So, 122 countries visited now, 3 more booked, and that makes 125 of the 194 countries planned. Less than 70 to go now, and I’m starting to think of strategies and timelines to the end.
They get much harder from here, especially since lots of them are in Africa and not easy to visit multiples on one trip. I’ll be strategic about it, but I figure another 5-7 years to get the last countries checked off. With that said, I’m starting to think about how I want to end this quest. I know I don’t want to end in some random hard-to-get-to African country like Guinea-Bissau, where it would be me, some surly immigration official, and that’s all. I want the end of the quest to be a bit more memorable. That said, my thinking is…
Iceland. It’s the easiest country I have left to visit from the east coast of the U.S. and Canada, and has enough to see to make a three to four day weekend for people. Would be a great place to encourage friends and family to join me to celebrate finally getting to every country. Who knows, if it was planned right we might even get enough folks to charter a plane and make it a round-trip weekend long party! Yes, this is me giving everyone notice!
Of course, now that I’ve said this, the worst will likely happen: I’ll be on a transatlantic flight with some sort of emergency, and we’ll make a diversion to Iceland and I’ll unintentionally check it off. While I like to make a rule of “1 night, 1 attraction, 1 meal,” the official rule is being in country counts, so I’d have to check it off. I will have to keep a backup plan in the books, and I’m thinking the Bahamas might be a suitable alternative from what I have left.
Who’s in? Start planning a grand party between 2017 and 2020!
You could finish at Machu Picchu. Or in Havana.
You’ve got a lot of Africa left. I’m at 98, planning to hit Guinea Bissau in May.
Yeah, Africa and Central Asia are my big weaknesses for now. Focusing for the balance of 2012 of the stuff I can do in short trips (Caribbean and South America) and will use 2013 for a couple africa trips, and hopefully a 2-week central Asia adventure.
Where did/are you getting your Guinea-Bissau visa?
I’ve heard that you may be able to get it on arrival at the airport now. But I’m planning to fly into Dakar and then go by land through the Gambia, back into southern Senegal, and get the visa on the spot at the consulate in Ziguinchor. That’s what a lot of people seem to do.
I’m going to try to hit Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Niger as well. My flight leaves Africa from Niamey, Niger late at night so I’ll just overland it from Ouagadougou that morning, arrive in Niamey in the evening, then go straight to airport and fly out.
Thanks – please let me know details once you work it out….those are all still on my list, and would love some advice on how to hit up that part of the world.
OK, I may PM you on flyertalk (jphripjah) with details after it’s done. West Africa is pretty accessible with direct flights on United and/or Delta to Dakar, Accra and Lagos. You can fly over for 7-8 day trips with open jaw routings and knock off multiple countries by land in between. Accra-Lome-Cotonou-Lagos is a fairly straightforward overland trip by African standards.