My Travel A – Z of Cities or Towns

jonny blair in newtownards

My A – Z of cities began here in Newtownards, Northern Ireland in 1980

As a long term traveller, I sometimes set myself unofficial targets in the hope that one day I will reach them. A few years ago, while backpacking in Taiwan, I made it a dream to visit a town or city beginning with every letter of the English Alphabet, from A – Z. Of course, you could easily do this by staying in one country, so I upped the challenge to myself and made sure I would not repeat any countries on the list, so 26 countries in total, each with a different letter representing a city I personally visited. Airport, train stations and bus stations don’t count, I had to actually be in that city.

queenstown new zealand jonny blair

Ticking off “Q” in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2010.

It actually took me 32 years to complete this list believe it or not, as my first town was beginning with “N”, when I was born in Newtownards, Northern Ireland back in 1980. My last city to complete the list began with the letter “X” when I made it to Xiamen in China in March 2012. I was 31, just before my 32nd birthday. However it was only in October 2009 I set myself the target 😉

ushuaia argentina

Completing “U” in 2010 in Ushuaia, Argentina.

Here’s a list of 26 of these towns and cities I’ve been to, in alphabetical order. I’ve only included 2 cities/towns per letter, as of today I’ve been to at least 3 cities/towns now beginning with every letter. But I need a new challenge so I’m working on a few more ideas and targets, which you will hopefully hear more about.

Asuncion, PARAGUAY /Ankara, TURKEY
Bogota, COLOMBIA /Bangor, NORTHERN IRELAND
Caracas, VENEZUELA /Chiayi, TAIWAN
Durban, SOUTH AFRICA /Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Eluanbi, TAIWAN /Erbil, IRAQ
Florence, ITALY / Foz Do Iguacu, BRAZIL
Gaborone, BOTSWANA / Guatavita, COLOMBIA
Harar, ETHIOPIA /Haifi, ISRAEL
Isfiya, ISRAEL / Inwa, MYANMAR
Jakarta, INDONESIA / Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA
Kwun Tong, HONG KONG/ Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Ljubljana, SLOVENIA /Launceston, AUSTRALIA
Magdeberg, GERMANY / Manila, PHILIPPINES
Newtownards, NORTHERN IRELAND / New York, USA
Ollantaytambo, PERU /Orumiyeh, IRAN
Paramaribo, SURINAME /Pyongyang, NORTH KOREA
Quito, ECUADOR /Queenstown, NEW ZEALAND
Recife, BRAZIL /Ramallah, PALESTINE
Swansea, WALES / Stepanakert, NAGORNO KARABAKH
Toronto, CANADA / Tissamiharama, SRI LANKA
Ushuaia, ARGENTINA / Uplistsikhe, GEORGIA
Vaduz, LIECHTENSTEIN / Vientiane, LAOS
Warsaw, POLAND / Winchester, ENGLAND
Xiamen, CHINA / Xinaliq, AZERBAIJAN
Yarram, AUSTRALIA / Yerevan, ARMENIA
Zurich, SWITZERLAND / Zhuhai, CHINA

jonny blair backpacking xiamen

March 2012 – Relaxing by the coast in Xiamen – the “X” City that completed my alphabet!

Has anyone else compiled an A-Z like this? Do any of you want to make it to a city or town beginning with every letter of the alphabet?

It’s easier than learning your A, B, C, so come on, come on, do the locomotion with me…

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6 thoughts on “My Travel A – Z of Cities or Towns

  • Love this challenge that you created yourself! Very creative and not one that is easy to complete! A travel buddy of mine from Peru had the “Seven Wonders” list for himself personally and completed it back in 2012.

    Can’t wait to hear what your next challenges are, but a couple of challenges I think would be worthwhile:
    (1.) UNESCO World Heritage Sites – how many have you completed?
    (2.) Around the World in 80 Beers – find out what the #1 Domestic Brew is for each country is & how many you have tried. Must include a picture of you drinking that beer in the country for it to count! 😉

    Obviously, there will always be the #1 travel list – visit every Country in the World – but, I think the two above are worthwhile pursuits that fit nicely with the overall theme of your blog. 😉

  • Hey Manfred!! Yep it was the first one I thought of when I got to S, and I wanted Wales to be in there! I wasnt quite “backpacking in Swansea” but I ticked off one of the major sights – the Liberty Stadium! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Nice one Ray!! These are also things I could do for sure. With the beers though, I already contributed to an article on “Around the WOrld in 80 Beers” on another cool travel site, so I wouldn’t re-use that title, hate copying and stealing. I’ll think of something else. Plus the #1 domestic brew in each country isnt something I’m into – I find that a bit commercial. I’d rather use my taste buds and make my own choice. Carlsberg, for example is probably the worst beer in Denmark, yet perhaps their number 1 domestic brew (my quantity, sales and profit). Anyway lots to consider!! Safe travels. Jonny

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