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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

37... and counting

Last night I was telling my kids about an upcoming business trip I have to take.

Obviously they are unhappy when I'm not around, but their disappointment is usually tempered by the anticipation of the swag I bring home for them.  But this time I was a bit perplexed by my daughter's reaction.  She said "You're so lucky that you get to travel all the time!  I never get to go anywhere!" 

I just stared at her and marveled at what a different perspective my kids have as compared to where my head was when I was that age. 

She and her sibs have been flying since they were babies... across the U.S. and around the world.  For them, getting on a plane is as routine as getting on a bus.  Heck, Zahava and I didn't think twice about putting Ari and Gili (12 and 14 respectively) on a flight to the U.S. this past summer... with a connection in Rome!

I, on the other hand, had never been on a plane before my Jr. Year of High School... and I nearly peed myself with a combination of excitement and fright during that first take-off.   But touring most of Western Europe with a Jazz band between my Jr. and Sr. years of High School, four years in the Navy sailing around the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and plenty of business travel, have pretty much eclipsed the memory of that initial shock.

But each time I return from one of my trips abroad with gifts for the kids, I watch them handling the exotic tchotchkes and can see in their eyes that they have already caught the wanderlust for which Israelis are so famous.  In fact, Ariella is already planning her post-army Safari to Africa... and she's only 14!

Anyway, in the course of our conversation about my impending trip, Ariella asked me how many countries I'd visited so far... and I honestly didn't know.  So, for Ari... the following is a map showing the places I've been so far (not counting the place I will be visiting soon):

Trep has visited 37 countries (16.4% of the world)
Create your own visited map of The World.

[Disclaimer:  The map automatically displayed Alaska in red when I selected the U.S., but Alaska is actually the only U.S. state I have never visited.]

Posted by David Bogner on October 7, 2008 | Permalink


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Hey David, add Mexico to that map, will ya?!!! So it's been 38!

When we lived in San Diego, the whole family drove down there and we almost lost our sister when she 'toddled' off! (ah, those crazy 'hands-off' parents of ours!)

Posted by: Val | Oct 7, 2008 3:01:16 AM

Denmark, Norway, Sweden (all I can remember is mayonaise.... I was two years old at the time).

Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Francy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, and England - vacations between my sixth and eighteenth year. Ice-cream, man!

Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan - midtwenties wanderlust after returning to the States in 78. Eggrolls and smelly things.

Plus Canada - which isn't really a country ......

Oh, and Berkeley. Which acts like it is.

Posted by: The Back of the Hill | Oct 7, 2008 3:16:26 AM

You've been to Somalia? Business or pleasure?

Posted by: Alan T. | Oct 7, 2008 3:29:41 AM

Sarah is waiting for you in Alaska ;)

Posted by: Safranit | Oct 7, 2008 8:58:54 AM

I'm still not convinced you haven't been to Mexico:


Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Oct 7, 2008 9:57:17 AM

I did the US Map - it was a big deal when on my last trip I made it to my 25th state. Needless to say I have a slight east-coast bias...

Posted by: Aharon | Oct 7, 2008 2:41:44 PM

The unwritten rule is that you have to match the number of countries to your age.
A couple of ground rules
1. A visit to a country means that you have to leave the airport (so layovers don't count).
2. Whatever legal boundries existed at the time are what prevail. So, if you visited West Germany and East Germany when they were still separate..well, you get credit for two countries (whereas today you would get credit for only one)
3. It gets a little "grey" when boundries are less clear. Out of desperation I counted the Golan as Syria so I wouldn't fall behind when I turned 31 (politics be dammed).

But, I fell behind when I turned 32...

Posted by: Naomi | Oct 7, 2008 3:15:51 PM

I used to think about that stuff when I was a kid. Until I was 12, I was stuck on 3 states - New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Then my aunt and uncle moved to Baltimore, and when I visited them (2 new states!) I felt like quite the Marco Polo.

Now, of course, I'm up to 27 states and one district (of Columbia), which ain't half bad. I figure anything over 50% is pretty cool. (Although, according to Mr. Obama, I have another 30 states to go - but that's for another post. :) )

As for world countries - ehhh, not so impressive. That would be 7: U.S., Israel, U.K., Belgium, Canada, Mexico, and Panama. Guess I've got a ways to go...

Posted by: psachya | Oct 7, 2008 3:28:43 PM

Val... Hmmm, how did I manage to miss Mexico? I'm sure I left out other countries too, but at 5:00AM that's a pretty good list to build, no?

The Back of the Hill... Love the line about Berkeley. Spot on.

Alan T.... I was one of of the first American military personnel in Somalia within days of them throwing the Russian's out. We were in Berbera... not Mogadishu. It was a sad country then, but nothing like the hell hole it has become.

Safranit ... Don't make my heart go pitter pat! :-)

Dave (Balashon)... No, my sis is right. We went there many times... and I did go there frequently when I was in the Navy. That part was true. I just didn't get married. :-)

Aharon ... I actually got to see Alaska from the water (from my ship), but we didn't stop for a port call/liberty.

Naomi... I had no idea the rules were so exacting. I'll have to take Iceland off the list then... but as my sister pointed out, I forgot Mexico. So it's still 37. :-)

psachya... I think if you played more than one season with Negina you automatically get credit for having visited most of the former Soviet Republics. ;-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Oct 7, 2008 4:44:29 PM

Sarah is waiting for you in Alaska ;)

We can fix that. Give her a kaleidoscope and tell her that she can see David in Israel. She'll be ever so excited.

I haven't been to anywhere close to 37 countries, something like 13 or so. But I have been to more than 37 states, not including various states of awareness. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Oct 7, 2008 9:27:57 PM

Yes, travel is exciting!

So far I've been to most of the East Coast states and none of the West Coast... (New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and I think I may have driven through a few more, but I forget. :) )

In terms of countries I've lived in or visited, I haven't actually counted them but here's a list...

Ukraine, United States (duh, I've lived in both!)


The Abkhazia part of Georgia

Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Belize

Greece, Turkey, France

Israel (am going on Birthright soon, so it'll be my second time!!!)

Yeah, the list is rather short... But hopefully it'll keep expanding!

Posted by: Irina | Oct 8, 2008 5:41:19 AM

Lucky for me I got married, so my girl has been responsible for me visiting New Mexico, my second (out of two) trip to actual Mexico, and this year -- at 46 years -- my first trip to "Europe," if by "Europe" you will allow London and Edinburgh and Dundee to stand in.

I have lived in the So Cal deserts for 35 out of 47 years, and the middle ten I lived in my college town of Santa Barbara.

I am the proverbial "stick in the mud" although I prefer to think of myself as a "bloom where you are planted" type that finds joy and interest in wherever I am.

Just don't ask the missus...!

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 8, 2008 5:47:23 AM

P.S. who was it that said "the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about?"**

Sen. McCain, is he lives by that statement, has to be busting his buttons with the Governor Palin pick. She's shown up even in the corner of a geography post on a popular Israeli blog!

** no; don't tell me. I know who said it.


Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 8, 2008 5:50:52 AM

I lived in my college town of Santa Barbara.

Isla Vista haunts my dreams to this day. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Oct 8, 2008 7:27:56 AM

I'll try the link; thanks for sharing. Hope you had an easy fast.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Oct 9, 2008 9:59:04 PM

Wow, I am so blown away that you have been to 49 of the 50 United States!!

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Oct 11, 2008 10:47:27 PM

Jack -- in my dreamworld -- no joke -- there is a sort-of hybrid dorm/Isla Vista locale I find myself in to this day...

Posted by: Wry Mouth | Oct 11, 2008 10:48:04 PM

Wry, I understand.

Posted by: Jack | Oct 12, 2008 8:49:37 AM


Interesting that you should post this now. Recently I put a USA and a world map on posterboard and used map pins to note where my wife and I (both before our marriage and since) have been. (I chose not to count the airport-only stops.) We have covered much of the South (every state except NC and SC, although my wife may have been in NC), the Mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest (excluding MI and WI for me), as well as TX, OK, CO, and AZ (my wife has been to CA). My wife has been in New England, so I am looking forward to that. We have also been in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Internationally, we have also been to the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Netherlands and Israel.

Posted by: sheldan | Oct 13, 2008 2:01:03 AM

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