Years ago Dave and I were going to Greece for two weeks and we had a 3 hour lay over in the Frankfurt airport. From Dave's point of view we had been to Germany and my point of view was that we had not. How do you determine whether or not to count visiting a country?
We definitely don't count airport layovers - we like the rule that you have to have had a meal in the country (outside the airport)!
[Edited: 2012 Sep 06 14:37 - laandal:51853 ]
Hi, that's a good one and I've been discussing it a lot with a good friend...not on TB...
Layovers in an airport do not count, that's easy.
Some will say you need to spend a night...ok, I discount the night for the Vatican....you can always try...
For me it's a balance...as it does actually depend of the size of the country. Come on...I know somebody because we cross the border to Chile while rafting...and did 100 meters in Chile...would count this as one...ridiculous.
For a country to count, you need to have a proper interaction with the country. Shane will say...you need a financial transaction...for me it's not enough...so I keep the one night rule...but have to admit that we spent a full day in Lichtenstein...and it was way cheaper to sleep on the other side of the border...and Vatican is another funny one.
Now I've been to over 100...so who really cares...and I would propose another count...to be admitted...you need to have stay in the country for at least 2 months....than my count is way lower...at maybe 18...but on each continents...
At the end of the day, don't forget...Antarctica...Greenland...Hong Kong and Macau...these should not even be included in our counting...and yes...Tahiti is not a country!
But really...who cares...the joy of travelling is what counts...it's not a competition...it's just a fun ride!
Oh...and the same friend...while happily in couple with two beautiful daughters today had another counting system years back....travelling is getting properly acquainted with a girl from another country...trust me...he beats all of us...by far! Smile!
What a great topic. I had never thought of the have a meal rule, but I like it. I don't count it if I don't leave the airport (although this could break the meal rule since I have eaten several meals in the Frankfurt Airport.) Anyhow, if I have been out and about in the country, seen some sights, interacted with people, I count it. But as the post above points out, it is the joy of traveling that counts.
I think one would need to officially enter the country (through passport control if arriving by plane) to count a country.
I've made a rule that I haven't travelled into a country until I make a financial transaction or stay a night - so buying fuel in Andorra, eating lunch in Luxembourg, and buying souvenirs in the Vatican City. In Lichtenstein, I did not purchase anything, but did sleep in my car overnight.
Antarctica wouldn't really fit this definition, but anyone standing on the surface of the white continent should be credited with that one.
I count countries and most territories in my total - thus Greenland is not a visit to Denmark, and vice-versa. I count Hong Kong as separate as they have a different passport to the Chinese - same applies to Macau I believe.
Does it count if I was 2 or 3 when I visited and can't remember the country? Many similar questions were raised above. Technically, if you have been in a country, you have been in a country. However, if we are not being technical, and are really asking how many countries you have experienced, then it would have to go beyond just having a meal and more in the direction of the two month rule. I agree with Pierre..who cares...I'm certainly not joining the Century Club when I hit 100.
.....how many countries you have experienced....
That one could be a different thread on its own almost Bob ;-)
I generally go by the 'overnight' rule. At the very least to have the stamp in your passport, left the airport and gone somewhere/done something on the stopover.
I wouldn't count sleeping at an airport hotel, or having had a meal on some form of transport while passing through a country though.
As has been mentioned already, I think it comes down to individual preference and your reason for travelling in the first place. We sit more towards the 'experience' side of the argument, but even within that there's a sliding scale. We try and go to a mix of cities and villages to get as much of the whole picture of the country as possible. It all depends on whether you think you have a feel for the place I suppose...
Good point Bob....my son is at 40 at 12 years old...sadly, for her, my daughter hadn't experienced the same thing. I would say yes it count...it's like a good education...give it early...it will stay even if they don't remember...I guess your parents just put the "taste of travel" in you...and it never leaves you...
More importantly than the "taste of travel", I think what parents gift their children when they travel with them at a young age is exposure to and acceptance of other cultures and values, and gives them a sense of confidence that you can really only get from travel.
Like you said PA, it stays with them even if they don't actually remember where they went or what they did or saw there.
As for staying with me, you've likely seen my blogs and the pictures from those early years. I remember the stories as my Dad would show the slides and tell the stories again and again as I was growing up...there was no TV to entertain us so this was the entertainment. My parents definitely instilled the "taste of travel" in me and my sisters, and I have done the same to my kids.
This reminds me of a conversation I had once with a similarly minded couple who take their kids on overseas trips. Even when travelling through countries where English is not spoken, they make the kids responsible for planning and guiding them on part of the trip. All the decisions like finding out how to get somewhere, a good place to stay etc are made by their two kids. A great way to prep them for independent travel later on.
Great idea, Jo! I'm looking forward to discussing this with you in person. By the way, when we sail between Hawaii and Samoa and to Fiji, we pass through the waters of the Cook Islands and Tonga. Does being in their territorial waters count as visiting a country? Just kidding...I'm not counting it, just like flying through a country's airspace doesn't count!!
we usually have to spend at least a few nights and take a look around to count it for 'visited country' - passport stamp is not enough;-)
good topic is this i like to go Europe but i had visited already Asia and its sub continent .
[Edited: 2012 Sep 08 07:50 - The Travel Camel:11053 ]
I love all the input and it seems we all share a common idea.... and I like the "experience" piece.
In my opinion it counts when u do something like sightseeing or visit popular places. Just staying at the hotel or airport does not count!😉 Even when u do a wellness trip or staying at a resort: It doesen´t mean u know the country. Not before u see the people or do something typical for the country...
Im going with spent a night in and made a financial transaction in, the two kind of go hand in hand.
I think it needs to include a nights stay or some sightseeing, we have had the same conversation after stopping in both Tokyo and Moscow.
[Edited: 2012 Sep 13 11:36 - markandbreeunleashed:241237 ]