Chris Guillebeau is a few countries short of having visited all 193 United Nations member states by the time he turns 35 in April 2013. I won’t attempt the same feat, because who would travel with me to Somalia, and I sure as hell ain’t going alone. But what I have decided to do is to meet at least one person from all of the member states by the time I turn 30, on April 29, 2018.
I am calling it the Meet the World Project.
Here are my criteria for who qualifies and what I mean by meet:
- To count as being from a country, a person must be born and raised at least part of their childhood there. Within reason, in a way that I feel most people would agree upon.
- At minimum, a meaningful conversation must have taken place between that person and me, in the flesh (not via the Internet or phone).
- I must at least be able to remember the face of the person and the context in which I met them (everyone needs a story). People I cannot remember, but “I must have met someone from there before,” do not count.
- The year in which I met the person I am choosing to associate with a country will be in parenthesis next to that country, but that does not necessarily mean that I had never met someone from that country prior to the date listed.
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
Czech Republic (2006)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
New Zealand (2006)
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sao Tome and Principe
South Africa (2008)
Sri Lanka (2004)
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom (2006)
United States of America (1988)