Brother vs Sister? What is it?

So throughout this book you’ve probably noticed a few posts entitled Brother vs Sister. So what is it you ask? Plain and simple it is a competition between myself and… you guessed it… my brother…

We all like to keep a count of the countries we’ve been to right, the places we’ve seen? Are we just pampering to our ego? …Probably. But who cares! To travel is our passion and to watch the list of countries we’ve visited grow is our souvenir. So why not make it interesting eh!

A competitive streak is something that both myself and my brother (Sean) seem to have inherited. I would like to think that it’s a ‘healthy’ sized streak, but some might disagree. Over the years Sean has gained himself a somewhat infamous reputation for …deceptive winning! Shall we say. So I wanted to create a game or competition that no amount of slight of hand or gift of the gab could gain him a victory. (Plus, of course, something that I might actually stand a chance of winning. Well…I don’t want to set myself up for failure now do I! Haha). So back in the Spring of 2014 we put together this little competition…

Who can visit the most amount of countries by the time we each turn 35. 

We’ve both officially turned 35 now, so see below the countries we’ve visited up to our 35th birthdays, and our final count…

The Brother

Sean. He’s travelled the world for fun and for work. He’s been to some incredibly exciting countries, countries that most people won’t ever be able to visit, and some countries a lot of other people won’t ever want to visit! He spent a semester  at school in America at 18yrs old, and recently has spent four years living in Kenya and travelling to its neighbouring countries. He has also, somehow, managed to talk me into agreeing that semi-autonomous states are to be counted as countries… his creative convincing skillshave gained him an additional two countries for his list!

What Does Semi-Autonomous Mean? Well in definition terms, as explained by Oxford Dictionary, semi-autonomous is to mean “having a degree of, but not complete, self-government.” Basically I think it means to have an independent government that’s recognised. Sound credible to be considered a country? Personally for me… the jury’s still out on that one!

Europe

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UNITED KINGDOM  •  IRELAND  •  SPAIN  •  FRANCE  •  MONACO  •  BELGIUM  •  THE NETHERLANDS  • POLAND  •  NORWAY  •  GREECE  •  CYPRUS  •  TURKEY  •  ITALY  •  AUSTRIA  •  GERMANY  •  HUNGARY  • SLOVENIA  •    CROATIA  •   (18)

Africa

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EGYPT  •  SOMALIA  •  SOMALIALAND (semi-autonomous)  •  SIERRA LEONE  •  KENYA  •  ETHIOPIA  • UGANDA  •  RWANDA  •  DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO  •  TANZANIA  •  SOUTH AFRICA (12)

Indian Ocean

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SEYCHELLES  •  MADAGASCAR  •  GRAND COMORES  •  SRI LANKA (4)

Middle East

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  •  OMAN  •  KUWAIT  •  QATAR  •  SAUDI ARABIA  •  IRAQ  •  AFGHANISTAN •  KURDISTAN (semi-autonomous)  •  LEBANON (9)

Asia

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INDIA (1)

North America

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UNITED STATES  •  CANADA (2)

American States: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Nth. Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, D.C, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York

TOTAL: 46

The Sister

That’s me! I haven’t been to as many interesting countries as Sean…but fortunately for me this isn’t a ‘who’s been to the most interesting countries’ competition! I’ve gained most of my countries through travelling and some through work. I’ve slept for six weeks in the jungles of Borneo as a volunteer, lived and worked for a year in Turkey, and have journeyed overland from place to place, island to island, or country to country . Sadly though, I have yet to gain myself any fabricated, ahem I mean semi-autonomous, countries to my list.

But where else have my journeys around the world taken me?…

Europe

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UNITED KINGDOM  •  IRELAND  •  PORTUGAL  •  SPAIN  •  GIBRALTAR  •  FRANCE (incl. Reunion Island)  •  BELGIUM  •  NETHERLANDS  • GERMANY  •  SWITZERLAND  •  ITALY  •  GREECE  •  CYPRUS  •  TURKEY * FINLAND (15)

Africa

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MOROCCO  •  KENYA  •  TANZANIA (incl. Zanzibar)  •  MALAWI  •  ZAMBIA  •  NAMIBIA  •  SOUTH AFRICA  •  BOTSWANA  •  ZIMBABWE * MOZAMBIQUE  (10)

Indian Ocean

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MAURITIUS  •  SRI LANKA (2)

Middle East

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES  •  BAHRAIN (2)

Asia

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INDIA  •  NEPAL  •  CAMBODIA  •  LAOS  •  THAILAND  •  MALAYSIA  •  SINGAPORE  •  INDONESIA (Java and Kalimantan)  •  PHILIPPINES (9)

North America

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CANADA  •  UNITED STATES (2)

American States: Florida, Georgia, Nth. Carolina, Virginia, D.C, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, California, Arizona, Nevada

TOTAL: 40

So it is with a heavy heart that I have to announce Sean the winner! I think we both took this competition very seriously and based a lot of our trips around trying to bank as many new countries as possible. I think for me, I met my partner Daniel in the last year of the competition which as wonderful as it was meeting him it did slightly take my eye off the ball (that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it! haha). Otherwise Sean Power… I want you to know, I would have won this competition! Enjoy your victory x

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