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Worldle

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There are over 200 countries in the world, some of which I know little about (as I’m learning by playing Worldle, not Wordle). 

So far, I’ve managed to visit 35 of them, as well as the 48 contiguous states, just short of my personal goal of 50/50. 

So where should I visit next?  What countries do I feel I HAVE to see?

Europe is too easy. It was easy to knock out a bunch of European countries in a few backpacking summers, since they’re all about the size of American states *, but beyond Europe, two books raised an interest in two nations I hadn’t considered before picking them up.
*Russia not included 

 

For example, I’m desperate to visit Ethiopia:

Akaki River Waterfall

Years ago, I purchased The Sign and the Seal, Graham Hancock’s alt-history book about his search for the Ark of the Covenant. While some of his theories about history fit more into Ancient Aliens than non-fiction, his description of the country, landscape and people of the nation made it my number one goal.

Surprisingly, Clive Cussler made me want to visit Mali: 

Timbuktu

His novel Sahara is set there, a land of dried riverbeds and ancient cultures, and after I’d finished it, l thought a trek to Timbuktu was necessary. Keep in mind, I don’t think Cussler is a great writer, but there was something about that particular novel that made that West African nation a goal of mine.  

I have other countries in my sights as well, but my interest in them usually originated with a friend or acquaintance visiting, or some historical monument I’d come across in class I want to see personally.  

What about you? Is there a place you’d like to visit simply because of a book you’ve read? Share in the comments below!


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cstolliver
Chuck Small
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June 3, 2022 5:39 am

I can’t say it’s because of a book I read, but “Lost in Translation” made me both want to see Japan and not want to, at the same time. (It could be that we were watching it from the front row of a packed theater, as well.) Japan and Australia have always been on my “Win on the $100,000 Pyramid” wish list. (Of course, the first part of the wish list — actually getting on the Pyramid — has been the bigger challenge.)

mt58
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mt58
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June 3, 2022 5:42 am
Reply to  Chuck Small

Hmmm…

Phylum of Alexandria
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June 3, 2022 8:26 am
Reply to  Chuck Small

That movie came out shortly before I first got to go to Japan, and I know what you mean about the ambivalence.

One on hand, the scenery can be beautiful (often enhanced by Kevin Shields’ soundtrack selections). On the other, the movie goes out of its way to convey feelings of inconvenience and alienation. Obviously that reflects the state of the characters first and foremost. Coppola could have made a very similar movie about two lonely travelers meeting in chaotic Manhattan. But obviously she wanted to double down on the alienation, and so she picked chaotic, foreign Tokyo.

In any event, I definitely recommend traveling to Japan some time. If only for the food: they have such high standards for food, and you can get some amazing dishes for pretty low prices. It’s definitely worth it to explore regions outside of Tokyo. And while it’s less realistic for a short tourism visit, it’s great to get off the beaten paths and chat with Japanese locals.

Virgindog
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Virgindog
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June 3, 2022 8:26 am

I’ve forgotten where I read this but I want to visit Ushuaia, Argentina simply because it’s the southernmost city in the world.

I play Worldle (and Wordle) every day and have found that I know very little about Africa, southeastern Europe, and the ‘stans. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan… they’re big holes in my understanding of the world.

Phylum of Alexandria
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June 3, 2022 8:33 am

I would love to go to Russia, and at least part of that is based on my love of literature: from The Brothers Karamazov to Master and Margarita. Some day, maybe? *hint hint Ukraine*

Other places I would love to go as a lover of ancient history are Egypt, Iran, Greece, Turkey, and Israel and Palestine. Obviously some of those are more realistic than others.

I didn’t know Worldle was a thing, and….oh hell no.
If Heardle and Sedecordle showcase my superpowers, Worldle reveals my Achilles Heel: geography!

mt58
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mt58
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June 3, 2022 8:45 am

Cost prohibitive, impractical, and potentially dangerous. But here’s mine.

Virgindog
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Virgindog
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June 3, 2022 11:25 am
Reply to  mt58

A Scottish friend of mine has a brother-in-law in the military police who signed up for a year-long gig on Pitcairn. He thought it would be easy because there’s so few people there and it’s so far from everything. It happened to be 2004, the year of the sexual assault trials. Needless to say, it wasn’t as easy a post as he had hoped.

JJ Live At Leeds
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June 3, 2022 9:49 am

You’re ahead of me, 27 countries and 6 states (its 7 if I count the 2 hours I spent at Atlanta Airport on the way to Mexico but I don’t think that gave me the best of Georgia). I didn’t leave my island til I was 20 so I’ve been making up for lost time since.

There’s so many places I still want to go, haven’t touched South America or Asia. Closer to home I’d love to visit some of the more isolated parts of the UK, like the Shetland & Orkney Islands and Outer Hebrides.

Mention of Mali reminds me of Tinariwen, purveyors of desert blues. A captivating mix of traditional Tuareg sounds with western rock music.

https://youtu.be/pLYfT4ywNRA

Woj
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June 3, 2022 10:51 am

After reading Alex Garlands “The Beach” and then seeing the movie, I have been dying to go to Thailand, and honestly all of the SE Asia. Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam.

There is something so hedonistic about these countries that I cant get past. Probably watching and reading about the characters smoking too much dope and fantasizing about hot women.

So there’s that. Lol

mt58
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mt58
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June 3, 2022 11:02 am
Reply to  Woj

Good welcome to you, Woj!

Dance Fever
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June 3, 2022 11:57 pm

It must be Friday night, but thegue, your post brought back so many memories of teaching geography in the early 00’s and talking about so many interesting (and, to be fair, uninteresting) countries with my students.
It just popped into my mine the lovely song by the late, great Hoyt Axton and recorded by Three Dog Night, ” I’ve Never Been To Spain”. I’m envious of you fellow travelers that have ventured outside of the USA but I’ve found that traveling around our own country has been good enough for me.
My oldest son has a job where he works six months on and six months off and he has always made it a point to travel somewhere in the world each year when he has a chance.
He would appreciate all the experiences you and the gang have had exploring our world.

Pauly Steyreen
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June 4, 2022 2:25 am

I’ve been to 48 states (still missing Alaska… and Wisconsin somehow) and 13 countries. So so many I still want to visit, including Luxembourg and Germany (this summer’s plans), Iceland, Uruguay, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Madagascar, Gabon, Ethiopia, Morocco and numerous others.

dutchg8r
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dutchg8r
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June 5, 2022 12:32 pm

Hold up, how am I just now learning about Worldle???!!

Fortunately my parents had that same wanderlust, because we were always going places when I was a kid. Whether it was a local day trip somewhere, or traveling along with my dad to some work convention elsewhere in the States, we were always going places. And if we were driving I would ALWAYS be playing the license plate game.

Once I graduated college, travel was my #1 priority. I could care less about furnishing my apartment; all the money I managed to save would go into trips. I figured I better make the most of it while I was young and single. My coworkers always joked how they were living vicariously through me on my travels.

And as I expected, priorities changed once I met MrDutch, who’s attitude towards traveling places is the polar opposite of me! Not to mention life gets in the way. Any trips I take now are always tied to a business trip. But I don’t have regrets, because I am grateful for all the things I have experienced. Besides, I now live somewhere that people pay to travel to to experience; my backyard is a true staycation experience every day I’m out there, and at this stage of my life, that’s enough for me.

Long winded way of saying no, thegue, I don’t recall ever having a desire to visit somewhere based on something I read. Watching The Amazing Race certainly does peak my interest in potential places to visit though!

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