The Final Forty

Only forty more countries to go!!  But as you can no doubt see, I wasn’t joking when I said that the leaps were going to get harder!  This time last year I had been to a whopping 89 countries.  So far this year I’ve been to just 27… and there is no sign that things are going to speed up any time soon.

With the impenetrable African fortress of Eritrea still to visit, not to mention The Seychelles, Maldives, Bhutan, North Korea (if it still exists by the time I get there) and – heaven forefend – the dozen nations of Oceania, I still got a looooooong way to go before I’m safe and warm back in the arms of the woman I love.

But that’s no reason to get despondent.  It took Odysseus ten years to get back to Penelope and it took the current Guinness World Record™ holder, Mr. Kashi Samaddar, six and half years to do what I’m doing.  I’ve only got 28 more countries to visit before I hit Australia and if you add up everywhere I’ve been in my life (on and off The Odyssey) I’ve been to 175 countries… in other words, there are only 25 nations in the world on whose soil I haven’t stood.

If I can get this done before the end of 2010, I’ll be over the moon.  Once I get Eritrea out of the way, things should speed up – SE Asia is my old stomping ground and shouldn’t present too many problems.  But then again, I’m not counting any chickens before they’re hatched – I thought Africa would take no longer than three months(!).

If you want to help me on my way, please talk to the marketing department of your company (or any company for that matter) and see if they fancy sponsoring the rest of my travels.  Seriously – I won’t give up because of African jails, shipping forecasts or visa difficulties, but if I have to sack this all off because I’ve ran out of readies I would have just wasted the last two years of mine and Mandy’s lives on a FAIL of epic proportions.

And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?!