I got a fabulous present from my friend Vix this Christmas - a large map of the world with every country covered in a gold layer that can be scraped off when you have been there. For someone who is approaching the magic 100 countries (about half of all of them), it's a great way to keep track of my progress and prompt a bit of boasting to any visitors! At first I decided to just scrape off the individual areas I have travelled to [pic 1], but it looked a bit puny. So I've now scraped off the whole of any country I have been to [pic 2]. So despite only having been to Toronto, the whole Canadian chunk makes North America look a lot more travelled! Is that cheating? I still need to visit Australia and central Africa for it to look really good, while Antarctica would be a massive bonus! But sadly my days of hitting 5-6 countries a year have ground to a halt. It wouldn't be right to do too much exploring without the wife in tow, and Chinese tourists can't always get visas that easily. Still, there are 4-5 new countries looking tempting, Watch this space!
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