Harry's Trails Around The World

Harry Travels World

Some personal travel statistics

Total Number of Independent Countries Visited in:

2015: 19 (and 4 autonomous territories) 

2014: 35

2013: 35

2012: 34

2011: 35 (and 3 autonomous territories)

2010: 49 (and 11 autonomous territories)

2009: 41  (and 12 autonomous territories)

2008: 38 (and 6 autonomous territories)

2007: 75

2006: 43
2005: 47
2004: 29
2003: 24
2002: 43
2001: 23
2000: 28
1999: 21

Total Number of Flights: 2097


Total Number of Flights in:

2015: 49 

2014: 140

2013: 121

2012: 127

2011: 161 (87 of which were domestic, an annual record for domestic flights)

2010: 216 (personal annual record)

2009: 156

2008: 85

2007: 157
2006: 93
2005: 88
2004: 56
2003: 41
2002: 96
2001: 70
2000: 35
1999: 32

Most frequently crossed borders:

  • Greece: 298 (estimate)
  • United Kingdom: 104
  • Switzerland: 88
  • Italy: 79
  • Serbia: 79
  • Germany: 52
  • Turkey: 43
  • Netherlands: 43
  • France: 38
  • Croatia: 33
  • Spain: 30
  • U.S.A: 29
  • Hungary: 26
  • FYR Macedonia: 25


Most frequently used airlines:

  1. Olympic Airways/Airlines: 151
  2. Aegean: 111
  3. Lufthansa: 84
  4. Turkish: 73
  5. British: 60
  6. JAT/Air Serbia: 54
  7. Easyjet: 49
  8. KLM: 46
  9. Swiss: 40
  10. TAM Brasil: 40
  11. Egyptair: 36
  12. Qatar: 28
  13. Alitalia: 28
  14. Gulf Air: 26
  15. Olympic Air: 26
  16. Iberia: 23
  17. Malev: 23
  18. Air New Zealand: 22
  19. Emirates: 20
  20. Ryanair: 20
  21. LAN: 20

Countries where I have flown domestically

This is a list of all countries where I have taken a domestic flight, and the routes I have flown. These are included even when the domestic flight was a connection on with an international one.

  • Afghanistan: Kabul-Herat
  • Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua-Barbuda
  • Argentina: Cordoba-Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires-Iguazu, Ushuaia-Rio Gallegos, Rio Gallegos-Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires-Mendozat, Buenos Aires-Salta
  • Australia: Brisbane-Melbourne, Melbourne-Hobart, Hobart-Sydney, Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Canberra, Canberra-Perth, Perth-Adelaide, Sydney-Lord Howe Island
  • Bangladesh: Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Jessore
  • Bolivia: La Paz-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz-Tarija, Tarija-Cochabamba, Cochabamba-Trinidad, Trinidad-La Paz
  • Brazil: Rio de Janeiro-Belem, Sao Paolo-Florianopolis, Florianopolis-Porto Alegre, Foz de Iguassu-Sao Paolo, Fortaleza-Sao Luiz, Sao Luiz-Teresina, Recife-Fernando de Noronha, Maceio-Brasilia, Natal-Fortaleza and many more
  • Cambodia: Siem Reap-Phnom Penh
  • Canada: Vancouver-Prince George, Vancouver-Toronto, Calgary-Montreal, Ottawa-Montreal, Montreal-Moncton, St.John's-Toronto, Edmonton-Winnipeg, Winnipeg-Thunder Bay
  • Cape Verde: Praia-Sao Vicente, Sao Vicente-Sal
  • Chile: Santiago-Easter Island, Arica-Iquique, Punta Arenas-Santiago
  • Colombia: Cartagena-Bogota, San Andres-Bogota, Bogota-Leticia
  • Croatia: Split-Zagreb
  • Cuba: Havana-Santiago de Cuba, Holguin-Havana
  • Denmark: Copenhagen-Aarhus, Copenhagen-Ronne
  • Ecuador: Quito-Coca, Coca-Latacunga, Latacunga-Guayaquil
  • Egypt: Cairo-Sharm El Sheikh, Cairo-Abu Simbel, Aswan-Cairo
  • Equatorial Guinea: Malabo-Bata
  • Fiji: Nadi-Suva
  • Finland: Helsinki-Ivalo, Helsinki-Jyvaskyla, Helsinki-Oulu
  • Germany: Hamburg-Munich, Munich-Frankfurt
  • Greece: Athens-Thessaloniki, Athens-Iraklion, Athens-Rhodes, Athens-Corfu, Athens-Chania, Athens-Alexandroupolis, Athens-Kavala, Athens-Ioannina, Ioannina-Thessaloniki, Corfu-Thessaloniki and many other island routes
  • India: Hyderabad-Kolkata, Mumbai-Jaipur, Mumbai-Goa, Goa-Bangalore, Bangalore-Chennai, Chennai-Port Blair
  • Indonesia: Jakarta-Balikpapan, Balikpapan-Makassar, Jakarta-Ambon, Ambon-Fak Fak, Banda Aceh-Medan, Medan-Pekanbaru, Pekanbaru-Batam, Batam-Pontianak, Pontianak-Surabaya, Surabaya-Yogyakarta, Palembang-Pangkalpinang, Makassar-Ternate, Ternate-Manado
  • Iran: Mashhad-Esfahan, Esfahan-Tehran, Tehran-Yazd, Yazd-Tehran, Tehran-Tabriz, Shiraz-Kerman, Bandar Abbas-Tehran, Rasht-Mashhad, Mashhad-Tehran, Tehran-Sanandaj
  • Italy: Milan-Rome, Milan-Palermo, Milan-Bari, Alghero-Rome, Palermo-Lampedusa
  • Japan: Sendai-Sappor, Sapporo-Fukuoka, Fukuoka-Okinawa, Okinawa-Minami Daito, Okinawa-Kobe
  • Kazakhstan: Almaty-Astana, Atyrau-Aktau, Aktau-Aktobe, Aktobe-Astana, Astana-Pavlodar, Semipalatinsk-Astana, Astana-Kyzylorda, Taraz-Almaty
  • Kenya: Nairobi-Mombasa
  • Kyrgyzstan: Osh-Bishkek
  • Madagascar:Antananarivo-Majunga
  • Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu, Miri-Kuala Lumpur, KL-Kota Bharu
  • Mauritius: Mauritius-Rodrigues
  • Mexico: Monterrey-Mexico City, Mexico City-Merida, Tuxtla Gutierrez-Mexico City, Mexico City-Torreon, Monterrey-Leon
  • Morocco: Casablanca-Laayoune (Western Sahara), Agadir-Casablanca
  • Myanmar: Yangon-Inle, Mandalay-Myitkyina, Yangon-Thandwe
  • Nepal: Kathmandu-Biratnagar, Kathmandu-Pokhara
  • New Zealand: Auckland-Wellington, Wellington-Nelson, Nelson-Auckland
  • Norway: Oslo-Longyearbyen, Oslo-Bergen, Bergen-Trondheim, Trondheim-Narvik
  • Oman: Muscat-Salalah
  • Pakistan: Karachi-Lahore, Islamabad-Karachi, Karachi-Peshawar
  • Peru: Lima-Cuzco, Lima-Tacna, Juliaca-Lima
  • Philippines: Tagbilaran-Manila, Manila-Cagayan de Oro, Manila-Laoag, Manila-Tacloban, Tacloban-Cebu, Cebu-Puerto Princesa, Manila-Legazpi
  • Poland: Warsaw-Gdansk
  • Romania: Timisoara-Bucharest, Iasi-Bucharest
  • Russia: Moscow-Irkutsk, Moscow-Kazan, Vladivostok-Khabarovsk, Syktyvkar-Moscow, Sochi-Rostov, Krasnoyarsk-Yakutsk, Yakutsk-Magadan, Magadan-Vladivostok and others
  • Saudi Arabia: Jeddah-Riyadh, Riyadh-Dammam
  • South Africa: Johannesburg-Durban, Durban-Port Elisabeth, Cape Town-Johannesburg, Johannesburg-Polokwane. Johannesburg-Kimberley, Johannesburg-Bloemfontein
  • Spain: Melilla-Madrid, Madrid-Barcelona,Tenerife-Madrid, Alicante-Madrid, Santander-Alicante, Madrid-Bilbao
  • Sri Lanka: Colombo-Jaffna
  • Switzerland: Zurich-Geneva
  • Tajikistan: Dushanbe-Khojand
  • Taiwan: Taipei-Kinmen, Kinmen-Kaohsiung
  • Tanzania: Zanzibar-Dar Es Salaam
  • Thailand: Udon Thani-Bangkok, Bangkok-Ranong, Phuket-Chiang Mai, Bangkok-Phuket, Bangkok-Trat, Ubon Ratchathani-Bangkok
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Port of Spain-Tobago
  • Turkey: Istanbul-Ankara, Kars-Ankara, Ankara-Samsun, Istanbul-Trabzon, Istanbul-Gaziantep, Istanbul-Sanliurfa, Izmir-Kayseri, Adana-Istanbul
  • Ukraine: Simferopol-Kiev
  • United Kingdom: London-Leeds/Bradford,Edinburgh-London, Isle of Man-Birmingham, Birmingham-Jersey, Guernsey-London, Guernsey-Alderney, Edinburgh-Lerwick
  • United States: New York-Washington, Las Vegas-Denver, Atlanta-Memphis, Louisville-Birmingham, Birmigham-Houston, Houston-Las Vegas, Los Angeles-Albuquerque, Billings-Denver, Chicago-Kansas City, Denver-Reno and many others
  • Uzbekistan: Tashkent-Fergana, Tashkent-Urgench, Nukus-Tashkent, Bukhara-Tashkent
  • Venezuela: Caracas-Maracaibo
  • Vietnam: Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh, Ho Chi Minh-Phu Quoc, Ho Chi Minh-Hue, Danang-Ho Chi Minh. Ho Chi Minh-Haiphong

Unexpectedly nice surprises (alphabetically)

  1. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  2. Antananarivo, Madagascar
  3. Bangui, Central African Republic
  4. Bata, Equatorial Guinea
  5. Beijing, China
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. Chicago, USA
  8. Colon, Argentina
  9. Cordoba, Argentina
  10. Danang, Vietnam
  11. Dili, East Timor
  12. Dushanbe, Tajikistan
  13. Harare, Zimbabwe
  14. Hobart, Australia
  15. Hyderabad, India
  16. Kuwait, Kuwait
  17. Laayoune, Western Sahara
  18. Maastricht, Netherlands
  19. Macau
  20. Minsk, Belarus
  21. Monrovia, Liberia
  22. Oradea, Romania
  23. Osh, Kyrgyzstan
  24. Pyongyang, North Korea
  25. Reggio di Calabria, Italy
  26. Reunion Island (Indian Ocean), France
  27. Sevastopol, Ukraine
  28. Swakopmund, Namibia
  29. Tirana, Albania
  30. Tlaxcala, Mexico
  31. Tomsk, Russia

Harry's best...or rather worst disappointments

These places teach you not to expect too much...in alphabetical order:

  1. Aruba
  2. Asuncion, Paraguay
  3. Bergen, Norway
  4. Bhutan
  5. Dakar, Senegal
  6. Darwin, Australia
  7. Dubrovnik, Croatia
  8. Fiji Islands
  9. Geneva, Switzerland
  10. Hong Kong
  11. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  12. Las Vegas, U.S.
  13. Murmansk, Russia
  14. Nassau, Bahamas
  15. Seoul, South Korea
  16. Siem Reap/Anghor Wat, Cambodia
  17. Stresa, Italy
  18. Zanzibar, Tanzania

Harry's...worst 'dumps' (alphabetically)

  1. Accra, Ghana
  2. Asuncion, Paraguay
  3. Brussels, Belgium (and almost everything in that country)
  4. Casablanca, Morocco
  5. Cayenne, French Guiana
  6. Dhaka, Bangladesh
  7. Ferizaj, Kosovo
  8. Genoa, Italy
  9. Georgetown, Guyana
  10. Gevgelija, FYR Macedonia
  11. Juba, South Sudan
  12. Khartoum, Sudan
  13. Lleida, Spain
  14. Moncton, Canada
  15. Nassau, Bahamas
  16. Nicosia, Cyprus
  17. Niksic, Montenegro
  18. Ploiesti, Romania
  19. Seoul, South Korea
  20. Sheffield, UK
Note: Eastern European dumps can be substituted for each other, and are plentiful.

Harry's...worst rip-offs

  1. Antigua (Antigua and Barbuda)
  2. Bermuda
  3. Bhutan
  4. Caracas, Venezuela
  5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  6. Khartoum, Sudan
  7. Las Vegas, US
  8. London, UK
  9. Luanda, Angola
  10. Moscow, Russia
  11. Sao Paulo, Brazil
  12. Seychelles
  13. Skagway, Alaska, US.

Harry's best...mid-size towns (in alphabetical order)

  1. Asmara, Eritrea
  2. Cartagena, Colombia
  3. Colon, Argentina
  4. Esquel, Argentina
  5. Evora, Portugal
  6. Iasi, Romania
  7. Irkutsk, Russia
  8. Jerusalem, Israel
  9. Kigali, Rwanda
  10. Luang Prabang, Laos
  11. Morelia, Mexico
  12. Novi Sad, Serbia
  13. Pamplona, Spain
  14. Rio Branco, Brazil
  15. St. John's, Canada
  16. Strasbourg, France
  17. Szeged, Hungary
  18. Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  19. Trondheim, Norway
  20. Wellington, New Zealand

Harry's best...islands (in alphabetical order)

  1. Bonaire, Netherlands
  2. Funafuti, Tuvalu
  3. Ile d'Orleans, Quebec, Canada
  4. Isle of Man
  5. Madagascar
  6. Madeira, Portugal
  7. Miyajima, Japan
  8. Rhodes, Greece
  9. Reunion, France
  10. St. Barthelemy, France
  11. Sao Tome, Sao Tome & Principe
  12. Sark, Guernsey
  13. Tasmania, Australia

How can one define a country?

The UN standard

The problem of defining 'what is a country' is quite a complex one really because there is no standard definition of what constitutes a country. Is it control of borders? Foreign policy? Recognition by some or all other countries? Whatever the standard, the answer will be different...
The 'easiest' way to solve the problem would be to take the standard of the United Nations. As of today, there are 192 members in the UN plus the
Vatican, which is recognised as an associate member, so that makes a total of 193. However, the weakness of this standard can be seen historically in that some recognised countries like Switzerland were not UN members until very recently. And what about Taiwan, for instance? Is it a country? Well, the UN say no.

 

The wikipedia standard

If you type 'list of countries' in wikipedia, you will come up with a list more extensive that the UN list. This includes not only the standard UN members, but also self-governing territories like French Caledonia, Gibraltar, Falklands, Greenland etc, as well as de facto independent countries, which may have not been recognised generally, but behave as if they were independent. This is quite a good measure really, but there are some weaknesses here too. Guadeloupe and Martinique, for example, are not considered as they are provinces of France...but aren't these different enough to warrant a 'country' listing? And this standard also mentions Akrotiri and Dekelia on Cyprus as separate by virtue of them being British land, even though they only house army bases...is this good enough?

 

The TCC standard

The Travel Century Club is a group of those who have been to more than 100 countries - as defined by the TCC. Their list includes 321 countries with a lot of emphasis on islands as separate territories. For example, their list includes Sardinia and Corsica as separate, yet does not include Nagorno-Karabakh or South Ossetia which wikipedia does, as they are not 'independent'. A double standard, I dare say. Plus, the TCC list gives a lot of emphasis on the different bases of Antarctica, even though they only house a few scientists and have no culture so to speak of...so, can these be defined as countries?

 

The Charles Veley standard

Charles Veley has come up with his own website: www.mosttraveledpeople.com which is fun and informative, and basically has 872 'countries'. I am, as of today (November 8, 2011) 15th on their list of most travelled people based on their criteria, (although one of only 14 in the UN Hall of Fame, who have been to all official UN countries) but the problem is that as a country you find, among other things, abandoned rocks and the most insane of enclaves. Why do the US, Brazil, Mexico,  Russia, India and China get divided into territories while, for example, Turkey doesn't? If we begin with a standard this detailed, maybe everything is a country...every village!

 

The Jeff Shea standard

I like Jeff Shea, he has class and an attitude. He has come up with what he calls an ISO 3166-2 list that has 3978 provinces. He is careful not to name these countries, nor does he open a competition for going there. Nor am I clear exactly what is included in the list, but it seems that he takes into account all national provinces too. So do you think we should go with this? Almost 4000 bits of the world to see? Could be reasonable, but again sounds a bit too exaggerated both culturally and practically. Plus certain countries (like Slovenia) have more than 100 provinces while others, like Serbia, have none! Provinces are often marked for administrative reasons, and that is their only use sometimes within a country. I don't know if a global traveller should be aiming at all of these...

Things to consider

a. Does a country have its own flag? This, nevertheless, is not an adequate standard. Many of the French colonies have the same flag as France. Shouldn't they be considered separately?
b. Does a country have its own phone code? Yet, US and Canada both have the prefix +1 while Kosovo uses Monaco's prefix +377....
c. Does a country issue its own stamps? But here we must consider that stamp issuing is not necessarily a government activity.
d. Does a country have its own currency? With currencies like the euro or the African CFA, clearly this is not an adequate standard...
e. Does a country have or did it ever have control of its own borders? This may be the closest we can get to the definition of a country...but again zones like Schengen will blur this standard in the future...

 

Harry's triple standard

Well, you will love my standards which are complicated and never simplistic. I have decided on a three-tier system, inspired by, but not corresponding to, any of the above...

a. 200 countries. This comes from the 193 of the UN plus Vatican, plus Taiwan and Kosovo plus Palestine which have been recognised by a significant number of countries. I also include Western Sahara in this, while the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by not only Russia, but also Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru, means I will accept those too as 'countries'.

b. 260 countries. This starts from the wikipedia standard mentioned above (245) but subtracts the army base of Akrotiri and Dekeleia as a territory. Then, we add the following: Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Reunion, Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira and Tibet, all of which are significantly geographically or otherwise separated from the mother territory. The U.K. is also separated into 4 i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I also add 4 countries which existed at the time of my birth in 1972, but no more i.e. Sikkim, East Germany, South Yemen and South Vietnam. Using this standard, I have done all apart from Tokelau.

c. 1281 'regions' in 27 megaregions. After extensive exchange of emails with Artur Anuszewski of Poland, we agreed on a standard of a reasonable 1281 regions that could be a new standard for world travellers. This is the version which is uploaded in my site as World1281 (currently under construction) under the section 'List of Countries' and is being launched as www.thebesttravelled.com. It includes all administrative divisions of the world's 10 largest countries, dividing all countries apart from the very smallest at least once, considers major islands, major cultural divides and generally only inhabited areas with few exceptions. We believe that, though no perfect list exists, this is as fair as it can get. There was a lot of compromise involved with Mr Anuszewski on both sides before we agreed on the final version.