The beach near Monastery of Saint Nahum, North Macedonia.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Gjyrokaster, Albania on October 6th.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The top 5 so far, and why

I follow the blog of Johnny Ward at One Step 4 Ward. He has been to every country in the world. Not only the 192 United Nations listed countries, but the ones that really are countries, but not necessarily recognized as such by other countries. That brings the total list up to 215.

He posted a list of all those countries on Facebook the other day, and asked readers how many they had been to, and what their favorites were. Of course that got me thinking about what our top five might be.

Here is the list...

So, (as of October 5, 2022) we have been to 53 of the 215.

I made a list of the countries we have been to, and in the order and date that we first visited them.

1. Canada
2. England (1983 together, but we had both been previously)
3. United States (1984 together, but we had both been previously)
4. Scotland 1987
5. Antigua 1993
6. Dominican Republic 1998
7. Denmark 1999
8. Sweden 1999
9. Cuba 2002
10. Mexico 2003
11. Portugal 2007
12. Spain 2007
13. Czech Republic 2012
14. Slovakia 2012
15. Hungary 2012
16. Wales 2012
17. Iceland 2012
18. Guatemala 2013
19. Namibia 2013
20. South Africa 2013
21. Lesotho 2014
22. South Korea 2014
23. Colombia 2015
24. Switzerland 2016
25. Romania 2016
26. Moldova 2016
27. Transnistria 2016
28. Gibraltar 2017
29. Italy 2017
30. San Marino 2017
31. Monaco 2017
32. France 2017
33. Morocco 2017
34. Barbados 2017
35. Singapore 2019
36. Indonesia 2019
37. Australia 2019
38. Peru 2019
39. Turkey 2020
40. Tanzania 2021
41. Albania 2021
42. Poland 2021
43. Germany 2021
44. Netherlands 2021
45. Austria 2021
46. Slovenia 2021
47. Croatia 2021
48. Bosnia & Herzegovina 2021
49. Montenegro 2021
50. Greece 2021
51. Bulgaria 2022
52. Norway 2022
53. North Macedonia 2022

So, 53 of 215. Doesn't seem like a lot when you compare it to what is still out there!

Our top 5 is really tough though. Because there are different ways of looking at what constitutes a favorite. Favorite country that you want to return to? Favorite country that you would live in? For example, Iceland is a favorite because it is such a photogenic country. But we could never live there.

Here are my top five...

Mexico. We have spent so much time in Mexico that we feel comfortable there. The culture, the history, the food, the scenery, the friendly warm people, the reasonable prices... all things that we love when visiting a country. We could easily live there.

Albania: Mountains, beaches, close proximity to other fascinating countries, and friendly helpful people. Still somewhat undiscovered by the masses. Again, we could easily live here.

Spain: We loved our time in Spain and can't wait to go back to do some more exploring of the central and northern part of the country. 

Czech Republic: Well marked hiking and biking trails everywhere. Over 400 breweries!

Romania: Interesting culture, and more fantastic scenery. We were there for three weeks, but we could easily go back for more.

I had a tough time coming up with number five. Peru, Slovakia, Iceland and Turkey were other contenders for the list. Ruth made her own list and without consulting each other she also had the first three on her list. For her, Peru and Turkey were four and five. She was looking at it more from a perspective of being able to live there, and of course Turkey ticks a lot of boxes in that department, while Romania would be tough to live in simply because they get winter. Of course Czech Republic gets winter too!

How many have you been to, and what are your favorites?

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And in Canada...


  1. Only 17 countries so far, top 5 difficult to say. 1) Croatia, 2) Portugal 3) Turkey (have visited years ago but many areas you highlighted in your blog, so a definet to visit again) 4) Greece, 5) Wales .
    Easier to say which 5 would you next like to visit 1). Croatia 2) Albania 3) Turkey 4) Jordan 5) New Zealand

    1. I like your choices! We have not yet been to Croatia but would love to go. Definitely need to see more of Portugal, especially the interior and further up the western coast. Still so much to see in Turkey! Would love to visit Greece one day and it would be nice to see more of Wales.

      As for the ones you want to visit, Croatia, Jordan and New Zealand are high on our list as well!

      Hopefully we can travel to some of these places together some day in the future. :-)

  2. I know you like Mexico and your blog shows some beautiful places. But why do so many immigrants, illegal and otherwise want to leave Mexico? I have never been there and I don't want to create any political fighting here but I'm curious as to why so many want to leave? What can be fixed so they are happy with their home country?

    1. MONEY! That is pretty much why wrapped up in a nutshell. Unless you have a good education many Mexicans that are laborers don't make much money. They know that they can go to the USA, make way more money to send home to family to make their lives better and to save for their future. So that they can improve their way of life. For people like us coming from Canada or the USA or even Europe, we have money, even if we aren't rich, we still have more money than the average Mexican so we can live our lives down with a good standard of living compared to the majority of Mexicans.

      We think the best thing to improve life in Mexico, is to get a good education with that almost anything is possible. :-)

  3. I've been to 15 countries (Europe & NA) - nearly forgot a few. It hardly feels like enough to make a top 5 list. Sadly it's been 15 years since I've added to that list, and I dream on the regular of a time I can again. Next 5 for me if given the opportunity would be: Spain, Slovakia, Georgia, Cambodia, and Egypt.

    1. LOL... I meant Slovenia, but now I'm thinking I should look into Slovakia more. :)

    2. 15 countries still is a good start. So many people haven't even been out of their own country! I hope that you will be able to start adding more to that list soon.

      I like your choices of where to go next. We have been to Slovakia but didn't see a lot of the country but the part that we did see we loved, we definitely think it should be added to your list. Georgia, Cambodia, Egypt and Slovenia are all places that we would love to visit as well. They all sound interesting and very different from each other. Hopefully you can start scratching them off your want to visit list as having been seen. :-)

  4. I visited 43 countries. Most of all Europe, since I am from Germany. Then also my 2 years travels in South East Asia and some time in Africa.

    1. We have almost caught up to you Renate! We know that you have done some interesting travels, especially being a single woman. Are you wanting to visit more countries? We think you would enjoy South America. :-)

  5. Romania fascinates me. I would like to spend time with the Romani. My grandmother was from there and bore the marks of a gypsy. Everything about the Slavik states is of interest. Spain would be a great rving place for us and as I said on FB today, i could live in Albania. I think this is your best trip yet! (Apart from Mexico of course).

    1. We think you would enjoy Romania! Maybe your grandmother is the reason that you love travel so much!

      I think that you need to start traveling over here in Europe, hopefully you will be able to do that soon.

      We are definitely enjoying Albania! It and Mexico are not doubt our most favourite countries and we could easily live in either country and be very happy. Having said that, there are still so many more countries that we need to explore because there could be more countries that we like just as much if not more, although I think that will be hard to beat. :-)

  6. So glad you did this post. I’ve often wondered if you had a list somewhere. I started following you just before you won your trip to Namibia.

    1. We knew in our heads how many countries we have visited but until last year or so we have never really written them down.

      You have been following us for a long time now, our Namibia visit was back in 2013. That seems so long ago now.

  7. We haven’t counted but we’ve travelled for a few years, several US destinations including Hawaii and Alaska, we also love Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru & Uruguay briefly, Venezuela (back when it was safer), Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Spain, Italy, Malta, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Holland, Croatia, Gibraltar, Morocco, Bosnia, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, South Korea, Dubai, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, briefly into Zimbabwe. Our favourites are Israel (#1), Italy, Namibia, walking the Camino in Spain, and pretty much every other place we’ve visited. 🥰

    We are very interested in exploring Eastern Europe a bit more, would love recommendations but in particular are interested in Romania, Albania, and so on........

    1. You have about as many countries under your belt as we do. We are looking forward to getting to some of the countries that you have visited on your list, you definitely have been to some interesting ones.

      It is certainly difficult trying to pick your top five, we have loved most of the countries that we have visited but for many different reasons, the only two countries that top our list for certain are Mexico and Albania in all categories.

      I don't know what kind of recommendations that you are looking for in Albania, we have just about been all over now and have written all about our experiences here in the blog. Our suggestion is to go back and read the blog and see what locations interested you more than others, otherwise we aren't really sure what you wanting to know in regards to recommendations. Also the same could be said for Romania. Our blog posts start in November 2016. Having said that we were in Romania late fall so the weather wasn't the best and we couldn't get to the big mountains as they had already closed the road we wanted to take, that and the fact that it is a big enough country that we didn't get to see everywhere that we wanted to go but we saw enough of it to know that we want to go back and see more. :-)

  8. Replies
    1. We have also enjoyed Portugal, we just haven't seen any of it other than the Algarve. I know that we would love the interior part of the country as well as Lisbon.

  9. We’ve been to 55. (And 46 states in the US, where we live, some of which seem like separate countries). The order of our favorites changes, but at the moment I’d say (1) Cambodia, (2) Indonesia, (3) Italy, (4) Japan, (5) Croatia. Closely followed by New Zealand, France, nice to think about them all.
    And we could have a fun time focusing in on a list of specific area(s) in each country that are our favorites. But that’s for another list.

    1. We still have a ways to catch up to you, although we have been to every state in the USA other than Rhode Island, lol, plus every province in Canada and every state in Mexico.

      We really look forward to visiting southeast Asia. We had wanted to do that this past winter but COVID put the kibosh on that, it will now have to wait for a year or two. Italy was wonderful, we again only saw a tiny bit of it but what we saw we loved, hopefully we can do some exploring there in the next year or two with our motorhome. We have heard many good things about Japan, only trouble with that, is that we hear it is expensive there. Croatia, is another country that we will enjoy exploring in our motorhome. And, New Zealand is right up there at the top of our list to visit but when we do, we will do it the same way as we did in Australia and buy a motorhome travel around and the sell it when we are finished. There are so many choices, and so much to see, I just know that we will run out of time!

  10. I agree about the time constraint--and COVID-19 was not helpful in that regard (my husband is turning 80, hikes almost as much as you do, and I (72) tag along at a slower pace). Japan is actually not as expensive as you might think--I've been 6 times!--though of course you can spend big bucks for the high-end experiences in the food and lodging departments if you want to. We've found Walk Japan to be an excellent agency for self-guided and guided walking adventures throughout the country--check them out at Our next trip there is scheduled for late October (postponed from same time last year), but again, COVID isn't being helpful. We were supposed to be heading to southern Africa on June 2 but that's been postpone til next year. Have to make do with domestic travel for a few more months. BTW, how did you manage to miss Rhode Island if you made it to Massachusetts and Connecticut? Happy travels--love your blog.

    1. No COVID certainly hasn't been a help in that respect at all. Looks like things are improving though and for many life will get back to normal, or to the new normal soon enough.

      Glad to hear that you are both active and get out there an explore all these wonderful places that the world has to offer.

      Happy to hear that Japan isn't as expensive as people make out. Seeing that we love to get out to the smaller places rather than the big cities will be a big help and of course hiking always makes seeing countries a lot cheaper that other ways of sightseeing. We will try to keep that link in mind whenever we do make our way to Japan. We really hope that your new travel plans will go ahead as planned, if not those places will still be there and you will have other choices to pick in the meantime.

      It was easy to miss Rhode Island as we took the I-84 up from Connecticut to Massachusetts. We weren't on a sightseeing tour at the time. It was late March the weather was cold and horrible and we were making our way from down south to Nova Scotia for our grandson's birth so we were on a mission, lol!


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