Finally, on 11/3/11, I used Wikipedia and my travel notes and updated my lists: ending up #94 (so that's in the top 1% of the "current" 9496 travelers!) with 408 visited and 464 remaining. I may have missed some, but that'll do for NOW!!!!
In 2006 I took 7 trips: the most ever in one year. That was too much. So in 2007 I took 6 trips; that was still too much. In 2008 I took 5 trips, and decided I had a pattern going. I'd take one fewer trip each year. Following my pattern, in 2009 I took 4 trips, and in 2010 I took 3 trips. This year, I took 2 trips. Earlier this year, I started thining about NEXT year's trip: one trip, but it had to be a GREAT trip. What would it be?
But first, let's do a little summarizing. This is actually my *********SCOTTEVEST: For the Trip of Your Life Contest Entry.********** In all, I've taken 108 major trips: that isn't counting local jaunts on weekends, but are trips "going places." Where have I gone? I'm not a goer "just to go," though I admit I felt a bit of pride when I went to the three former Guianas in South America to COMPLETE visits to every mainland country (excluding little islands in the Caribbean) in the western hemisphere. Not bad.
I counted United Nations flags, and have been to 138 of the 194 of them. I looked at the Century Club list, and found that I'd visited 192 of their 320+ destinations. I guess I'd like to break the 200 mark. Two centuries! I joined Most Traveled People in January, staggered by their listing of 872 locations. It's a real chore trying to figure, for example, which of the provinces in China I'd been to based on the cities I'd visited, or the states of Mexico, or the areas (not the departments, which would have been simpler!) of France. But I took a couple of days in January and found that I'd been to at least 357 locations, ranking me at #129 of their members, even though I haven't struggled to see which locations I'd been to in Japan, Russia, Spain, or Switzerland. If I worked at it, which I'm too lazy to do at this time, I might be able to struggle up to 400+.
So I've been around.
But I've MISSED places: I've been on tours to North Vietnam and South Vietnam, but I've missed Hue, which is supposed to be spectacular. It won't add to my counts, but I want to see it. China is a superb destination: by coincidence, in Xian, ONE terracotta warrior pit had been discovered at the time of my first visit, TWO terracotta warrior pits had been found by my second visit, and on my third visit there were four pits. But, with visits to Kashgar, Gaochang, Jiacho, Urumchi, and Dunhuant, I've missed other spots, like Guilin (the exotic Li River and karst mountains), Kunming (with its Stone Forest), and Zhangjiajie (which renamed their Huang Shan Mountains the Hallelujah Mountains when they were used as prototypes of the flying mountains on Planet Pandora in "Avatar"). I've been to Malta, Crete, many Greek islands, Sicily, and Vulcano in the Mediterranean, but I'd still love to see Cyprus, Corsica, and Sardinia. I've done three trips to India, but have managed to miss Darjeeling, Ajanta, and Ellora. I've been to every country in Europe---except Liechtenstein! And though I love Hawaii, I've never been to Molokai or Lanai. So, stringing them together like jewels on a necklace, I've come up with the 2012 Trip of My Life:
Westward from New York to HAwaii, stopping in Molokai and Lanai. Across the rest of the Pacific to Hue, and then hop into China for Zhangjiajie, Guilin, and Kunming (all of them have local airports, thankfuly). Next stop: India, for Darjeeling, Ajanta, and Ellora. Stop off in the Seychelles for a rest with snorkeling and sunshine. Then to Cyprus, Corsica, and Sardinia, and a quick jaunt into Europe for Liechtenstein. Rather than zipping across the Atlantic, I guess I'd like to throw in the Azores, since I liked the Cape Verde Islands, the Canaries, and Madeira so much. And return to my favorite city in the whole world: Brooklyn! The joys of nearby Manhattan and the quiet of Brooklyn Heights form the perfect combination for me, returning me to my twentieth-floor balcony overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and One World Trade. Fifteen destinations: two months should do it. Ten thousand dollars probably won't cover it, but---hey, it's the Trip of My Life!
I will e-mail this to firstname.lastname@example.org. I read about this in the New York Times Style Magazine of September 25, 2011. Also this e-mail includes my name, Robert Zolnerzak, my mailing address, 101 Clark Street, Apt. 20K, Brooklyn, NY 11201; my phone number, (718) 522-0591; my date of birth, 3/30/36; and THIS E-MAIL is my entry. Later, I'll post it to Facebook and to Most Traveled People.
Gosh, I left off Dominica, which is supposed to have glorious waterfalls---not as high as Angel Falls, which I loved, but---easier to get to!
I'm going to document my trip as I've documented ALL my trips: see zolnerzone.us for examples: exhaustive trip diaries. Also digital slide shows, which include movies---which I've intended to transfer to YouTube, since they make zolnerzone.us too time-consuming to download. Look for them: they might be there by now!