My dad could beat up your dad and that’s the end of it.

Country counters

“So, how many countries have you been to?” This one-upmanship exists in every backpacking corner of the globe and it truly, truly baffles me. In order to grasp if a person has seen a thing or two, ok asking them how many countries they’ve visited could give you a vague idea. So it’s not the actual question with which I have a problem with. In fact, admittedly, I use the fact that I’ve been to more than 50 countries as a way to show people that I (sort of, sometimes, maybe) know what I’m talking about when it comes to backpacking, but don’t be fooled by country counters!


The next time you hear the questions, check for that who has that special twinkle in hiss eye because you know the question is asked in order for the to ‘beat’ you. To be perfectly frank, it’s pathetic. More than that, I could travel for 30 days in Europe and visit 25 countries. One month, living on trains, spending more times in transit than feeling the country I’ve officially visited (I’m talking about specific people I’ve met on the road in the past). Compare that to a great guy I met in Borneo, he’d been in Asia for 18 months, visited maybe 3 countries I think  (Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) but he knew those places inside out. He was a ‘traveler’.


Who do you think would be the first two of these case studies to ask the question “so mate, how many countries have you been to?”. I think we all know the answer. So when someone asks me, if they’re genuine, I’ll tell them the truth, if I sense that special twinkle, I tell them 5 and give them their victory. They’re not worth the time. Happy travels.




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