30 before 30 ✔︎

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About a year ago, a friend of mine told me about a challenge to travel 30 countries before turning 30 years old. The latter happens 30 days from today so I’m quite happy to announce that I’ve made my goal a few weeks back. So, where have I been?

  1. Austria
  2. Belgium
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Egypt
  6. France
  7. Germany1
  8. Greece
  9. Hungary
  10. That other state in the Middle East
  11. Italy
  12. Jordan
  13. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia2
  14. Latvia
  15. Lebanon
  16. Morocco
  17. Malaysia
  18. The Netherlands
  19. Norway
  20. Oman
  21. Persia3
  22. Russia
  23. Slovakia
  24. Spain
  25. Sri Lanka
  26. Sweden
  27. Switzerland
  28. UAE
  29. UK
  30. USA

To complete the alphabet, I’m missing:

  • Q: Qatar4
  • T: most likely Turkey5, maybe Thailand
  • V: I’ve been to Vatican City, which doesn’t count for the same reasons as Turkey. So it’ll be either Vietnam or Venezuela
  • W: Turns out, there’s no sovereign state starting with W, so I’ll have to wait until either Wales or Wallis and Futuna declare independence6.
  • X: …
  • Y: Yemen7
  • Z: Wikipedia claims it’s easier to get to Zambia than to Zimbabwe, so I guess that settles the question.
  1. Yes, I was born here, but it still counts. I’ve seen more places in Germany than anywhere else. And since I was born in the GDR, it should actually count twice :)
  2. Ok, maybe I cheated with the name because I needed a country with K
  3. I needed a P as well
  4. Should’ve thought of that before, I guess
  5. Already spent a few hours in Istanbul, but because I didn’t stay overnight, it doesn’t count
  6. So there is a potential upside to this whole Brexit referendum
  7. I’ll put that one on hold for some time

A short trip to Budapest

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Professional obligations, an unexpected public holiday in Europe and limited flight availability resulted in me being in Budapest for four days. Fortunately, for the training that was the purpose of my stay only two of those were required (but then, one of them was a Friday, which is part of my weekend) . This left me with two (half) days to stroll around the city and discover Budapest.

So after leaving the plane and finding a shop that sells tickets for the public transport – because, umm, why should we put up one of those modern credit card accepting ticket vending machines at the airport, when they’re already all over the rest of the city? – so after getting my tickets and boarding the bus, I at first had to stow away the I-expect-things-to-be-new-and-shiny attitude that Dubai somehow forced upon me in the last months. Luckily, it only took a few minutes (although the missing AC didn’t help) and once done, a nice trip lay ahead of me.

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Another 11k

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So according to Google Latitude I traveled another 11 000 km since my last post. This is a slight increase compared to the first milestone – as was to be expected, since this one includes my trip to London. I think from now on I will regularly check the Latitude stats and offer some analysis here:

Current milestone:

  • Distance traveled: 11 153 km (from 10 602 km to 21 755 km)
  • Time passed: 112 days
  • ETA at the moon: 2022-02-24