How Many Countries Have You Visited?

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.

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About Mike

I have a passion for adventure travel that began in 1989 with my first overseas trip: climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Having never been to a foreign country, Africa felt like being on another planet; I knew then and there I was hooked on travel. Since that time, I have visited all seven continents and dozens of countries. I’m using the experience I’ve gained in planning my own trips to help my clients plan their own adventures through my adventure travel company (http://www.offtrailtravel.com). After working as a firefighter for the US Forest Service in California and Wyoming for three years, I moved to Durango, Colorado where I graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in accounting. After graduation I moved to the Denver area where I worked in a Big Eight accounting firm to obtain my CPA license; soon afterward I began a career as an auditor with the Colorado Department of Education. My background in accounting helped me develop detailed-oriented skills that have been extremely useful in researching and planning my own travel over the years. I think this provides a unique asset to my clients in putting together their adventure travel plans. I currently live in Golden, Colorado with my wife Valerie, who shares my love of adventure travel. I’m an active member of the Colorado Mountain Club where I lead trips for club members and have taught ski lessons in their Telemark Ski School. I enjoy skiing, mountain hiking, trail running, photography, and astronomy. I take any opportunity I can get to explore new places, whether it’s on the other side of the world or just down the road.
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