Sunday, 31 December 2017

Where to visit in 2018

The 2018 recommendations from Lonely Planet (countries and cities) and Rough Guides (destinations) make interesting reading as always, and in fact, I'm able to second a few of those for sure.

As for my own list of where to visit in 2018 - it's hard to start a new year without compiling more than one. Of course I've already planned most of my travels over the next 12 months, leaving room for a little last minute flexibility as well - I'm anticipating the highlight will be India as a return visit is planned (hopefully, if the Taj is uncovered after it's recent clean up).

Rather than share my New Year resolutions, now is a good moment to look back on this time last year, whether or not my plans were ever fulfilled and share a few recommendations.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

How many countries are there?

Most people like to compare or compete in the number of countries they have visited. However, I'm not the competitive type. So, I used to have to sit and count how many countries I had visited, each time someone asked me the question. 

These days I'm not inclined to share my 'number' unless someone particularly cites an interest.

For me it's about the stories. Of course I'm going to tick things off my bucket list just like any other traveller. But the numbers don't mean much on their own. If I revisit a place I can build on an experience or share a view of how it used to be. Who cares whether I've made double figures or the Travelers Century Club; the latter only exists to make money from its members which takes all the fun out of counting in my view.

If we have to talk numbers, what's interesting is the rather complex process in which one has to go through to determine exactly how many countries have been ticked off so far. It seems to change every year, and is dependent on which governmental, academic, or agency organisation is validating the claims.