Where have I been?
So, how many countries have I been to, or visited? It’s not like I am in a sort of competition, but as I enjoy visiting new places, countries add up.
However, it depends how you define a country. There are countries in the world that are not recognised by any other country but ticks all the boxes of statehood–like Somaliland. There are territories–like Taiwan–that are claimed by another country but where the claimant has no power or control. Then there are countries that does not exist any longer, like the Soviet Union, and then there are countries that was part of another country but now are independent, like Kosovo. We have sort of semiautonomous areas that are a part of another country but where there are a movement for independence, like Tibet. And then there are areas that are under certain jurisdiction, but an integrated part of a country–like Svalbard.
According to Wikipedia a country is a region that is identified as a distinct national entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography, in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction.However, most of the countries I have visited only once or twice, but some countries I keep going back to. I have been to Nepal 30 times, to Laos 22, India I have visited 18 times, and Bangladesh 12. Thailand, and in particular Bangkok, is a useful hub when travelling around eastern and southern part of Asia; I have more than 100 stamps entering Thailand. Furthermore I have been eight times to China, have five visits to Myanmar and four to Pakistan. Numerous visits to Greece and the Greek Islands, and as I lived three years in England I have naturally visited many parts of the British Isles – from the Isle of Sky to the Scilly Isles.
EUROPE (32): Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Vatican, Wales.
MIDDLE EAST (7): Iran, Iraq, Israel, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Turkey.
ASIA (19): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.
AFRICA (5): Ethiopia, Morocco, Somalia, South Africa, Tunisia.
PACIFIC (1): Australia.
AMERICAS (2): Canada, USA.
COLLAPSED COUNTRIES (4): Czechoslovakia, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia.
AREAS NOW INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES (4): Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia.
NON-RECOGNISED COUNTRIES (2): Somaliland, Taiwan.
SPECIAL AREAS (4): Hong Kong, Macau, Svalbard, Tibet
I started on the journey all alone
Alone had I resolved to reach my goal
But as I went along people came man after man
And the lonely march became a caravan
Urdu poet Majrooh