Well, we are, I guess.
Ever since we’ve been travelling to new and exciting places, we’ve kept a record of where we’ve been. Hard to imagine, but there was a time before we met, when my Hero would draw lines on maps to record the roads he’d driven, the train lines he’d ridden. I would do something similar, but in the form of a list or a scrapbook of postcards.
How many times did we go to Newquay for our holidays? Five times, before my parents decided to venture to The Continent, sowing the wanderlust seed and beginning a lifetime love of exploring new places.
How many times had I been to London? That was easy – none! Until I was well into my teens, anyway.
We counted these things, we recorded where we’d been and what’s more, we noticed things along the way. My Hero and I grew up with the I Spy generation and we enjoyed ticking boxes and checking things off as we went.
We still do!
So, from childhood holidays to Switzerland and Majorca in the late 1960s to more recent adventures to South America, we’ve counted the countries we’ve visited. We’ve recorded them first on a map with a crayon and more recently on a website called PassportStamp. As we’ve explored more of the USA, we’ve counted the states we’ve visited too. We have our own rules for this: we have to set foot on the ground (of course), so a drive-through doesn’t count!
Sadly, PassportStamp has become a little unreliable of late, so I took the precaution of copying the data of our travels during a recent update. Just as well I did, because it seems to have disappeared for good leaving me with the challenge of finding a replacement.
The obvious place to start was my TripAdvisor record. According to that, we’ve visited 67 countries, 615 cities and I have no friends It’s not very detailed though, and I wanted a way of recording a little more information than simply sticking pins in a map.
So I looked at World 66. Hmm. Strangely, we’ve visited two more countries according to that. I thought It would be easy to identify the discrepancy but after almost an hour sifting through lists of countries, I’ve given up. Not important.
Perhaps there’s another one to try?
There’s a map on the Travelblog page, I found, so ticked the boxes of countries we’d visited again, click the button and…oh….64 countries visited.
It seems as though it’s not so much a question of how many countries we’ve been to but what countries the website designers include on their list. Or even, what constitutes a country? Google lists 257 countries and includes Aruba in there but not Curacao, even though both the islands form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. A little consistency might be useful, perhaps?
Oh, hang on a minute…
I think some of us around here are pretty used to explaining such things?
So the search for the definitive app or website to record our travels goes on and in the meantime, we keep our own list which records 68 countries (we counted Curacao and Aruba as separate from The Netherlands, by the way).
Whilst I was on the Travelblog page, I thought I’d have a go at the USA state map too. 34 and counting…but then there’s also Washington DC which hasn’t been included as a state here and isn’t technically regarded as such, but in some respects could make 35….
But who’s counting?