3 Countries and 9 States to Go Before A Big Birthday

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On my birthday today, I look ahead to next year, milestone birthday that I want to accomplish two of my lifetime travel goals:

  • Visit every country in the world
  • Visit every state in the U.S.

A milestone birthday is an arbitrary thing that carries symbolic weight. I am not chasing any records. I would have to stretch pretty far to make myself a ‘first’. My travel is for myself and what I share with others for them to travel.

Stefan at Tristan da Cunha

3 Countries to Go

For a bit about my international travel, check out my interview on Counting Countries.

I have 3 countries to go (by the 193 United Nations Member States count):

  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Yemen

Turkey: I will take a road trip from Lake Van to Istanbul this October. I have previously transited Turkey and had airport hotel overnights that I do not count as visits.

Syria and Yemen: the tragic situation in both countries, which my own country plays no small part, has made travel to these countries infeasible for me. Wanting to visit is a selfish wish that I rationalize by thinking that if the situation improves such that I can visit, that means good news for the people in those countries.

Non-US passport holders have more options to Syria.

Few except journalists and aid workers have gotten to Yemen beyond the Oman border toe tap used by a number of travelers seeking to be the youngest/fastest of whatever to visit every country. Prior to current hostilities, mainland Yemen and island Socotra have been highlights for many travelers.

If you are interested in travel everywhere, join my Facebook group Every Passport Stamp.

9 U.S. States to Go

I have not previously pushed to complete my U.S. states. I have taken them as they come. Now I want to complete my first visit to all 50 with the coming year.

I just visited Maryland (the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis is superb) and Delaware (I love the license plates in Colonial blue and buff).

Still to go:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia

I will take some road trips in the coming year to visit these in bunches. I have lately gotten interested in the U.S National Parks so will seek out those in the states that have them.

What Will It Mean?

I’m not sure what accomplishing both will mean. It will feel good!

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4 years ago

cool! you are getting there. So whats left on the TCC list?
What got you interested in the parks?

4 years ago

so you are at the very round ‘300’ then?

4 years ago

Happy Birthday! You look great in this picture. I love it!

Mark Rubinstein
Mark Rubinstein
4 years ago

Go to Athens, OH, home to my alma mater, Ohio University – gorgeous setting in the Hocking Hills! And, happy birthday!

4 years ago

Happy Birthday! You have some great states on your list. If you have any free time coming up, October is my favorite time to go to West Virginia. The foliage is superb, particularly around the New River Gorge. On the other side of the state, combining Thomas, Dolly Sods, and Seneca Rocks was my favorite weekend getaway when I was living in Richmond. Arizona is another heavy-hitter on my list. I’ve been many times and still find something new to see on every visit. Lots of fabulous day trips from Phoenix, which makes it logistically easy (although getting further afield… Read more »