10 Countries to Go (That’s 183 So Far)

Today I departed Tuvalu,, airport code FUN, and my #183 country by UN member state count. Out of 193, that’s leaves 10 to visit.

Funafuti Airport

There are many lists that expand on the UN. I am partial to the Travelers Century Club list where I have visited 271 of 325 countries (think Vatican, Kosovo, Taiwan and keep adding). However, we all come back to the UN as the definitive qualifier of a country.

Tomorrow I fly to New Zealand for a few days, a country I have transited overnight but not counted until I have a visit I deem proper. Similar situation for me for Italy and Turkey. Then back to the US via Cook Islands (territory, not UN member).

My next big trip will likely wait till the fall. I need to reload professionally and financially. This work gap has allowed me to complete the UN countries of Africa and the Pacific, a goal that would have been many years off by regular travel rates on limited US company vacation time.

My remaining 10:

  1. Greece
  2. Italy
  3. San Marino
  4. Malta
  5. Monaco
  6. Turkey
  7. Syria
  8. Yemen
  9. Seychelles
  10. New Zealand (en route)

1-6 are easy enough to reach. 7-8, the ongoing suffering of their people means they are on the watch list that I fervently hope there is a time not far away when they can have peace and begin to rebuild their lives, their economy, and eventually signs of good times such as welcoming tourists. 9 is a matter of when I can combine with a visit to TCC territory Zil Elwannyen Sesel (Outer Seychelles), where options are few and pricey: the only two islands open to the public are Desroches, which is closed for conversion to a Four Seasons ,and Alphonse, which has a limited fishing season each year and is mega-pricey.

Still, it is worth thinking about the final one.

My friend Jason Around the World has saved Iceland for his final stop this September for a bash to bring out family and friends.

The symbolism of drawing to a close where Western Civilization began, Greece, is appealing, though I may not hold out as time drags on Syria and Yemen.

Monaco and San Marino seem too puny.

Malta might be the ticket.

Readers, what will be a fitting #193?

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  • brteacher

    By the time you are able visit most of Syria, it will be more than one country. I would think that visiting Rojava (Kurdish Syria) wouldn’t be too hard, though. As for Yemen, I would love to visit Socotra island someday.

  • Although Monaco is small, I still found it impressive. Maybe try to plan Monaco for when the Yacht Show is going on in late September. I went a couple years ago and then hopped up to Munich for the last week of Oktoberfest!

  • Just shocked you have not visited Greece yet!

  • Cj

    Awesome -I’m 83 countries and thought I was doing good lol – that’s amazing and I think with those 10 left I would save Seychelles for last – it’s a special place I’m told -wish you happy travels and thanks for paving the road

  • Julie

    Wow! I’ve visited 3 countries….including the one I’m currently living in…how sad is that? I read these travel blogs to live vicariously and dream of the day when I can travel myself…

  • bluecat

    Many kids in my son’s high school class have never been on a plane. If that doesn’t make you feel rich, I don’t know what will.

  • @Julie – we all have our start, I hope you find ways to travel that are rewarding to you.

  • @bluecat – I have tried more and more, every time I want to get frustrated at some inconvenience on the road, to remind myself at my good fortune and express that back to the world, as well as look for ways to make better social contribution. It is so berating at home and abroad what so many in this world face from day one.

  • @Cj – maybe then Seychelles it will be. 83 is a great accomplishment, until we start adding them we don’t realize how much of a challenge it becomes.

  • @TravelBloggerBuzz – oh Oracle of Eyebrows, if not the first then surely the last, for how can it be one indistinct of a batch?

  • @Peter – great tip and timing late September is just when I am willing to go out to Europe again, as I avoid June-August crowds and heat.

  • @brteacher – I have not studied Syria access in depth, perhaps I shouldn’t my ring finger is buzzing. I check in with the local travel guru on Socotra from time to time, peaceful there but still Saudi no-fly, I regret not taking the Dubai weekly flights a few years ago since it is high on my list, unlike mainland Yemen as the Gulf states have been my least favorite in travel.

  • John

    You will enjoy Malta. A lot of historical sites. Unfortunely, I was sick in Malta and did not see as much as O usually do…

  • Schelling

    Very impressive. Particularly since many of the 10 countries are readily accessible. I think Kurdish Syria might be easier than Yemen in the future. I’m at 165 and struggling with some African countries, planned on S. Sudan this winter but recent trouble may make that impossible. You bring up a very interesting question of what constitutes a visit. I like your definition, mine has always been to do something meaningful (to me). Landing at an airport is not,
    Country counting, and counters an be a bit obsessive, important to smell the roses along the way. On my visit to San Marino I discovered Rimini, Italy which I have returned to several times and will continue to because I enjoy it so much.
    Good Luck!

  • Shannon

    I can’t decide to adore you more or Jason! Both are full of free spirit. But Jason is built like a tank and probably a little too huge and intimidating in my book.
    While making so closed to the whole world listing, will you make a listing of each country you have visited and add a short description of you impression like this one did…
    https://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/travels/

  • @Shannon – and both from Minnesota!

  • @Schelling – I will email you a South Sudan contact who is great and took care if visa in arrival letters for me and subsequent friends. She is a sensible monitor of the situation from her perch in Juba.

    I don’t get into the competitive travel approach. My criteria is similar to you, it needs to be a visit where I do something meaningful, though I try to visit in a way that see what I want to see so that I don’t feel I must return (in contrast to wanting to return). Some visits long, some short, with that approach. Africa as a whole had many of my favorite experiences though a big relief to have now been to all. For TCC purposes I have not been to Tanganyika which am saving for a trip with friends for the tropical Northern Circuit and also west for chimp tracking.

  • Shannon

    @RTC only hope you could as diligent to write your trip as your fellow Mr. Jason

  • @Shannon – the twist of the knife!

  • What an amazing accomplishment! We loved Malta and I think it would be a fitting final destination since it has some of the oldest manmade structures in the world. Gozo would also probably count for one of the other lists.

    If you have some sort of celebratory meet-up, I’d be interested in attending if scheduling worked out. For that, my pick would be Greece since I haven’t been. (Haven’t been to half of your remaining list for that matter…)

  • Whichever you choose for your last, count me in!

    I’d still like a more proper visit to Yemen and Syria, so when you’re ready let me know. DanielW did an amazing Syria trip recently and would be happy to supply us with details I’m sure. You’re welcome in iceland, btw…