“TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE”
Up until now I’ve traveled to 87 countries. Actually it’s only a number and it doesn’t say how much I really explored. Sometimes I spent only two or three days in a country and obviously didn’t see much. That’s why – again – 87 is only a number…
How it all started
I started my traveling “career” in 1998 when I was away from home for more than 5 months exploring Western Canada, California (I studied English @ UCSB) and Mexico.
It was an unforgettable trip with the breathtaking nature in Canada, my time as a student in Santa Barbara, USA (I spent more than 3 months in California and had a great time with sightseeing, interesting people and my studies) followed by a six week trip all by myself to various places in Mexico.
After that trip I started my studies @ the University of Zurich (October 1998) and very soon I was thinking where to travel next… So only 5 months later I traveled to Cuba and Jamaica for 4 weeks in February/March 1999. I was very lucky during that time because I had a decent job where I was able to save for upcoming trips…
Countries of the world: 197
(information from here; last updated August 15th, 2015)
You can say, that the total number of independent states in the world are 197, including fully recognized 193 members of the United Nations, 2 countries, Vatican City and Palestine, have the status of permanent observers in the UN. Another 2 states we include are Kosovo (recognized by 111 UN members) and Taiwan (recognized by 22 countries).
Asia includes 50 independent countries and occupies the eastern part of the single Eurasian landmass.
The most visited by tourists country in this region is China as a huge cultural center, followed by no less popular destinations like India, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey.
The total number of independent states in Africa is 54. The transcontinental country in this region is Egypt, having also a small part of its territory in Asia, on the other side of the Suez Canal, but politically it is a member of the African Union.
The colorful Morocco is in the first place among the most popular travel spots in this part of the world, the second place belongs to South Africa, followed by Egypt and Tunisia.
Totally now Europe includes 51 independent states. Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are transcontinental countries, partially located in both Europe and Asia. Armenia and Cyprus politically are considered European countries, though geographically they are located in the West Asia territory.
Europe’s largest country is Russia (37% of total continent area) and the smallest one is Vatican City, which occupies only a small area in the center of Rome.
The most visited travel destination in this region is France with its capital Paris as the best place of interest, followed by Spain, Italy, United Kingdom and Germany.
Totally in North America, there are 23 officially recognized independent states. The largest of them is Canada, followed by also rather big the United States, these two giants together occupy more than 79% of the whole continent area. The smallest country in this part of the world is Saint Kitts and Nevis, it is only two small islands in the Caribbean.
Among the most visited North American countries the number one is the USA, where New York City is considered the most attractive landmark for travellers, further followed by Mexico and Canada.
Totally there are 12 independent countries and 3 dependent territories in South America. The largest country by area and the most populated is Brazil, it occupies about the 50% of the total mainland area and more than 52% of the population live on its territory. The smallest independent state is Suriname, it is the only nation in this region, speaking Dutch as an official language.
As for travel, the most visited among the South American countries are Brazil, Argentina and Peru, the last one is the home of the region’s most famous tourist attraction Machu Picchu, the mysterious city of the Incas.
Australia & Oceania
There are 14 independent countries and 12 dependent overseas territories. The largest state is Australia, occupying about 86% of the region’s total area. The smallest independent country is Nauru, which is so tiny that you need less than an hour to drive around it.
The most visited tourist destinations in this part of the world are the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne, the famous beach resorts of the Gold Coast. The best natural attraction is the Great Barrier Reef, and the popular island holiday destinations are Fiji and Bora Bora.
“Every journey begins with a single step.”
― Lao Tzu