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24 (Countries) Down, Many More To Go - Travel Notes

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How many countries are there? The answer to "how many countries are there in the world" varies from 193 to 196, depending which definition you use. For example, some use the number of members of the United Nations, however, that definition does not include places like Kosovo and Vatican City. I prefer to go with higher number, so that leaves me with 172 countries still to visit. Projects along the lines of "visit every single country in the world" have been done numerous times before (here's my favorite), and after considerably slowing down my travel pace in the last few years, I am no longer so sure that I necessarily want to visit every single one. I ain't in a hurry...

I do aim to visit at least one new country every year though. 2014 - Italy. 2015 - Nicaragua. 2016 - Costa Rica. And yes, I am thinking of 2017. Next up, I have my eye on Iceland and Nepal. And perhaps, Guatemala. (Here's why Australia is not on my list yet). I love coming back to the countries I have visited already - you can skip the obvious tourist attractions (well, you can skip them even on your first visit, but Taj Mahal IS worth seeing), and focus on smaller, less-known destinations. As I leave any new country, I usually have a mental list of things I want to do and see next time I am there. I can't wait to go back to India (Varanasi during monsoon), Italy (still have to see Rome, Venice and Florence), and Costa Rica (I still want to volunteer at the Coastal Challenge). YOUR TURN: Where are you off to next? What are the countries on your list? Hugs, SOLO

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