Travels Around The World

BACKGROUND

I love to travel
.

It's one of the things that makes me really excited about being alive.

The world is small but so fascinatingly diverse. What an incredible planet we live on!

Perhaps my love of travel has something to do with my parents and my early upbringing. My father is Bangladeshi, my mother is Scottish. I was born in Saudi Arabia before moving to (and growing up in) England. I have since lived in Scotland, Sierra Leone, and Vanuatu.

Whatever the reasons, I'm exceptionally lucky to have been given the opportunity to travel since I was young. I'd like to pay back some of this luck by sharing a few experiences from my travels around the world.

WHAT I'LL BE WRITING ABOUT

I'm documenting each country that I have been to. So far, I've been to 73 countries. For anyone who's interested, my criteria for this previous sentence are the following:

How do I define 'country'? Hey, everyone's entitled to their own methodology on this, right? I have a particular (or should that be 'peculiar'?) interest in how independent, sovereign states function. So on my list, 'countries' are the 193 United Nations Member States, plus 4 extra countries which I consider to be effectively independent and/or sovereign, namely Kosovo, Palestine, Taiwan, and Vatican City. So, that makes 197 countries (only 124 more to go!).

How do I define 'been to'? I take a pretty liberal approach to this one. In my book, I would say I've been to a country if I've spent at least a few hours 'on the ground' there, outside of an airport, and ideally not just metres away from the border. But I don't have to have been to the capital city, say, or have spent a night there, to consider that I've 'been to' a country.

I will be keeping each entry for each country brief, on purpose. Other than the haikus (see below), there isn't a strict theme to each entry, so I may write about the general vibe of a place, or about specific activities that I did there, or about not much at all other than my hazy memories (also see below).

OBVIOUSLY THERE WILL BE HAIKUS TOO, RIGHT?

Obviously! I'm going to write a haiku that somehow describes my feelings towards each country I've been to. Hopefully this will spice things up a bit. But it also allows me to attempt to summarise my thoughts on each country as concisely as possible rather than rambling on.

HAZY MEMORIES

I'll be documenting countries as I go along, chronologically, meaning that the next country I visit will be #74, and so on. Of course, I'll only count my first visit to each country.

For the first 65 countries that I went to, though, I did so before I created this website. So they are backward looking.

I also have very hazy memories of my travels before 2006. Obviously, being born in Saudi Arabia, it's #1. From Russia (#23) onwards, I know the correct chronological order. But #2 to #22 are uncertain - I'll number them using only a rough guesstimate of the order in which I visited them.

COUNTRIES TO WHICH I'VE BEEN

Here's a great map creator, courtesy of www.amcharts.comCountries to which I've been are shaded in light blue.


Here is a list of the 197 countries of the world (using my definition, see above). Countries to which I've been are in bold (and hyperlinked).
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
The Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Botswana
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Chile
China
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Costa Rica
Côte d’Ivoire
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
Gabon
The Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Ghana

Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua

Niger
Nigeria
North Korea
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palau

Palestine
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Rwanda
Samoa
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore

Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
South Sudan
Spain
Sri Lanka
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Sudan
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Tuvalu
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States of America
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vatican City
Venezuela
Vietnam
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe