Everything Everywhere

The URL for my trip website will be (nothing there yet. don’t bother checking)

The name is ambitious to be sure. Cocky perhaps. Obviously impossible.

The big question is, if you’re going to see the world, what exactly to do you set out to see? It’s not a trivial question. When faced with an almost infinite array of choices, what you do spend your time and effort on?

It’s a question that I’ve been giving an ever-increasing amount of thought to. There are certain things that are pretty obvious: The Great Wall of China, The Great Pyramid, etc. There are many more things that I probably don’t know about but should know about and would be really interesting.

One good starting point I’ve discovered are lists. I’m a list sort of guy, so its as good a place as any to start.

One of the first lists for travel is the Travelers’ Century Club (TCC). The club is, as you would guess, for people who have visited 100 or more “countries”. I put countries in quotes because defining what a country it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

The United Nations lists 192 member states. However, the list really doesn’t cover many of the places on earth you can visit. For example, Puerto Rico is represented in the UN by the United States, but Puerto Rico is linguistical, historically, geographically, to a certain extent politically separate from the US. They have their own Olympic team for example. There are lots of Puerto Ricos out there. The Falkland Islands, Tahiti, French Guyana, the Isle of Man, etc. None of those would be represented by the UN, so its not really good list for these purposes.

The TCC lists 315 “countries”. They make distinctions on the basis of geography and political divisions. According to their list, North America has 6 “countries”: Alaska, Mexico, Canada, the continental United States, Prince Edward Island, and St. Pierre & Miquelon (French controlled islands off of Canada).

Amateur Radio has awards that are given on the basis of contacting radio operators around the world. As of this moment, they recognize 337 “countries” and it doesn’t encompass all of the of the TCC list.

One guy in particular, Charles Veley, is on a mission to be the “world’s most traveled man”. He keeps a list that encompasses all the other lists and then some. He lists 673 “countries”, including every US and Mexican state, and every Canadian province.

This sort of travel really doesn’t appeal to me. Most of the travel for him consists of visiting uninhabited islands which costs a ton of money. Also, a visit counts if you spend one second there. Its hardly travel at all. Crossing the border from Hong Kong to China might cross “China” off your list, but you’ve hardly been to China.

The real question as far as I’m concerned isn’t where do you want to go, its what do you want to see when you get there. Thankfully, there are other lists I can turn to for guidance.

Howard Hillman, a travel writer, has created a site of the wonders of the world. He lists 1,000 including the top 100 in order. This is a far more interesting list than just a list of countries. For starters, it recognizes both natural and historical places. While the list of 1000 is pretty comprehensive, it recognizes that not all places are equal. Italy, China, and Egypt will have more sites listed than Chad.

Another interesting list is the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. They list 830 locations around the world based on cultural and natural criteria.

The one thing I hope to do via the website is to get user suggestions on places to visist while I’m on the road. I know there are tons of things I’d like to see that you wont see on any “best of” list.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.

4 replies on “Everything Everywhere”

First off, I can’t help but question your domain choice given that is someone else — as a brand, don’t you worry about that confusion?

I wonder if asking “where” might be the wrong question — perhaps it’s more of a “why”. That is, if you aren’t “yet another” travel video, seems you will develop a style of your own and reason for being of your own. Are you just going to show up and talk about a place, or could there be some kind of theme to the various locations (or sets of themes)? For instance, I’d be more curious about people than places — you could have a common set of things you find out about a culture — what they eat for breakfast, what they think about work, how they think about family, etc. That would also let you later do things like edit together a multi-location thing about one topic rather than have everything be only about one place.

Anyway, just a thought.

That domain has been parked for over a year and I’m not going to pay $5k just to remove a hyphen.

I’m not too worried. Penny Arcade gets tens of millions of page views per month even though they don’t own Like most domain squatters, they will quickly put up a site with cheap ads like every other similar site. Most people discover sites from links, searches, or bookmarks from previous visits.

While I will be traveling, it wont be a travel video in any traditional sense of the word. That is the one thing I’m not really worried about.

My goodness, Gary, you are truly becoming a renaissance man. Best wishes on your travels.

Let me know when you’re back in Minneapolis (if you do decide to come back here).

– Lisa (of Mac from ages ago…now married with children)

Well said. I would be happy to read anything else you might contribute on this subject.

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