Armchair Travel Challenge

In a nutshell, we will be ‘visiting’ each country in the world, spending about a month in each, trying to get adsorbed into the culture, learning about the history and setting ourselves lots of other challenges including trying to meet someone from that country.

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Countries previously visited

Click on the links below to find out how we got on in each country:

Burkina Faso

Libya

Rwanda

Bulgaria

Colombia

Philippines

Norway

Tunisia

Tajikistan

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Background

What would you do as part of an armchair travel challenge?

People have naturally been asking me what’s my next challenge, having completed my challenge to have a pint of Guinness in every European Capital City and my various walking challenges.

I put lots of thought into it but the one idea that keeps coming back was an armchair travel challenge.

I’m probably getting on a bit now to visit to every county in the world, much as I would like to. So why not try and do it ‘virtually’.

Here’s the general idea:

We would spend about a month in each country.

The next country would be picked out at random, using a random number generator.

Whilst in the country we would:

Try to eat and drink something typical of that country, either in a restaurant or making in at home.

Read something of the history, culture, politics, news etc.

Read something by a local author (or a book set in that country).

Listen to some of their music.

Watch a film made in that country.

View some of the art of that country.

Make a clock in the shape of that country (that sounds weird I know but believe it or not I used to make clocks in the shapes of different countries)

Try to meet someone from that country (and maybe give them a clock!)

Follow some sport in that country.

Get some stamps.

In keeping with my love of walking up hills I would investigate the highest point.

Also, in keeping with my love of the hobby of Geocaching I would try to solve a puzzle cache in that country.

What would you add to that list?

The first thing I needed was a list of countries of the world. As always there seems to be some debate about what is defined as a country. I’m not going to fret about it too much. Unlike my Guinness Challenge, I will be happy to add some more as time goes on if people can persuade me there is a valid reason. So far I have got 197 on my list – that seems a fairly standard number of world countries.

How will I pick out the next country? By use of a random number generator. There are plenty on the internet. I have just listed the countries on separate rows of a spreadsheet and the random number generator will do the rest.

The challenge started in November 2021. The first country ‘out of the hat’ was Burkina Faso. As I embarked on my virtual travels people suggested other things I could add to the list. Some of these I have taken on board, some I am still thinking about and others I have discounted. Do people honestly want to see me dress up in the National costume of each country? Again, it’s all very flexible, I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t achieve something on the list.

When reading the blogs it will be important to bear in mind that the travelling part of the challenge is all in my mind. So when I write that I caught a train at 8.50 and the weather was scorching ……….., there may not be a train at 8.50 on that particular day, in fact there may not be a train at all. It’s all in my imagination.

And here’s some of the pictures so far:

Progress to date:

Burkina Faso

Libya

Rwanda

Bulgaria

Colombia

Philippines

Norway

Tunisia

Tajikistan

St Vincent and the Grenadines