” The Sea Rebel “
Some questions are easy to answer but I’ve found out in life that most are not. As I boarded the ship Pacific Princess for the second leg of my journey around the world one question that keeps popping up is “How many countries will you be visiting on this trip?” It is not as easy a question as one might think.
When asked, “How many states have I been to? I can easily answer all 50. There are 50 states in the United States and I’ve been to them all. Simple question, simple answer. Years ago on a cruise I met a person who was a member of the Traveler’s Century Club who told me he had visited over 100 countries, but his exact number depended on your definition.
The Traveler’s Century Club includes some destinations that are clearly not countries, such as Alaska and Hawaii. While many Americans might balk at having two of our states on such a list, I believe many of you might feel that having the U.S. Virgin Islands on the list is much more acceptable.
So the first thing that I did was tried to determine how many places have I been prior to this trip. My first 10 cruises were to either Canada or Mexico so (ignoring Alaska for the moment) that was pretty easy. Starting with a cruise that I took in 2010, things got more complicated.
In 2010, I went to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and I also went to the Caribbean island of St. Martin/St. Marteen – a unique island shared by France and the Netherlands. So by the Traveler’s Century Club list I’m now up to 18. If you exclude Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands – I’m at 15 (but visiting St. Martin does not make me feel like I’ve been to France).
Perhaps a better way is to count the number of ports visited. One crewmember on a previous trip had been to 300 ports. I find that simpler as well. In the past I’ve been to 49 different ports during 19 different cruises (My first was Ensenada, Mexico when on the S.S. Azure Seas back in the 1980′s). “How many countries will you be visiting on this trip? I’ll have an answer to that as the trip progresses.