Over the last five and a half years I’ve managed to visit 116 countries and territories around the world. Despite that, there are still many places I have yet to step foot. Most people are surprised that I’ve never been to these countries because they are so big and many are popular destinations for travelers.
Sure, I’ve been to Nauru, Vanuatu, Samoa, Liechtenstein and San Marino, but they are just specks on the map. There are some enormous holes on my list of countries.
So with all humility, here is my list of places I’m ashamed to say I haven’t yet visited:
Probably the biggest hole in my travel resume is the fact that I haven’t been to the most populous country in the world. I haven’t seen the Great Wall or the Terra Cotta Warriors. I haven’t been to Beijing or Shanghai. I actually did intend to visit China back in 2008. I even went to the Chinese embassy in Samoa to get a visa. By the time I actually got to a point where I could go to China, it was winter so I postponed it and by the time I was ready to go, China stopped issuing visas before the Olympics.
I’ve been shockingly close to China. When I was in Macau I was probably 100m from the border. I’ve also been in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but I’ve never actually stepped foot in the PRC.
India is the one place I get asked about more than any other. I have a bunch of Indian readers and “when are you coming to India?” is one of my most frequent questions. I had an opportunity to visit India back in 2009 but I didn’t go because I would only have had a week to visit. India is so large and complex, I don’t want to short change any visit I make. My attitude towards India now is to just treat it like several countries and when I go I’ll probably just visit one region at a time. Anything more than that would be too ambitious.
Russia is approximately 1/6 of the Earth’s land mass and I haven’t been there. The closest I’ve come was debating flying to Vladivostock when I was in South Korea, but it was too cold and I went to Hong Kong instead. I’m planning to rectify this by taking the TransMongolian Railroad from St. Petersburg to Beijing.
Brazil rounds out the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) for places I’ve never visited. I’ve been invited to speak at conferences in Brazil on two separate occasions, but each time I had a conflict which didn’t allow me to go. I have no doubt that I’ll eventually get to Brazil, it is just a matter of when and how.
I have Peru on my list because one of my sponsors, G Adventures, is the world’s biggest tour provider on the Inca Trail. Peru is a huge part of their business, and I have yet to visit. I haven’t been to Machu Picchu despite the fact that it is one of the most iconic attractions in the world.
A lot of people go to Jamaica. As countries go, Jamaica has a disproportionately large cultural impact on the world given its size. Jamaica relies heavily on tourism and has many resorts, but I haven’t been there yet. Here too, I’ve been invited to Jamaica, but the timing of the visit just didn’t work out.
Saskatchewan/US Virgin Islands
Saskatchewan and the US Virgin Islands really have nothing in common with each other save for one thing: Saskatchewan is the only Canadian province I have yet to visit and USVI is the only US territory I haven’t visited. Last March I finally got around to visiting my 50th US State: South Carolina. I’d like to visit both places, if for no other reason than I don’t have to say I’ve visited all but one province/territory.
What things are strangely missing from your travel resume?