I’m Gonna Party Like It’s Country 99 (Hold Up – It Will Be!): Vote For My 99th Country

*** STOP PRESS ****
VOTING WILL END at 11.59 pm (GMT) on 31st December 2014

Hi readers, followers, friends,

You might have heard I’m on a conquest to “crack the century” (i.e. visit 100 real countries properly). As I close in on my 99th country on this backpacking journey, I thought it would be fun for YOU to decide where I end up!

It's up to you to decide where I end up for country 99!

It’s up to you to decide where I end up for country 99!

I’ll choose my own 100th country to celebrate this feat, but I’m letting you get in on the act and vote for country 99 on my journey just to spice things up a bit!
I welcome any suggestions, but the five countries listed in my poll have been recent travel dreams of mine:
1. Norway
2. Nauru
3. Cameroon
4. Bhutan
5. Kyrgyzstan
6. You can also suggest another country for me, most of the places I’ve been are listed on my Where I’ve Been page, (though I admit I need to update that a bit).
The poll is here: https://polldaddy.com/poll/8242403/ and imbedded below.

For those who leave their name and a legitimate comment below the thread, I’ll make a video from country 99 mentioning you all!!

Where Should Jonny Go For Country 99? You Decide

At the moment, I’m on 87 countries in reality, though I want to make sure this is done properly (no time for fakes) so I’m tempted to stroke off the day trips and disputed countries on the list to bring me back down a bit. And Antarctica is debatable too as nobody owns it so I would hate to have to delete my favourite place! I write this from Guatemala with El Salvador, Honduras and Belize up next. Obviously the term “country” is up for debate and you have people who disagree with these lists, so I’ll accept any suggestions within reason as long as they are actual countries, on any of these lists:
– International Football Teams recognised by FIFA/UEFA (209, plus an extra 13 disputed which includes Nagorno Karabakh)
– Countries/Territories listed by the Traveler’s Century Club (a bit too broad and too many to conquer in a lifetime, but still a great list)
– Any Country on this useful Wikipedia List (probably my second favourite list)

I personally like to use international football teams and of the 247 countries I personally recognise, I’ll definitely give it a good shot to try and visit them all. My main target is to visit 100, write a book and see where life takes me.

If you’re keen to know which places I have enjoyed most so far, here are my top 15 “countries” (whether debated or not) in no particular order:

1. Antarctica
2. Northern Ireland
3. China
4. Bolivia
5. Uruguay
6. Iran
7. Australia
8. Taiwan
9. Mexico
10. Hong Kong
11. England
12. Brazil
13. Azerbaijan
14. Ethiopia
15. Canada

Thanks for following my journeys in the meantime and dictating where I end up for country 99! In the lead up to my 99th country I hope to bring you some regular Facebook updates (follow me on there), more Youtube videos and interviews with travellers who have banged out 100 countries as well as an update on my own travels!

I’m pretty excited to see the results!!

Happy voting and safe travels,


22 thoughts on “I’m Gonna Party Like It’s Country 99 (Hold Up – It Will Be!): Vote For My 99th Country

  • Hi Ray, I’m pretty surprised that Norway is the leader so far and I’m aware that it is expensive. Who knows if it will be the winner in 5-6 months time though. If it is – one of my good mates is from Norway (Stavanger) and for sure I’ll be able to hang out there. Though Svalbard and the northern Fjords would have to be the main highlights there.

    I can’t get any decent stuff written when I’m on the move Ray – I’ll be honest I’ve tried and a blog post is easy, but a book chapter is hard. As soon as I think I’m through it, we have to go for dinner, or go on a hike, or get a bus etc. For the book I plan to have a “travel writer’s room” established somewhere. It will include wifi, music, tea and coffee by day and beer at night. I don’t envisage having the book finished by the end of the year – if I do I’ll have overachieved and I’ll take that idea of yours and take some time off! We shall see.

    Safe travels. Jonny

  • Celebrate Bhutan in December for your 100th country and my wife and I will be there to celebrate with you.

    By the way Bhutan will be our 104th country to visit.


  • Ha Ha thanks Remy! Wow 104 that is just amazing – congratulations!! I’m gonna take my girlfriend and I somewhere special to relax for country 100 – dont want to be touring temples and hiking for it, hence why I’ve listed Bhutan as a possible number 99. Thanks for the offer though! And I think December might be too soon – if I spend 2 weeks in each country, it will take me just over 6 months to complete the 99/100! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hey Jonny,

    I have been following your website and FB posts for quiet some time.
    You’re a true inspiration for the wannabe travelers!
    I am amazed by the number of countries you have traveled ( especially the likes of Antarctica, Iran )
    However, I had one stupid question, how did you give places like India or Nepal a miss?
    Just a thought, please don’t mind it!

    I think you could travel to India or Nepal as your 99th country!!


  • Hi Saabir,

    Thanks for following my travels and for your comment. The fact is there are over 200 countries in the world and unless we are all big travellers we have to give some places a miss. I don’t have any plans to visit India at the moment, nor Nigeria, nor Serbia for example. It’s just that other countries are ahead of them in my list of desires, plus a friend of mine got refused entry to India despite possessing a valid visa and I’m not a big fan of Indian food so it’s never been a priority for me. Instead I’ve been to places like East Timor, North Korea, Belarus etc. That said I have 2 great Indian friends and worked with lots of Nepalese before. I’ll get there someday for sure but just not high on my list at the moment! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Ohh I see, I get your point Jonny!!
    Totally Agree with you.
    Out of the 5 options, I think Kyrgyzstan would be great but maybe Norway might be better.

    Keep us updated!

  • Ha Ha Lock In Lee totally hilarious mate!! I actually found a bar in Sydney with a Roger Milla signed shirt in it!! Is Nicky Barmby going to be there?? I can see 99, 100 and Room 101 all being slightly crazy…See you soon mate! Jonny

  • Ray – despite what people will think I am currently maxed out working on not just DSL posts and recent reviews (tours, city top sights and hostel reviews), but a few new projects and not even checked what country number I’m on properly. I’ve got Romania and Moldova booked for November and will then definitely take a month off without travel after that. I’d say the “official 99” should be in January with the century straight after. I’m going to have to work out which countries I shouldn’t count to make sure it’s all legit! I will let you know! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hey Jonny.

    When i went to the United Nations in May 2010 I found out there was 192 UN members. A year later South Sudan became free and Independent from Sudan so that made it 193.

    I only count countries that are members of the UN. So if i have been to 30 nations it leaves me with 163 left. I have been to England but i just count that as one country as of the whole of the United Kingdom because the British Isles and Northern Ireland are still united.

    The Vatican City isn’t a member of the UN but it has a Non member seat and its basically a fortress for the Pope

    If i went to The Vatican, Taiwan, Sahrawi Republic, Kosovo, Palestine I would count that as a country because those nations have some sovereignty and diplomatic recognition. So it would be 30 UN members plus 5 NON UN members.

    I went to Gibraltar but i don’t count that as a country i went to but more of a British territory. But if i went to Hong Kong, Macau, Tibet, Kurdistan, Nagorno Karabakh, Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia then i wouldn’t count that as a country because they lack the diplomatic recognition that Taiwan, Sahrawi Republic, Kosovo and Palestine have

  • Hi Martin,

    Great information and opinions here though I definitely differ to you – I’m more about the people. For me, if the people in that country believe it’s a country, then it is. England is England and Scotland is Scotland as that’s what the people call their country. I’ve never been to a country called UK and I hate that name in fact. I’m definitely not a fan of the United Nations and would never use their guides as my own. Palestine is more a country than Israel will ever be, so to me if at at push they are ever to be counted as only one country, then the country is Palestine and Israel is the one that doesn’t exist.

    Hong Kong, Nagorno Karabakh, Macau, Transnistria etc. all have their own visas and borders, football teams and currency differences plus the people there tell you their country is that one, not another one.

    This might mean I have more countries to visit on my quest to travel the world, but I’d rather go with people’s opinion on their country.

    Personally I’m Northern Irish before I’m British, before I’m Irish and definitely before I’m European. The name of my country is Northern Ireland.

    Safe travels.


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