Exactly eight years ago I decided to visit every member state of the European Union, because how can you talk about the world if you don’t even really know your friends and neighbors? Over the first three years I didn’t make much progress, but after a few years I ended up extendeding my goal to the whole world, with the intention of visiting as many different countries as possible in my lifetime.

I only count “actual” cultural visits to internationally recognized countries, so no transits, no business trips and no autonomous regions. A visit usually only counts if it involved a minimum of two over-night stays, with some minor exceptions (like the Holy See).

Visited countries

Today I hit quite a milestone by visiting country number 40, Luxembourg, so it’s time to look at some statistics. Over the last eight years I’ve

  • spent a total of 583 days abroad

  • visited 40 different countries: Austria (uncounted), Egypt (2x), Belgium, China, Denmark (2x), Germany (uncounted), United Kingdom (3x), Estonia (2x), Finland, France (uncounted), Greece, Indonesia, Italy (uncounted), Cambodia, Croatia (3x), Laos, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden (3x), Switzerland (uncounted), Singapore (2x), Slovenia (3x), Spain (2x), Thailand (2x), Czech Republic (2x), Tunisia, Turkey, Hungary, Holy See (2x), United Arab Emirates (3x), Vietnam, Ireland, and Luxembourg.

  • traveled approximately (actually quite exactly) 229.000 kilometres by air, 50.000 kilometres by train, 44.000 kilometres by car/bus and 2500 kilometres by sea, for a total of more than 325.000 kilometres

  • been on 94 international flights, 25 of them in 2013 alone and 14 in 2015 already, the shortest just 192 (Phu Quoc - Can Tho) and the longest around 10.200 kilometres (Frankfurt - Singapore)

  • spent approximately 318 hours (more than 13 days) in-flight

  • used 60 different airports

  • started or landed in Frankfurt Airport 25 times

  • actually spent 83 days (I had to check twice!) living on boats

Some highlights:

  • I became a certified scuba diver two years ago and have since spent 38 days diving abroad, for a total of 44 hours underwater.

  • I did one of the highest tandem skydives (4500 meters), the highest bungee jump in the world (233 meters, Macau), and some of the deepest recreational wreck dives (40 meters).

  • Came back with ~390 gigabytes of pictures and videos…