How many countries have I seen?

Our families think TB and I travel a lot. Of course, we think we don’t travel enough. I was IM’ing with one of my younger cousins this evening and he asked a question I had never pondered: How many countries had I been to during my travels. I took a moment to figure it out, and the number (including the US) is 20.

Considering it is just over 10% of the 193 countries in the world, we have a lot more traveling to do.

Here is my list:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Barbados
  4. Canada
  5. Dominica
  6. England
  7. France
  8. Germany
  9. Italy
  10. Malaysia
  11. Mexico
  12. Monaco
  13. Mozambique
  14. The Netherlands
  15. New Zealand
  16. Scotland
  17. Singapore
  18. South Africa 
  19. Spain
  20. USA

These are all places where I have actually visited so airport layovers do not count.

What is your “Countries Traveled” number? (Here is a Countries of the World list to help you out.)

Yes, I am deeply mortified to admit I have never visited South America or any of mainland Asia. If all goes as  planned, at least one of those continents will be represented on my list this calendar year.

My favorite country (excluding the US) so far has been South Africa. It was during our honeymoon after all and Cape Town is an amazing city. My least favorite? Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is ghetto, even with its Petronas Twin Towers — no offense to Malaysians, of course, they are good people.

Job Changes. Weddings. Travel Calendar.

I wanted to drop all my regular readers a quick note to let you know I am still alive and well. I have been absent from the blogosphere the last few weeks working through some organizational changes at work and doing planning (travel), preparation (taxes) and maintenance (computers/network, changing hosting companies, etc.) during my small spurts of spare time.

I mentioned in my “One Year” post how common re-orgs are at my workplace. In that post I also mentioned how I had somehow managed to avoid any major changes in my reporting structure in the first 12 months of my move to marketing. Two months into year 2 that was no longer the case. With this change I now have a great deal more responsibility as I now manage a larger team and a much, much larger set of technologies. I will discuss more in a future post.

TB and I have been figuring out our personal travel calendar for this calendar year. We typically stay home from January to April and do the bulk of our traveling from May to September followed by a few bursts beginning late November. We got an earlier start this year by attending my sister-in-law’s wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico this past weekend. The wedding was wonderful, the weather was awesome and we both had a great time. My in-laws are wonderful people and I’m not just saying that because several of them read my blog either. 😉

In addition to eating and drinking whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, I got a chance to take a lot of pictures (600+) during the weekend festivities. That gave me a chance to get to know many of the guests very well. Initially, everyone dislikes the camera guy particularly when he keeps pointing his paparazzi lens in their direction. Eventually they forgot I was there and that was when the magic happened. I am really pleased with the way the pictures came out and think I won a few fans.

We leave for another wedding — one of my fraternity brothers is tying the knot — in Atlanta this coming Friday.  While it is not the best time to be away from work with the team changes, new responsibilities and urgent deliverables, it is important to us to be there to support our family and close friends during these important events in their lives.

Other confirmed trips coming up this year include Las Vegas, Portland, Chicago, Boston, Brazil/Argentina. We owe some of our best friends visits which may take us to New Jersey and Canada (Calgary). I may also hit the road for work in the late summer and fall. We will nail down these trips by late April once we know when family and friends intend to book trips to visit us.

Taxes. Well, there is not much to say about those. 😥

Maintenance has been higher than usual the past month. I replaced our firewall and started the process of switching Web hosting companies after 6 years with the same hosting provider. I will talk about these in a separate post as well. That will give me an opportunity to get in touch with my inner nerd.