"How many countries have you been to?" It's a question I get a lot, and I don't have a clear answer for it.
When have you been to a country, when have you visited a country? There is no exact definition and even if there would be one, it would cause discussions.
If you've been to Moscow, have you seen Russia? Well you've definitely been there but you have only seen a little fragment. If Russia were a soccerfield, maybe you've seen a few leafs of grass.
But I guess it's like that for any country, even the country you live in. Maybe you have seen a dozen of cities, but probably there are so many places left to visit! Maybe not everything is worth it ofcourse.
So which parameters makes you have been to a country?
Have you slept in the country? Have you been there for at least x days? Have you visited at least one city? But what about Vatican City then?
If you have been to Washington, have you seen the USA? Well I guess you've been there..
I guess there is no clear borderline, it depends on the country itself.
In the next paragraph, I will make my own definition on wether you've visited a country or not.
What does not count:
- Driving through a country on your way to another country without visiting any place. (A short food brake doesn't count aswell)
- A stopover in the airport
- Flying over a country
- Territorial waters
- Visiting countries or states that are not united nations members
What does count:
- A multiple day trip or citytrip.
- A full day trip
- A half a day trip to a micro-state or very small state (including Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, The Vatican, Nauru, Tuvalu...)
- Driving through a country with overnight stay combined with the visit of a specific location.
If I use this 'definition' above than I have been to the following 31 countries:
- Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, France, UK, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Prague, Czech Republic, Norway, Hungary, The Vatican, Greece, Turkey, UAE, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Morocco, USA, Jordan, Denmark.
And then I have to Exclude:
- Sweden, where I had an overnight stay on a camping during my roadtrip to Norway, but didn't visit anything specific next to a small forest.
- Qatar, where I left the airportv by cab during a stopover and then walked for a few hours through the city of Doha.
- Liechtenstein, where I drove through without really visiting anything specific.
- And ofcourse all the countries I had stopovers during flights without leaving the airport (Canada, Ukraine,..)
And then.. there is the map. Look at the first map, the northern hemisphere looks quite filed in red, right? It gives such a wrong image though.
Look at the difference between the first and secons map. The second map is based on the countries regions/provinces/states. And even then there are much differences between countries in the devision of regions. Compare for example Australia and the Balkans.
But it gives already a better visualisation of the places you've been to. Look at the differences between Russia in both maps. Since I've only been to Moscow, it's even hard to spot the red dot.
So how many countries have you been to?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.