact answer. I mean, sure, I could ballpark it – but I’d never actually taken the time to sit down and make a complete list. But after getting the question on a regular basis, I finally sat down a few years ago – world map in hand – to make a list of the countries I’ve visited.
It turned out to be a lot more complicated than I anticipated. Simple question, convoluted answer. For example, does Vatican City count as a separate country? What about Gibraltar or Puerto Rico? And what if I only connect through a country and never leave the airport? That shouldn’t count…or should it?
I needed answers. I wanted my list to be thorough, honest and accurate. So, after doing a little research on the subject, I discovered the Traveler’s Century Club (TCC). The TCC is an exclusive club only for those intrepid travelers who have visited 100 or more countries. And since they take their membership requirements very seriously, they have developed an official list of 320 countries or destinations that are politically, ethnologically or geographically different enough to merit inclusion.
Since TCC’s list is recognized as the world standard on the subject, that’s good enough for me. (If you would like to read more about how they determine country/territory status and what it takes to qualify as a member, complete info can be found here.)
When I did that first count in 2008, according to TCC’s list I was at 63 countries. A few years later, on a summer trip around the Balkans, I visited my 100th country (Bulgaria) and was finally able to apply for membership in the Traveler’s Century Club.
On Round-the-World #8, I visited my 7th and final continent, finally checking Antarctica off my list. On Round-the-World #9, I became a TCC silver member (150 countries) on a visit to Malawi. Today, after 10 trips around the globe, my wanderlust is still in full swing.
On the map below, you can click on a country on the map and it’ll take you to my most recent post on that country.
Perhaps someday I will reach 200 countries, but for now….
Based on TCC’s terms, my current country count is: 176
Select the tabs below to see the list of the countries I’ve traveled to in that region.
[tabs slidertype=”left tabs”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext]Pacific Ocean (16)[/tabtext] [tabtext]North America (4)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Central America (8)[/tabtext] [tabtext]South America (10)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Caribbean (18)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Atlantic Ocean (2)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Europe (52)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Africa (13)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Middle East (7)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Indian Ocean (4)[/tabtext] [tabtext]Asia (30)[/tabtext] [/tabcontainer]
- Cook Islands
- Easter Island
- Fiji Islands
- French Polynesia
- Galapagos Islands
- Hawaiian Islands
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Yap (Micronesia)
- United States
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- San Blas Islands (retired country)
- Antarctica (Argentine/Palmer Peninsula)
- Antarctica (British/South Shetland)
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Leeward Islands, French (St. Martin)
- Puerto Rico
- St. Kitts
- St. Lucia
- St. Maarten
- Turks & Caicos Islands
- Virgin Islands, British (Tortola, Jost Van Dyke)
- Virgin Islands, U.S. (St. John, St. Thomas)
- Canary Islands
- Balearic Islands (Mallorca)
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Cyprus, Republic
- Cyprus, Turkish Fed. State
- Czech Republic
- Dodecanese Is. (Rhodes)
- Ionian Islands (Corfu)
- Northern Ireland (Ulster)
- Turkey (Europe – Istanbul)
- Vatican City
- South Africa
- Abu Dhabi
- China, People’s Republic
- Hainan Island
- Hong Kong
- Indonesia (Java)
- Jeju Island (S. Korea)
- Lesser Sunda Islands (Bali, Indonesia)
- Sabah (Northern Borneo)
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Sulawesi (Celebes, Indonesia)
- Sumatra (Indonesia)
- Taiwan, R.O.C.
- Turkey (Asia – Ankara, Izmir)
Well, that’s it! That’s my current list. Now, what’s YOUR number?