Visiting every country in the world

Shortly after sitting in a cafe in Belgrade pondering the break up of Yugoslavia, I had a conversation with Katy from Where I’ve Been.

I had a play with the Where I’ve Been map, which you can see here:

[edit: map feature now closed.]

This map made me think of The Art Of Non Conformity by Chris Guillebeau. He is on a quest to visit every country in the world, and so far he is making good progress into his list.

If I was to visit every country in the world, this is the current situation. I am now 37 years old. The average Australian male lives to 76 years old, which gives me another 39 years. There are currently 193 to 203 countries in the world, depending on who compiled the list. The most agreed amount is 195, and I have visited 41. That means I have 39 years to visit another 154 countries. That makes 3.95 countries per year, so lets round it up to 4.

For the sake of simplifying this illustration I’m not counting territories, which Gary Arndt explains in detail at how many countries have you been to?

As it stands now I have visited 41 countries in 15 years of international travel, making an average of 2.67 countries per year. Doing country counts is a lopsided business though. I have spent an afternoon in Turkey and six months in Switzerland, and they both get one vote.

That 15 years has included slow travel, which stops the country count ticking over. I lived in Ireland for a year, and did most of my travels that year in Ireland rather than dashing around Europe.

I am in Europe at least once a year for business or on travels, and I have always made a point of visiting a new country every year when I am there. Looks like I am going to have to up the ante.


  1. Fascinating post. I like the calculations to break down in a reasonable fashion, how many countries you will have to visit per year in order to achieve your goal. I haven’t visited as many places as you but I am a little younger so many taking your line of thinking now, will give me an edge. Great post.

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