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Old Feb 28, 09, 9:29 pm   #1
 
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how long will it take to visit EVERY country in the world?

how long will it take to visit EVERY country in the world?

While clearing out my old filing cabinet, I piled all of my old passports into a box. Then I started going through them one by one. It appears that I have only visited 41 countries in my entire life. That may sound like a lot, but considering that there are around 200 countries, I'm only been to 20 percent of them. Out of those 41, 20 are EU countries.

When I was a kid, my biggest dream was to see every country. It appears that if I dont' get off my butt right now, my dream will never be realized.

Since it will cost a ton of mony to actually visit every country, I think my goal is to collect passport stamps from every country. For example, on a mileage run a couple of years ago, I flew SFO-ICN-NRT-HKG-SIN. In ICN, NRT and HKG, I only had enough time to go through immigration and come back to make my connecting flights. However, I did mange to "technically" visit Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong.

I figured there must be members of this forum who have already done this. I would love to hear from them on the best way to accomplish this.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 28, 09, 10:34 pm   #2
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I don't count just passing through (even if you do go through the process of clearing immigration to get the stamp) as a visit in my country count list. You have to actually "do something" there for it to count.

As for how long it would take, with an unlimited budget probably a year. In reality, several. I did six new countries last year and will do six more this year as leisure trips. I don't plan to maintain that pace - I don't think that it is sustainable as the countries remaining get to be harder and harder to visit - but setting a reasonable target and budget means that you can visit a lot of the world.
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Old Feb 28, 09, 10:38 pm   #3
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A couple of Kiwis tried to visit every country in the world in 6 months. They missed on 2 IIRC. They did a book about it, An Absolutely Outrageous Adventure by John Bougen. I had a copy but gave it to another FTer some time ago.

As for slower paced (but still relatively fast) there are quite a lot of FTers with the goal of visiting every country. For example see (here, here , here).

A few sites you may find helpful include passportstamp, mosttraveledperson, world66, etc. I have a series on my travel blog of "how to get to" various countries and places (eventually will post about every country - a long way to go at the moment). You might find that useful.
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Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Feb 28, 09 at 10:42 pm. Reason: add name of book
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Old Feb 28, 09, 10:41 pm   #4
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I don't think it's possible.

What about Sealand? Nobody's allowed in.
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Old Feb 28, 09, 11:39 pm   #5
 
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You can cheat and cover most in less than one day. Just visit each and every embassy to the UN. They're sovereign territory so technically, it counts. I believe the nations not represented number less than ten or so, and could be reached on a single RTW trip - maybe a few days?
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Old Mar 1, 09, 3:36 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbreuer View Post
You can cheat and cover most in less than one day. Just visit each and every embassy to the UN. They're sovereign territory so technically, it counts. I believe the nations not represented number less than ten or so, and could be reached on a single RTW trip - maybe a few days?
ITC, why not just really cheat and go to Disney?? They have recreations of a lot of countries, don't they? Is this about travelling, or just collecting passport stamps?
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Old Mar 1, 09, 8:39 am   #7
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while I have no desire to visit EVERY country, (some places like Somalia, Iraq or Haiti don't really appeal to me at the moment ), I agree with sbm12, that you have to "do something" once there to count.

With two months off a year and a reasonable budget, in the last 7 years of my twenties, I ve been fortunate to visit over 80 countries. It is getting much harder, and with a new house, the travel budget is going to be slim over the next couple years.
I figure there are about 30-40 "easy" ones left for me like the Caribbean, Central America, Central and South Asia.
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Old Mar 1, 09, 8:55 am   #8
 
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It's a very, very subjective endeavour to undertake.

It depends on what "visiting" a country actually entails. I personally don't consider myself having visited a country until I have slept at least one night there.

As to how long it would take to visit every country, well, again it's up to the traveler to decide what his goal is. Does he want to sleep in a Damascus airport hotel just for the sake of saying that he's been to Syria? Or does he want to spend a week in Aleppo and Palmyra admiring the sights?

As to how long it would take to visit every country in the world, well... I would reckon it would take around two years all-in. But I'd be exhausted at the end of it.

I read a story a few years ago about a German man in his mid-sixties who'd spent the past forty years riding his bicycle around the world, and had visited just about every country on earth. Of course, this is far easier carrying a German passport than carrying a Pakistani passport, for instance.

Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky to have such a conundrum...
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Old Mar 1, 09, 9:40 am   #9
 
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A few years ago I visited 16 countries in 6 months - all of those in Europe but each one for at least five days. That's perfectly manageable (I was a student with lots of holiday but a small budget) and I think it probably counts as "seeing" a country.

Since then, however, my standards have changed and now I don't really count myself as having "seen" a country unless I've spent a good two weeks there. Obviously for some very small countries (Luxembourg for example) you might not want that long, but, even countries that we think of as "small", are actually quite big and have a lot to offer.

Let's take the example of Albania. I've met lots of people who have "been there" but usually only for a day-trip from Corfu or on an overnight bus with a day in Tirana. I've spent two and a half weeks there and seen a lot of the highlights but by no means all and I'd happily go back.

At the other extreme I've spent two weeks in the USA - NYC, Las Vegas, Orlando. But there's no way I count myself as having "seen" the whole of the US!!

If you just want to set foot in a country then I reckon a year and a lot of money and a lot of patience at certain embassies and borders and you could do every country.

But if you want to actually "enjoy" your holiday and really "see" each country and appreciate it then I recommend setting this as a life-long goal.

Enjoy the journey - I know I will.
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Old Mar 1, 09, 4:29 pm   #10
 
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At the other extreme I've spent two weeks in the USA - NYC, Las Vegas, Orlando. But there's no way I count myself as having "seen" the whole of the US!!
Nah. If you've seen NYC, Vegas, and Orlando, you've seen the US.
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Old Mar 1, 09, 4:39 pm   #11
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If you've been to Vegas then you've seen US, France (Paris), Egypt (Cairo), etc


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Old Mar 1, 09, 5:06 pm   #12
 
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I've been to 46 and have lived in 11. I count it if I have gone through immigration and spent some time there. I haven't counted things like driving up to the Syria/Irag border and sticking my toe in Iraq, technically I was there, but I don't count it.

For the purpose of conversation I think the OP's idea of walking through immigration and getting the stamp should count, but with an * next to the country name in the fashion of a steroid achieved sports record.
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Old Mar 1, 09, 6:36 pm   #13
 
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If you go with the "do something" in each country theme (not just clear immigration, step out the airport door and see the sky, go back through immigration and back on the plane to another country) then it could take a while. If you stay overnight in each country, then obviously at least 200 days or however many countries there are.

On item is what country are you from? Which citizenship has the most visa waver agreements in the world? If you want to do a nonstop trip, then even for a US citizen to get all the visas in advance would be a major undertaking. Having to send your passport and extortion $200 to all the embassys in DC and waiting 3 days each even for expedited visa would be a chore. If your visas are good for 6 months your trip better take less time than that.

Other travel problems: Does your trip time include the stop back home? If a US citizen goes to Israel, won't they have to come home, have their "dog eat their passport", then get a replacement expedited before they can travel to certain Arab countries? Certain nationalities (Swiss? Singapore?) might have an easier time or fewer visas.

Other question: Do these have to be legal visits? If a US citizen does a MR to Cuba does it count?

So many questions.
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Old Mar 1, 09, 6:52 pm   #14
 
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Remember it is a moving target.

When I started Yugoslavia was a country And I don't think I would be welcomed into Iran again.

While I appreciate the above arguments about "doing something useful" being on the ground in a country is a bit like pregnancy and life...... Either you are or you aren't......

fifty something sovereign territories and counting (wandering) slowly.....

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Old Mar 1, 09, 7:18 pm   #15
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Smile 315 countries, islands, territories, etc

For your goal of traveling to all countries:

There are travelers' clubs--one is called something like the Travelers' Century Club (for people who have visited more than 100 countries)CHECK IT OUT: based in Santa Monica--and it has a complete list of countries, islands, regions, territories etc. Most helpful.
There is another club--French name, based in Tunisia, I believe--also for much-traveled folk.

I know someone who recently went to Iwo Jima and the Lakshadweep Islands...thus completing visiting all protectorates, islands, lands, dependencies, over her lifetime. This was real visiting--not flying over. Much of this was on cruises, on tours. She is a real traveler, great explorer.

THIS FROM THE TCC WEBSITE: a sample of where you would go:

Australia
Bismark Archipelago (New Ireland, New Britain, Bougainville, Admiralty Islands)
Chatham Islands
Cook Islands (Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Penrhyn)
Easter Island
Fiji Islands
French Polynesia (Tahiti,Tuamotu, Austral, Gambier)
Galapagos Islands
Guam
Hawaiian Islands
Juan Fernandez Islands (Robinson Crusoe Island)
Kiribati (Gilberts,Tarawa, Ocean Island)
Line/Phoenix Islands (Palmyra, Fanning, Christmas, Canton, Enderbury, Howland)
Lord Howe Island

Get an atlas. Where do you want to go? What really interests you? What cultures do you want to learn about? What do you want to achieve in a lifetime of travel? What are you curious about? That should drive travel--more than just racking up numbers (thought that can be fun, too).

Good luck--and keep on trucking!
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