This year I am celebrating 25 years in the business and in that time I visited nearly 100 countries. Yes, it took me that long - one has to work you see...
What if I were retired and money was no object (one can dream after all) - how long would it take to visit 100 countries?
Let's find out how long it would take to visit 100 countries using our great adventure tours!
To start off my journey I would fly to Central America, where I would pick up the Central America Coast to Coast tour which, starting in largely undiscovered El Salvador, journeys through Honduras, Guatemala and Belize before winding up in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Along the way, explore colonial towns and discover the ancient history of the Mayans and some stunning reefs.
Next I would fly south to Discover Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama. Nicaragua’s enchanting landscape is vast and relatively untouched by tourism;. Costa Rica is famous for its dense jungle, cloud forest and a handful of active volcanoes. Then on to the Bocas del Toro Islands, a stunning archipelago with a lively Caribbean culture and vibrant Panama City.
Further south still to the tip of South America to discover four countries while travelling from Buenos Aires to Rio. En-route visit Colonia in Uruguay and from Iguazu Falls do a quick side-trip to Paraguay.
That's for the first 6½ week - 12 countries. Now I hop across the Atlantic to South Africa to travel from Johannesburg to Cape Town, en route visiting Swaziland and Lesotho. Game viewing, great hiking and some spectacular scenery awaits! From Cape Town, fly up to Windhoek for more wildlife and landscapes and encounters with traditional African cultures as I travel through Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. In Victoria Falls I cross the bridge to pick up my next tour, the Zambia, Malawi & Mozambique Adventure. It incorporates a canoe adventure, walking safaris, snorkelling and fantastic beaches.
A world tour is not really a world trip without visiting East Africa and see Gorillas & the Masai Mara and all that is in between. Yet I have only done one quarter of my journey! So off to West Africa I go where original cultures, poignant history, vibrant cities, lively music and a juxtaposition of deserts, coast and marshes make for interesting destinations. First I visit Ghana, Togo and Benin, the cradle of Voodoo, before travelling all the way up the coast to Morocco.
Now I am one-third in to my trip, both time-wise (157 days) and country-wise (32). Let's go to Europe to do some serious country bagging! An easy one is from Barcelona to Berlin which covers 6 countries in 2 weeks. From there I fly to Helsinki to pick up my next tour, the epic Helsinki to Oslo - 22 days and 8 new countries. Further south, between Vienna and Dubrovnik I add another 9 countries in less than a month, seeing all the classical cities of Central Europe along the way. Speaking of classical cities the coast between Venice and Dubrovnik is a must-see. And travelling south from there, the new and old countries of the Balkan await discovery, as are the little known wonders of Romania, Moldava and Ukraine. For the record, this would take me to the breakaway republic of Transnistria, a de facto independent state, recognised only by the kindred reble states of Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. So I won't count it to my tally which now stands at 65 countries in 8½ months.
To the Middle East now where the more calmer countries allow a journey from Cairo to Jerusalem, along the way visiting the Biblical lands of Egypt, Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories. After getting myself a new passport to hide evidence of having been to Israel, I fly to Dubai to travel on the Persian Caravan to the Caucasus, a journey of extremes in cultures. Across the Caspian Sea I then pay a visit to Central Asia where the five stans share a common history yet each have their own charm.
Into the Himalaya where Nepal, India and Bhutan await. Along the way I explore relics of the Raj, ruined monasteries and ancient temples before visiting what is arguably the least Western-influenced culture in the world. Then, using Bangkok as my hub, I visit all of South East Asia before dropping down to SIngapore. My final leg in Asia brings me back to Europe on the Trans-Siberian.
At the end of all that traveling I need a holiday. So I get myself down to the Caribbean for an island-hopping trip in the Windward Isles and French Antilles, followed by the epic Pacific Explorer for the final 12 countries in 42 days.
So there you have it - how to visit 100 countries in just over a year!