The URL for my trip website will be Everything-Everywhere.com. (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.