Charting my course

Part 1: The Caribbean (March – May 2022)

I don’t know if I’ll manage to get to all these places, but I’ll try.

Ten years ago while lingering over a few beers in Havana, I made up my mind to visit every country in the world — plus a lot of other places that seem like countries even though they aren’t. Starting with a list of the 193 members of the United Nations, I added about 100 other places distinctly different from the sovereign states that own them, including about a dozen Caribbean Islands. At that time, sitting in a café in Cuba, Caribbean islands seemed trivially easy to visit. So, I put off visiting them. I naively assumed that the world would always be a peaceful and healthy place, and that international travel would only get easier. Ha!

Today, with Covid travel restrictions, international travel is no longer trivial. As I start this Caribbean adventure, I’ve already found that getting to Turks & Caicos involves as much paperwork now as visiting Iran used to require. And who knows when I’ll get to Ukraine … another country I’d hoped to have visited by now.

But travel I must. For now, I’ve given myself the assignment of visiting the following places. In the list below, only Belize, El Salvador, Saint Kitts & Nevis and Dominica are actual countries. Covid restrictions are starting to relax. Maybe I’ll get to all of them. Hopefully, I’ll get to most of them:

  • Anguilla
  • Aruba
  • Belize
  • Bonaire
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique
  • Montserrat
  • Saba & Sint Eustatius
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Martin
  • San Andrés y Providencia
  • Sint Maarten
  • Virgin Islands, British

In ten weeks of hopping from island to island, I managed to see all but two of these places. Not bad! The only ones missing are Bonaire and San Andrés y Providencia, which I’ll come back to some day. Then, after two months in the US visiting friends and family, I headed to Europe.

Part 2: Europe (July – August 2022)

There are more than a dozen European countries I’ve never visited:

  • Belarus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • Greenland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Moldova
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Ukraine

Working with only 6-7 weeks, I hope to see half of these countries. Let’s see what I can do!

Please follow this blog and wish me luck for my adventures. Meanwhile, I’ll maintain a world map of the 160+ countries I’ve visited so far. As always, feel free to share this travel blog with your friends and family. Send suggestions or questions by email or post something in the comment section below each chapter.