I only visited four new countries in 2017, my lowest number since I began traveling internationally in 2005.
And that’s fine. I had a newborn at home and more important matters than adding to my country count. Still, it remains a goal to eventually set foot in every country on this Earth. I’ve made the case for why I travel here.
As I focus on the more important matters of my wife and son, my new business, and working to live rather than living to work, I still hope to whittle away a bit at my country count each year.
Here’s a look at 10 new countries I plan to visit in 2018:
Perhaps the most intriguing city in Africa, I hope to visit Luanda and fly TAAG Angola Airlines this year.
After reading Ben’s trip report, Bhutan sits at near the top of my list of countries I hope to visit this year.
While technically not a country but an autonomous region of Denmark, Greenland looks beautiful and if anything like Longyearbyen, a place I definitely want to visit this year.
Mongolia fascinates me, though I cannot exactly pinpoint why. But I plan to visit this summer, with my ticket already booked.
I have a trip planned to Maputo later in the year and look forward to visiting this former Portuguese colony.
While I don’t plan on climbing Mt. Everest, I do wish to visit Nepal before or after Bhutan.
Papua New Guinea
So close to Australia yet so different, I hope to include a side-trip to Port Moresby this year when I am in Australia.
With travel already booked to Dakar on South African, I plan to visit Senegal late this summer.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Technically part of France, I’ve been wanting to visit this territory for more than five years. With new service to Paris on Air Saint-Pierre, I hope to actually visit this year.
With United starting service to Tahiti later this year, I look forward to taking my wife on a child-free 4-5 day getaway. I recognize that Tahiti is also part of France.
Since some of you will give me a hard time for Greenland, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, and Tahiti, let’s add Madagascar, Rwanda, and Timor-Leste to the list. I’d love to visit…though I’m not sure I will be able to squeeze those in.
My wife is game for every country above. I’m not sure how practical that will be and I definitely do not want to take Augustine to all these places (though at least he won’t need his own seat before he turns two). We’ll play it by ear. I’m not booking everything now…
This post is about new countries I intend to visit, but I also have trips planned to Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and South Africa…four countries I have been to multiple times in the past but look forward to returning to. Work will take me often to Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland as well. It’s going to be a great year!
I, too, have been eyeing Saint Pierre and Miquelon, though I have a much more ambitious (or crazy, depending on your point of view) plan to get there. I want to drive all the way from here to Labrador, then take the ferry. Gotta work on my goal of visiting all the Canadian provinces, after all. Probably won’t happen this year, but I’m going to try sooner rather than later.
Heidi and I had panned on driving from St. John’s to SPM for our “honeymoon” (our first extended trip together after marriage), but that trip was not to be. I believe you should do the drive!
Few similarities. Papua New Guinea I hope to visit from Singapore and make a trip to Solomon Islands too. I will already visit Tunesia and Turkey (booked). Then, I will do (arrive Philly for work) go to St Lucia, St Kitts, Antigua amd Barbados and tjere fly back go London and Amsterdam. (Booked too. Hope LIAT flies on time). Thats kinda 8 confirmed. I be twice is south america; hope to add Peru and Equador this year too. In Asia I hope Mongolia but im there in november; cold . For the rest lets see but 10+ should work. 2017 did 11. And seeing a country for me is spending some days at least and not just in and out.
Just got back from Dakar…. definitely some highlights but some major cons as well. Happy to share my experience should you wish. The Radisson Blu Dakar is lovely, but not positioned super well since you have to take cabs (which are cheap) everywhere. I also spent 4 days in Mongolia this fall and have some pointers on that as well.
Charles, happy to hear your pointers for both Dakar and Ulaanbaatar (I don’t plan on leaving the capital, unfortunately).
Would love to see what you think about Saint Pierre and Miquelon. I have been interested in going there for years but have continually put it off. It is so close to Newfoundland, yet probably so different.
I personally liked St Pierre and Miquelon for a day or two. But, any more and many people may get bored unless you like camping (on Miquelon, the larger, less populous, and less visited island). St Pierre has great French restaurants (affordably priced in euros, of course). I took the ferry from Fortune, Newfoundland. Upon returning to Canada, I was surprised that the border control agent spent several minutes asking me questions and looking at my passport before stamping it despite having been in Canada the same week. I told her my car was parked in Canada, so I hoped they would let me back lol. It’s a long drive to Newfoundland from DC (or just to even to Maine is a long drive), so I had to cut my Labrador plans.
How’d you secure the visa for Angola? I’m attempting to get a transit visa, but everything I hear and read involves a physical visit to the LA consulate.
Starting to like @Matthew more and more every day especially since we share similar locations. Going to Tahiti later in the year (maybe I will see you there), with PNG and Mozambique in 2019. @Matthew very curious to hear your itineraries for both destinations as it’s tough to choose what to do with limited time.
Actually did Madagascar and Rwanda (Kigali Marriott is awesome) on a trip together in 2017 and Senegal back in 2016 (Best food in Africa if you ask me).
I believe we have similar palates when it comes to travel Matthew. I was fortunate to drive through Mozambique earlier last year. Although it has its social struggles it represents all of what I love about Africa. If I may make a suggestion though, when you get Maputo, and you feel you can navigate the horrific traffic, head east to Swaziland. I’ve hit 50+ countries and Swazi is right up there; certainly worth the drive. In addition, I would gladly debate Jamie on his suggestion of Senegal having the best food in Africa. This is a bold claim, which I believe Mozambique can easily surpass. My God, that Portuguese influence is still so prominent…
Just wondering whether those 120 countries you have visited are all (UN) countries or include places like Greenland/Tahiti?
130 “countries” on my own list, including the following non-UN nations:
Occupied Syria (Golan Heights)
Palestinian Territory (West Bank)
If these are the only ones ( i myself count Taiwan as a country) that’s quite impressive.