Just lately I’ve noticed it’s a bit of a trend among the travel community to include a country count in your social media bio, blog or wherever. I also know that for as many people who like to keep track of the number of countries they’ve been to, there are also an equal number who hate the idea and see it as travel being made into a competition.
For me, I don’t count countries. Firstly because I don’t like counting. Or numbers full stop. And secondly because what actually counts as having been to a country?
Example, I was on a girls holiday in Rhodes. We took a day trip to Marmaris in Turkey. Technically I HAVE visited Turkey, but does it really count when it was for one day about a hundred years ago?
Another example, I used to work for a holiday company who once upon a time threw lavish Christmas parties. One year they flew us all to Dublin (for context, I live in Kent so flew from London Gatwick). So technically I have set foot in Ireland, but can I say I’ve been to Ireland when all I really saw was the inside of a hotel?
Similarly, there are MANY destinations I have been to that won’t be featured on this blog because I visited them so long ago or so briefly that I couldn’t do them justice… Egypt, Belgium, Bangkok, to name a few. And then there’s that work trip I went on to Madeira. I drank poncha and road the cable car but other than that it was all work, no play.
The other big reason I don’t country count is because although I enjoy visiting new destinations, it doesn’t necessarily mean visiting a new country. I have been to Spain twice and five Spanish islands, five states in the USA, four Greek Islands and I’ve been to Italy three times but never to the same region. Those examples alone give me a country count of four but if I had chosen different countries for each trip I could potentially have a country count of around 16+, which makes me look much more well-travelled and creditable as a travel blogger.
Sometimes I even like to revisit a place. Soon I’ll be jetting off to Amsterdam. I have been before but it was a long time ago and I didn’t appreciate it when I was an art student. Similarly, last year I revisited New York and had a much better time than when I went with university.
And don’t even get me started on Australia! I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice but have BARELY scratched the surface and would love to go back.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re counting countries for your own enjoyment then you do you. Just don’t get too competitive or disheartened about it. Travelling is for fun and personal fulfilment, not social media clout.
What about you? Do you count countries? Drop me a comment below.