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I read an interesting post this morning linked to me over at Rapid Travel Chai, of a man who is attempting to visit all 197 countries in the world.  In addition to tracking my progress trying to visit all 3,143 counties in the world, I am using to track all 875 jurisdictions that they count, but who’s quibbling 🙂

In any case, Johnny Ward is sitting on 195 / 197 countries visited, with only Norway (saved for a “fun” country to finish with) and Yemen.  Yemen, if you don’t know, is in the middle of a civil war and not a great place to visit right now :-).  Johnny shared his 5 failed attempts to visit Yemen.

The entire article is worth a read but the basic idea is that he has tried 5 different times to visit Yemen

  1. Going to Yemen via the land border at Oman with $2000 USD at the border to bribe the border agent
  2. Charter flight to Socotra, Yemen (an island off the Yemeni coast) – permits not gathered
  3. Another charter flight from Kenya.  This time he and another group of country collectors got 80% of the way in the air to Socotra, only to be turned away
  4. Taking a charter boat to Socotra – couldn’t find a captain
  5. A Yemeni charter flight to Socotra – they had all the permits, but due to the Yemeni civil war their plane couldn’t leave Yemen to pick them up in Oman!

READ MORE: 5 failed attempts to visit Yemen.

How far I’ve gone to meet travel goals

So then that got me thinking about some of the things that I’ve done to try and meet some of my travel goals.  I’ve never tried to sail a boat through pirate-infested waters, nor taken $2000 USD to bribe a border official (though sometimes I wish I had!).  But I have:

  1. Driven a mile or so down a dirt road in the middle of the woods at 3 a.m. (to visit Gallia County Ohio) – that one got me into a record book. (SEE ALSO: Is this a road?  Or someone’s driveway?)
  2. Taken a ferry to an island, then a taxi to the airport to a plane to another island (visiting Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket – each their own county)
  3. I have (accidentally) driven a minivan into a raging river that had overflown its banks, overflowing onto the road (Jackson County, Alabama)



I haven’t yet taken a 2 hour mule ride (to visit Kalawao County, Hawaii), but it’s on my list!  Just earlier this month, I drove a rental car coupe down “County Road 1020 S” (a potholed dirt track I had no business being on) outside Midland, Texasto try and detour around a road closure to pick up Glasscock County, Texas.  I ended up stopping that one and finding a different way and honestly, I think I’d have saved time if I’d just waited for the road to open back up 🙂

What about you?

I’m curious to hear some of your craziest stories that have happened to you in pursuit of travel goals

[READ MORE: Tell me your craziest border crossing stories]

Share your craziest travel stories in the comments

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