While I do keep a count on continents, countries, towns and cities I have actually been to, there are a few places that I admit I have physically been to but know nothing about. So here are three countries for you that I haven’t really been to. While physically I’ve been “in” these countries, most will argue that I shouldn’t “count them”. As I aim for the 80 countries mark by the end of the year and following my recent feature on BBC, it’s time to admit that this hat-trick I haven’t really seen, from the 73 countries I’ve been to.
1. United Arab Emirates
I’ve written two previous “fake travel reports” on how I once missed a chance to go on a part sponsored trip to Abu Dhabi and how I once had a mere 3 hours in Dubai Airport on a connection. My two flirts with the UAE make it a country I haven’t yet been to. I have a passport stamp and had a pint of Guinness in the airport, but that’s it. It will be third time lucky hopefully.
I’ve spent a week in Portugal. But I don’t know it at all – how come? It was over 30 years ago that’s why!! I was 2 years old at the time and it was my first holiday away from the British Isles. All I remember is I lost a police car on the beach and stayed in the Algarve with Mum and Dad. But I want to go back of course and it’s on the list. I’d like to do a road trip round Portugal, Spain and Gibraltar at some point in fact. I have also never been to Gibraltar or even Madrid/Barcelona. But I’d want to tick off Lisbon and Porto first. Car hire in Portugal is a decent price in fact so it’s somewhere I do want to see and drive through, perhaps even on my upcoming jaunt…who knows…there is a photo of me somewhere in Portugal and I will try and dig it out and get it scanned in…
Kenya is the worst country on this list as I have only spent an hour there in my life and I never left the aeroplane! I was in Mombasa last month on a connecting flight between Kilimanjaro and Addis Ababa. All I could do was sit and stare out the window. Even worse it was early morning and everything was dark.
It was the first time ever I had arrived in a country and left that country without leaving the aeroplane, so I owe it one, though you will have read that I loved Ethiopia and Tanzania on my recent Africa adventure. As a consolation prize, I got a view of some of Mombasa on the way out. I was there the same day as the fire in Nairobi Airport so I guess I was lucky.
So there you go – you can pretty much erase this hat trick from my travel repertoire! What got me thinking about this was recently I visited North Korea officially for the second time, though on my first visit I merely stepped across the border in a blue hut in Panmunjom. It was nice to finally visit Kaesong and Pyongyang and backpack in North Korea.
I’m in China now before my next adventure. I’m off to a friend’s wedding early next week in the Middle East and will be visiting a few countries there including Armenia and Azerbaijan hopefully!
If you do want to check out where I’ve been you can check my Where I’ve Been Page and yes it has these three countries on there. I document everything on this blog. It’s a no holds barred and the dream is to keep travelling as much as I can.
Here’s a video of me in Dubai, United Arab Emirates:
Here’s a video of me in Mombasa, Kenya: