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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.
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: 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:
- New Mexico
- 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!