As many of you worldly-types are no doubt aware, it’s very likely that very soon a new nation will be born. South Sudan is coming. Back in 2008 when I was planning The Odyssey Expedition, I was aware of Sudan’s potential to split into two nations, but assumed (wrongly!) that I would be finished travelling by now.
And while I fully support South Sudan rising up and breaking free of the shackles imposed on them by the brutal dictators of Khartoum, it doesn’t half put my quest to visit every country in the world into quite a bit of turmoil. I didn’t visit South Sudan when I was in Africa, I just visited the town of Wadi Halfa in the north of the country.
If the result of last week’s referendum is in favour of self-determination (as I’m sure it will be), then South Sudan will become Africa’s newest nation on 9 July 2011.
So here’s the deal. If I finish my Odyssey before 9 July 2011, I can comfortably say that I’ve been to every country in the world. If I reach The Seychelles (the current final country of the expedition) after 9 July, I will have to find a way of getting back to Africa to end my journey in South Sudan. No mean feat: my ticket to The Seychelles will no doubt be a one-way trip (which is why I’ve left it till last).
So… the race is on: I have to get to all of the Pacific Island Nations, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, The Maldives and The Seychelles before my list of 200 nations becomes 201.