Ever wonder how your world travels compare to those of other avid world travelers? It’s fun and interesting to find out.
The Travelers’ Century Club has a list of all of the ‘countries’ in the world. Their official list of countries has 320 countries listed as of March 2010. Although some of the countries listed are not actually countries in their own right, they are included on the list because they are removed from the parent country, either geographically, politically, or ethnologically.
Anyone who has visited 100 or more of the places included in their directory is eligible to join the Travelers’ Century Club. The Club has decided that even the shortest visit to a country counts, even if only a port-of-call or a plane fuel stop (although I don’t think that’s nearly enough to qualify as a visit since you can’t even begin to see or understand a country until you have spent at least a little bit of time there, eaten local cuisine, and met some local people – of course I prefer to immerse myself in a place and its culture rather than rush from country to country just so I can say I was there).
I consider myself an avid traveler, having visited all seven continents and even having climbed some of the highest mountains on those continents. However, after printing off the list, I have a renewed respect for travelers who can tick off 100 or more countries – it’s quite a daunting list. As of today, I have visited 29 countries and my wife has visited 30 countries. I guess we have a long way to go until we quality for the Century Club but we’re sure going to have fun trying! As of September of this year, we’ll both be able to tick off another country after our planned trip to Kamchatka in Eastern Russia! Can’t wait.