The plan is simple. Try and visit fifty countries by the time I get to fifty years old. I'll be fifty on 13th April 2022 which seems like quite a way off, but is only a decade away. You'll know if you read my Mongol Rally Diary
that in 2009 I really got a good head start after a lifetime of not really travelling that much at all.
Following on from the Mongol Rally I did quite well by visiting Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands with Jane and Max and Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with Tim Jones from work.
Last year (2011) I drove, with James, from Los Angeles to New York (taking in 20+ states) and also popping into Ontario. For all the driving it only got me one more country. Canada.
Plans for 2012.
After getting back from San Marino and Vatican City I thought i'd hit the milestone of my fortieth country but then noticed i'd listed Belgium twice. Don't you hate it when that happens?
At the end of July we'll be heading over to Greece (#40) and in October to Ireland (#41).
Plans for 2013.
For my 40th birthday Jane has arranged that we'll fly to the Largo in Los Angeles see Jon Brion play. Though I got the great gift in April 2012, we will be too busy until 2013. I do wonder whether we could extend the trip and take in some of the states i've yet to visit. As awesome as it'll be it won't get me any closer on the fifty by fifty
Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia were all quite close by when we were driving through Eastern Europe in late 2011 but there just wasn't time. Rather than drive from England this time I think we'll fly into Bosnia and hire a car. The main issue is whether we'll be able to drive the hire car across all of the borders. I'm pretty sure getting into Kosovo would be a no no (or definitely getting again) so we'll have to skip that. If we can bag those four then that'd take the tally up to 45.
Our next BigPlan(tm) is to drive across Australia in 2014 and take in all six states (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia) and both territories (Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory). A territory is basically any land which falls outside of one of the states.
We're not sure whether we'll hire a camper van and sleep in the back of that or just stop at hotels. It's not clear at this very early planning stage whether a camper van would be good to drive in some of the more remote areas.