Before he turned 40, Harry Mitsidis had travelled to every country in the world. He could have stopped there. Instead, he set about creating a new list of places to tick off. Siobhan Downes speaks to the man behind one of the world’s top systematic travel clubs.
Many of us keep some kind of record of the countries we’ve visited. It could take the form of a list scribbled in the back of a travel journal, an online quiz that reveals how well-travelled you are, or even one of those kitschy scratch maps.
The implied goal is that within your lifetime, you’ll eventually manage to tick off them all. But for some extreme travellers, that’s not enough. What qualifies as having really travelled the world? How do you include all the territories, island groups, enclaves and exclaves that fall outside the list of 193 countries officially recognised by the United Nations?