Travel Collectables: Top 5 Passport Stamps From My First 99 Countries

Top 5 Passport Stamps from my travels through 99 countries.

Top 5 Passport Stamps from my travels through 99 countries.

So as I near my 100th actual real life country, I thought it was a good time for a post on my personal favourite passport stamps from the first 99 countries on my route. It has been a long journey through the years, weary long and slow border crossings, huge visa delays, forms filled in incorrectly, overstaying of visas etc. There are some countries that now don’t give passport stamps anymore, some borders that don’t feel like borders but still the joys of a passport stamp and the entering of a new country always excite me. Any excuse for another entry in my Travel Collectables series. Incidentally (and perhaps ironically) some of my top 5 stamps are not even countries, but just cool stamps I’ve had! These are my top 5 so far, just the passport stamps, not the visas (which will be a separate post for visas).

Got my passport stamped in French Guyana at St Georges de Loyapock - Border Police Building.

I got my passport stamped in French Guyana at St Georges de Loyapock .

1. Port Lockroy, Antarctica
I’d already been in Antarctica for a few days by the time we reached the British Base at Port Lockroy and it was now time to head to the Post Office, post some postcards and get my passport stamped. It was on Remembrance Day 2010, a moment I’ll never forget. Make sure you have a Visa for Antarctica though, as you don’t want to get kicked out amongst the icebergs!

Jonny Blair's passport stamp for Port Lockroy in Antarctica

Top 5 Passport Stamps:  Port Lockroy, Antarctica

antarctica northern ireland flag

Touring Antarctica

2. Republic of Uzupis
The self proclaimed zany Republic of Uzupis was one of my most recent passport stamps. This country has its own money (the Uzas), its own beer, its own flag, entrance sign and border, from Lithuania. Even though Uzupis is still within the city of Vilnius! I enjoyed exploring the key sights of arty Uzupis.

My Uzupis passport stamps with the date on them!

Top 5 Passport Stamps: Uzupis

World Borders: Crossing into the Republic of Uzupis.

World Borders: Crossing into the Republic of Uzupis

3. Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
My favourite thing about the Iraqi Kurdistan stamp is the date. We flew into the capital city, Erbil on New Year’s Eve ready for the huge new year party and what a party it was – New Year’s Eve in Iraq. Despite what you might think, visiting Iraq is easier than expected – you can certainly visit the Kurdistani part of Iraq without a visa, either overland or by flying into Erbil or Sulaymaniyeh, as we did.

long term backpacker

Top 5 Passport Stamps: Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

Outside one of the security entrances to the parliament in Erbil, Kurdistan.

Backpacking in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

4. Machu Picchu, Peru
It was always a dream of mine to hike the four day Inca Trail all the way to Machu Picchu in Peru and what an adventure it was. This is another stamp I love because of the date. We arrived into Machu Picchu on Christmas morning with the mist coming up. It was simply amazing. It was the 25th December 2010 which is stamped on my Machu Picchu passport stamp. I’ve written a detailed storyline of my Inca Trail on 25 different articles, starting with Day 1 Part 1.

My special Christmas Day passport stamp at Machu Picchu

My special Christmas Day passport stamp at Machu Picchu

Christmas Day at Machu Picchu in Peru!

Christmas Day at Machu Picchu in Peru!

5. San Marino City, San Marino
I think San Marino City is the only place on my travels where I paid to have my passport stamped. It’s not essential – you can cross the border from Italy no problem without a passport but I wanted it as a souvenir at the time so I headed to the post office. San Marino is also the world’s oldest Republic and a cool country to backpack in. Sorry the photos a bit faded – this is the only one I had – the passport ink ran out in a lot of my old stamps.

Jonny Blair's passport stamp for San Marino

Top 5 Passport Stamps: San Marino City

san marino city jonny blair

Enjoying the snow in San Marino City!

So as I renew my passports, apply for a few more visas, I can’t help but wonder where my next passport stamp will be. As ever. It excites me to travel the world and pick up more travel collectables along the way.

Where have you had the quirkiest or coolest passport stamps from (not visas)?

 

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3 thoughts on “Travel Collectables: Top 5 Passport Stamps From My First 99 Countries

  • Hey Jonny

    Nice work with the collection of passport stamps. I did get a passport stamp in San Marino but I paid 5 euros for it and best of all they added a 5 euro revenue stamp. I think yours is from the post office.

    I got a couple of interesting ones.

    Delhi airport on Indian Independence Day

    Singapore and Malaysia on New Year’s Eve New Year’s Day 2015

    Timor Leste Boxing Day

    Iran at the razi border crossing on the train

    Luxembourg tourist office

    Monaco tourist office

    Also taking the bus from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu I used up 2 pages in a day

  • Great information there Martin! Yes – I got my San Marino stamp in the post office – I think it was 2/3 Euros back in 2009. I really can’t remember. I’ll get another one typed up on visas at some point too. I’ve been to 5 countries in 4 days before but three of them were in the EU and no stamps! I was just trying to work out if I’ve ever been to four countries on one day yet, and I have if you count NI, ROI, Wales and England as 4. I also visited Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala on the same day as I passed through those borders quite a bit last year on my Central America trip. Safe travels. Jonny

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