Been There or Not

8DD10808-A2AA-4659-B358-7464172A9527I used to think of myself as a man of the world — a well-traveled, fairly learned, and sophisticated man. But it’s just not true. Not by a long shot.

A friend of mine told me about an app for the iPhone (and I assume there’s an Android version as well) called “Been.” The app allows you to identify all of the countries across the globe you’ve ever been to. I thought that would be cool, so I downloaded the app from the Apple App Store.

I started tagging all of the countries I’ve traveled to. I even went so far as to tag all of the states in the United States I’ve been to.

The good news is that I’ve been to all 50 states in the U.S. And I’ve been to three countries (Canada, U.S., and Mexico) in North America.

But then my “man of the world” self-image got destroyed. I’ve been to just 12 countries in Europe and only one in Asia (Israel).

And I’ve never been to any of the countries of Central America, which “Been” considers to part of North America. Or to any countries in South America. Or Africa. Or Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific islands, etc). Sheesh!

I’ve never been south of the equator. And the furthest east I’ve ever been is western Russia.

The map below, from the “Been” app, shows in orange the countries of the world I’ve been to. The counties I have never been to are shown in gray.DA03A0BF-A799-4995-9577-90E946947DBBYes, I know. Very little orange and a whole lot of gray.

I’ve never had a bucket list, but I think I might start one. And at the top of that list will be to turn this map a whole lot more orange than it currently is.

Now all I have to do is win the lottery so that I can afford to fund the one and only item on my bucket list.

36 thoughts on “Been There or Not

  1. Sadje February 11, 2019 / 4:15 am

    How mistaken we are about ourselves. The perceptions are based on how we want to be, not how we actually are!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sadje February 11, 2019 / 9:33 am

        Not to imply that you are not a man of the world and seasoned traveler! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Paula Light February 11, 2019 / 5:48 am

    Mine would be even grayer, but I already know that. I probably have other illusions about myself though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael February 11, 2019 / 7:47 am

    It’s all a bit humbling when you look at it in that way….like you I too plan to win the lottery to fund my travel dreams. There’s no harm in dreaming about it is there?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Asbestos Dust February 11, 2019 / 8:38 am

    Mine would probably be much more concentrated in the Pacific Rim, southeast Asia and other exotic Equatorial sweat-till-you-die locales. I was headed for Iraq, but we won the war too fast, and they cancelled my orders while we were standing in a processing hanger waiting to load onto a transport. Annoying, but the Beneficiary seemed happy. Years later one of my kids hit a lot of places in The Sandbox, the Med, up into my missed tour in Iraq with passes all over Europe and southEAST Asia and short visits to coca central, but I suppose that doesn’t count on mine. Not to mention which it would annoy them if he started putting them on a map anyhow. These days we both tend to stick pretty close in to the States and home, except for business in Paris and Stockholm for him and teaching gigs in Croatia and Estonia for me. Pretty, but I ain’t got much use for Europe. Not speaking for him, but personally I’ve seen about as much all the world I’ve got a use for, and not near enough of the States. The gray can remain uncolored, for my money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 11, 2019 / 9:01 am

      Sounds like you and at least one of your kids have made it to quite a few global destinations.


      • Asbestos Dust February 11, 2019 / 5:41 pm

        True enough. Wasn’t much sightseeing, though, mostly.

        Actually, I answered the inverse of this question on a blog about 100 years ago: Where have you physically been that everyone would recognize, at least by description, but that probably no one else reading has been? Been years ago, but seems like there were some interesting answers…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Melanie B Cee February 11, 2019 / 8:40 am

    It’s all perspective you know. You’re WIDELY TRAVELED from the perspective of someone like myself who can count the states she’s been to (less than ten), and one country (Canada). Yeah. So see? You’ve been everywhere, man, breathed the mountain air man, of traveling you’ve done your share (man)…yeah. You’ve been EVERYWHERE! (just not everywhere you want to go)…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 11, 2019 / 9:03 am

      Yes, I guess it’s true. To someone who’s been almost nowhere, I’ve been almost everywhere. It IS all about perspective.


  6. pensitivity101 February 11, 2019 / 10:01 am

    I’m not well travelled at all. I didn’t go abroad until I was 33, and that was a five day break to Amsterdam in 1991 on honeymoon. We went back in 1993. Together we’ve been to Eurodisney, Hamburg and Dublin.
    On my own I’ve been to NZ (with a fuel stop in Hong Kong), there for 2 months and saw a LOT of the country thanks to my SIL, a friend in Napier, and a 7 day mini trek which included a whale watch, Christchurch and Wellington. I went to Luxembourg, Geneva and Milan for a three day business trip, and even though I worked for an American Bank, I’ve never been to the States, so my orange would be a lot less than yours I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marilyn Armstrong February 11, 2019 / 10:42 am

    Got ME beat by a continent and I haven’t been to all 50 states. Probably fewer than half that. Everything on the east coast and California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Louisiana, a lot of Canada and a bit of Mexico. Ireland. England, Wales. Israel.

    Do I count airport waiting times? I’ve waited in a LOT of airports in Europe and the U.S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 11, 2019 / 1:10 pm

      You can count it anyway you want to!


      • Marleen February 11, 2019 / 5:12 pm

        I’ve been to Canada and Mexico, but not with a passport. Or it might have technically been in a passport, but a day version. I’ve been to all the states (many of them many times) except Alaska, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.

        Maybe a couple of cruises?

        An Alaskan cruise is a well-worn path. Has anyone been on a St. Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and northeastern U.S. coast cruise?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango February 11, 2019 / 5:25 pm

          “Has anyone been on a St. Lawrence Seaway, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and northeastern U.S. coast cruise?” Can’t say that I have. Alaska cruises twice.


          • Marleen February 11, 2019 / 6:09 pm

            Do you have any recommendations (to keep in mind) or a specific recommendation (of cruise-line or anything like that)?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango February 11, 2019 / 6:14 pm

              For my two Alaska cruises, we used Princess. I would recommend it, but it’s been more than a decade since my last cruise.


            • Marleen February 11, 2019 / 10:16 pm

              Where in Canada have you been?

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango February 11, 2019 / 10:36 pm

              Vancouver, Victoria Island, Banff, Jasper, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Kamloops, Calgary, Windsor, Niagara Falls, Hamilton. I think that’s it.


            • Marleen February 12, 2019 / 11:05 pm

              That’s a lot. I’ve only been to Niagara Falls. It was beautiful. And we went on one of those boats that goes right by the water, gets sprayed. It was pretty rocky, and the only one who didn’t get a little seasick was my second son. He later (like a decade later) found it pretty easy to learn to fly. My oldest son learned to fly too (sooner), but he had to contend with air sickness and gave it up. My second son is also the one born in 1989. He later took Chinese and won an award for it (shortly before he took flying lessons). During the Superbowl, this year, someone idly commented that a person in a commercial was speaking Chinese, and this particular son said it was Korean. (No, that son hasn’t been to China or North or South Korea. Another son, though, has been to both South and North [barely] Korea — but that one wasn’t with us for the Superbowl.)

              If you had to recommend two parts of or places in Canada best not to miss, other than Niagara Falls, what would you say? I think it would be an interesting country to visit more. Why did you get to or decide to go there so much? Work? Family? Proximity?

              Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango February 13, 2019 / 8:25 am

              My wife and I took the Canadian train, the Rocky Mountaineer, from Vancouver to Jasper and then drove to Banff and Calgary…and it was spectacular. We also took a motorcycle/camping trip to Montreal and Quebec. It’s almost like visiting France, especially Quebec. Been back a number of times. Friends in Toronto. Canada is really nice.


            • Marleen February 14, 2019 / 3:45 pm

              Thanks! I’ll look into it.

              Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen February 11, 2019 / 6:07 pm

    I almost went to China (for a few months), but I was pregnant at the time and didn’t want my child to be born there (in ’89).

    Liked by 1 person

  9. leigha66 February 25, 2019 / 3:43 pm

    Never left the country and have only seen 10 other states in my life. My “bucket list” has two things on it…see the mountains and see the ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

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