Countries Visited

When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable. ~ Clifton Fadiman

While we’re not on some big mission to visit every country in the world or reach a specific travel goal by the time we turn any given age, it is fun to explore a new country for the first time!  New languages, new foods, new landscapes, and new views on the world. That said, here’s our modest list of countries we’ve had the opportunity to visit so far.  We can only hope it will continue to grow in the coming years.

  1. United states flag USA – No matter where we currently call home, the Pacific Northwest will always be home!
  2. Canada flag Canada – Friendly people, rugged mountains, pristine waterways…oh, and don’t forget aboot Tim Horton’s. And Banff!
  3. Spain flag Spain – Barcelona, the first city I visited outside the US, started my love of travel when I was 19. I finally got the chance to return 17 years later, and I doubt I could ever grow tired of it! Madrid, Pamplona, Basque Country….Spain is amazing!
  4. Mexico flag Mexico – Best food in the world. Hands down.
  5. Costa rica flag Costa Rica – The capital, San José, was my home for 6 months. CR packs in more wildlife in a single kilometer than entire countries. ~pura vida~
  6. Nicaragua flag Nicaragua – Still an under-appreciated travel destination – the volcanic island of Ometepe offers unspoiled hiking and is surrounded by the massive Lake Nicaragua with waves so big it’s like an ocean. Where else can you swim in a lake with freshwater sharks?!
  7. El salvador flag El Salvador – Days involve sleeping in a hammock, giant volcanoes, ocean breezes, and fresh ceviche on the beach.
  8. Guatemala flag Guatemala – Mayan ruins of Tikal? How could they build stuff like that?!
  9. Panama flag Panama – The Panama Canal is quite impressive in person, and Old Panama City is lovely.
  10. Belize flag Belize – Kayaking at Placencia, chillin’ with zoo animals in a monsoon, and declining the “mandatory” military escort to the Mayan ruins of Caracol so you can experience it without the tourist crowds are “must dos”.
  11. China flag China – Where else can you zip line from a UNESCO World Heritage site like the Great Wall at Simatai? Shanghai and Suzhou offer so much to see, too.
  12. Sweden flag Sweden – Pretty sure Linkoping is home of the best potato lingonberry pancakes.
  13. Germany flag Germany – Oh Heidelberg, if only this job offer had come through. We’d already found a rooftop apartment with a view of the castle. Sob.
  14. Denmark Denmark – In Copenhagen, they load full passenger trains directly onto ferries…doesn’t that just blow your mind?!
  15. Belgium flag Belgium – Wow, and wow! Brussels is the place to go for sampling an endless variety of superb chocolate. And the beer? Wow!
  16. United kingdom flag England – Cambridge wasn’t really my “cup of tea”, but London…wow. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see more of England – I hear it’s lovely in the winter.
  17. Switzerland flag Switzerland – I’m not gonna lie, it really is as picturesque as all the travel brochures claim.
  18. Poland flag Poland – If you’re anything like Two Small potatoes, their rough roads and pine forests will make you homesick for American back roads. The real highlight though is making pottery and staying with locals in Pruszowice.
  19. France flag France – It’s not just all about the wine, ya know. They have cool castles too!
  20. Andorra flag Andorra – Oh my gosh…so, yes, they have pretty mountains, but the big draw is the duty-free shopping and bargain basement prices. Things are so cheap, even these two thrifty Americans were impressed. 6 euros for a huge bottle of Smirnoff…whu?!
  21. Monaco flag Monaco – This tiny country (second smallest in the world) consists of a single city stunningly perched on mountain slopes overlooking the Mediterranean. It’s a world unto itself.
  22. Italy flag Italy – Driving in Turin may be terrifying, but the beauty of the Aosta Valley completely makes up for it.
  23. Liechtenstein flag Liechtenstein – Like a mini extension of Switzerland, they speak German, use the Swiss franc, and have gorgeous mountains.
  24. Austria flag Austria – Only Austria would dream of competing with Switzerland in the most-beautiful-Alps contest.
  25. Hungary flag Hungary – This might be the flattest country in Europe, and what’s with the bumper-to-bumper traffic at the border to buy a highway vignette?
  26. Romania flag Romania – In less than a week, I fell in love. Wooden churches, horse-drawn carts dotting the highways, Carpathian peaks unleashing the most phenomenal thunderstorm, good friends, and camping in the haunted forest of Hoia Baciu. Love.
  27. Ukraine flag Ukraine – Giant fail to the “police” who tried to shake us down for 50 euros during a trumped-up traffic stop. Ohhhh Ukraine, hopefully we’ll have a chance to visit again but without the drama.
  28. Slovakia flag Slovakia – Immaculate towns, miles of green rolling fields and jagged mountains, perfect highways, lack of tourists, and the convenience of euros make this the Switzerland of eastern Europe.
  29. Slovenia flag Slovenia – Even if you don’t see their 2 signs, make sure you have an e-vignette to drive there before entering or face their militant road checks and hefty fine. At least the splendor of Škocjan Caves partially made up for our negative traffic experience.
  30. Croatian flag Croatia – Green, hot, humid. Turquoise cascading waters of Plitvice, rolling farmland, and giant sinkholes. Unforgettable.
  31. Czech Republic Czech Republic – Prague is a stunning city and a great place to spend Easter, but just as charming are its countless rural villages, especially those dotting the Labe River.
  32. San marino flag  San Marino – Tiny houses are trendy right now, but tiny countries are no less charming.  Entirely surrounded by Italy, this ancient republic retains its own culture with stunning attractions like the capital city perched atop Mount Titan.

Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey. ~ Pat Conroy