Big A, Little A, What Begins with A?

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Hi from New York! I’m too weighed down with cupcakes and lunch dates to write anything of merit, but my friend and fellow Cuba-travel-partner-in-crime, Andi, recently posted this challenge, and, well, I love me a challenge—especially when it involves globetrotting. A fellow woman traveler took it upon herself to visit a country starting with every letter of the alphabet. Not to be outdone, Andi and I decided to make this a goal to accomplish by the age of 30 (which gives me three years, 42 weeks and a day, and Andi a little less time!).

I have J, K, O, Q, X, Y, Z remaining. Looks like I’m going to have to commit to visiting Oman, Qatar, Yemen—I mean what other countries start with O or Q  or Y anyway? Middle East road trip, here I come!—but how on Earth (literally) I’m going to swing X is beyond me. Unless, of course, a new country or island is discovered between now and 2013. Suggestions? Anyone want to join me in this quest?

A- Australia, Austria
B- Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil
C- Canada, Cayman Islands, China*, Cook Islands, Corsica, Cuba, Czech Republic
D- Denmark, Dominican Republic
E- England, Estonia*
F- Finland*, France
G- Germany, Guatemala, Greece
H- Hong Kong*, Honduras, Hungary
I- Iceland, Ireland, Israel*, Italy
J-
K-
L- Latvia*, Luxembourg
M- Macau*, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco
N- Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland
O-
P- Portugal
Q-
R- Romania
S- Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa*, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
T- Turkey
U- United Kingdom, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands
V- Vatican City, Vietnam*
W- Wales
X-
Y-
Z-
*The stars indicate places I am already going to be visiting later this year or early in 2010. I know, I know, it’s crazy that my travel schedule is booked so far out!
**All countries as recognized by the Travelers’ Century Club.
***Update: If you’d rather do this challenge with cities or towns like She Likes Purple mentioned below, go for it!
COMMENTS
  • May 4, 2009

    I would absolutely love to do this but I think I’d have a better chance of accomplishing this if I did cities instead of countries.

  • May 4, 2009

    Your list is truly impressive! I’m in complete awe of the experiences you must have had, and the memories you must hold. You are a lucky and worldly woman, that much is for sure.

  • May 4, 2009
    L

    Agree with SLP – I like the cities idea . . and um, can we include towns, too? 🙂

  • May 4, 2009

    Well there are no countries that start with X, so you signed up for a losing challenge there. Maybe you could kind of fake it by going to a province that starts with an x? Or two? Two provinces = one country, I think. There has got to be some in China that start with an X. 🙂

  • May 4, 2009

    I begin with A! You can visit me! Except, um, I’m not a country and A is covered already. Never mind then.

  • May 4, 2009

    Fun! My list is pathetic, but I’m working on it!

  • May 4, 2009

    I’ve always made a goal for myself to travel as much as I can by the the time I’m thirty, a challenge makes it more exciting!! Muahahah……goodbye bank account, hello world!!

  • May 4, 2009
    ali

    wow. my list would be embarrassing.

  • May 4, 2009

    There’s always Planet X. Surely they’re going to get inter-planetary travel figured out soon enough.

    Yemen should really be promoting this contest. Their tourism sector would take off as the only Y named country in the world…

  • May 4, 2009

    What a great idea! I kinda want to be in the Travelers’ Century Club too. Luckily my husband loves the idea too! Of course, not sure we can do it before we’re 30 (that would give us only 3 years and we both have full time jobs with very regular vacation policies), but I’m thinking I want to do it before I’m 50 for sure. Too long?

    You’re list is quite impressive. Mine…eh, not so impressive. Though my tally is 11 since TCC let’s you count Hawaiian Islands as a country 🙂

  • May 4, 2009

    It’s time to find the pleasure dome of Xanadu! 🙂

  • May 4, 2009

    you poor thing! you might have to suffer through a trip to Jamaica. hehe. oooh! or Japan – that’s a tough call.

  • May 4, 2009
    Liz

    You could add Jordan to your Middle East trip, and that would take care of J.

  • May 4, 2009
    Izzy

    It’s totally cheating to count both the United Kingdom as a whole and all of the nations separately! Not that you need to cheat, but still.

  • May 4, 2009

    Wow, that is impressive. I have been outside North America once. To go to Osaka Japan for a football game.

    I think I’d be better with cities in the US. 🙂

  • May 4, 2009

    I don’t think there’s a country that starts with X, but you can easily visit Xian, the home of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s tomb of terra cotta warriors, when you visit China. When you’re in Egypt, maybe you could take a trip to Jordan? And when you’re in South Africa, you can easily go to Zimbabwe. You’re totally going to win this before you turn 30- as if there were any doubt! 🙂

  • May 4, 2009

    Thanks for the shout out & outing me on my age, haha. Okay, so technically there is no country in the English language that starts with an X, however there are countries starting with an X by their native names…

    1. Singapore is XINJIAPO (Chinese name).
    2. South Ossetia is XUSSAR IRYSTON (Georgian name) or XYCCAP (Ossetian name). South Ossetia is a former Soviet autonomous region and is now a self-proclaimed republic (Nov. 12 2006) by a referendum.

    Also, here are other places starting with an X:

    Xi An – China
    Xiamen – China
    Xieng Khouang – Laos
    Xai Xai – Mozambique
    Xinguara – Brazil

    Good luck with the challenge, though I have no doubt you’ll succeed. 🙂

  • May 5, 2009

    I’ll make my own country just for you Xawesome. It’s in my living room, very exclusive, makes Dubai look like a KOA Kampground.

  • May 6, 2009
    kate

    I’ve done Zimbabwe and Zambia and both are recommended! Though I believe it’s a lot tougher to get to Zimbabwe right now & you may want to wait another 15 years on that one.

    And now I’ll be working on my list all day, instead of working!

  • May 6, 2009
    Amy Louise

    You could cheat and go to the Xmas Islands for X?

  • May 6, 2009

    what a fun idea! hope you’re having a great time in NY! i take it you’re eating at magnolia? lol

  • May 6, 2009

    K, I love it that you’ve been to so many countries!!! As for X – how about Xanadu…c’mon you’ve seen the movie, admit it!

    I’d love to make this a personal challenge…but the age thing…hmmm. Not sure how to swing it since I’m almost 36. Can I aim for 40? Oh god, I don’t like how that sounded.

  • May 8, 2009

    That’s a fun challenge! Amazing list you have got there. I might set my own goal but I guess my age limit has to be set higher.. 🙂

  • May 8, 2009

    Hey – I thought it was just my husband that plays that game – but I forget which letters he’s still missing.

  • May 11, 2009

    oh, you haven’t lived until you’ve visted Oklahoma! a.k.a. the tragedy state. I’ll be your personal tour guide if you ever so wish to do so.

  • May 19, 2009

    Looks like I need to hit up Qatar and Yemen too. The “X” definitely puts a damper finishing. 😉

    A- Australia, Azores
    B- Bahamas, Bulgaria
    C- Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cambodia
    D-
    E- England
    F- France
    G- Greece
    H- Hungary
    I-
    J- Japan
    K-
    L-
    M- Mexico, Morocco, Malaysia, Monaco
    N- New Zealand
    O-
    P- Portugal, Panama
    Q-
    R- Romania
    S- Singapore, Spain
    T- Turkey, Thailand
    U- UK, USA
    V- Vietnam
    W-
    X-
    Y-
    Z-

    10 more!

  • July 20, 2009
    Yanique Michaud

    I am so jealous. I literally just woke up in the middle of the night thinking that I wanted to do the same thing. I like the city thing though because their may be a lot more places to choose from. How about visiting ABC cities on each continent. I am a 2nd grade teacher so I think when school starts back, I am going to have my kids start making up a list.

    If you don’t mind me asking, where do you get the money for all of this?

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