New Country Day: Serbia

I arrived in Serbia by train from Hungary, travelling from Szeged to Subotica. It occurred to me when my passport was getting stamped that I can never arrive in Serbia for the first time again.

Being new in a country can only happen about 200 times in your life, give or take the number over a lifetime as unions are formed and regions break away to become new countries.

Serbia Country of Origin Sticker - SRB

Serbia is a prime example of one country becoming many, many times over. In 1991 Serbia was part of Yugoslavia. Since then Yugoslavia gradually split up to become Croatia, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia (which for a while was known as FYR Macedonia), leaving just Serbia and Montenegro in 2003.

In 2006 Montenegro voted to end its union with Serbia and become a separate country, thus adding another nation to the world tally.

In 2008 the region of Kosovo in Southern Serbia declared independence from Serbia, and they too proclaimed themselves a separate country. Here is where your country count gets tricky. Serbia has not recognized Kosovo as an independent country as it counts the region of Kosovo as a historical and integral part of Serbia. Half of the world has recognised Kosovo as an independent country and half of the world hasn’t.

If you are on a quest to visit every country in the world and you ticked off Yugoslavia before 1991, you now have to come back and visit 7 countries, or 8 if you count Kosovo. I will expand on the every country quest in another post. For now though I am savouring that fresh “new country day” feeling.


  1. I’ve never been there, but as an European I know their variegated history.

    Btw: Thanks for following me at Twitter! I can tell you’re a traveller so I ask you right away: Would you like to join us at the Oslo Blog Gathering 2010?

  2. Renny what a fine offer you propose. Truly you are the devil’s advocate. I haven’t planned that far in advance but I will keep the dates in mind.

    I was in Oslo briefly in 2000. I remember the Euro 2000 being on at the time and the bars overflowing with football fans. I would love to go back and see the rest of Norway as well.

    You should give the Oslo Blog gathering a plug at Travel Blog Exchange if you haven’t already.

  3. Enjoy Serbia! I found it a very interesting place, especially coming in as an American right after Kosovo declared Independence. Belgrade is a party city, but I wish I’d seen more outside of their and Novi Sad.

    Also, I love love that new country feeling!


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