Counting countries visited is a lot like measuring your penis. The lead-up is exciting, you get dizzy anticipating the number, and heck, if you’re particular sick, you might even get a little bit hard as well.
The crucial differentiator between country counting and measuring your ever-so-disappointing length of course, is that instead of pulling your well-worn Staedtler ruler out and slapping your flopping member out onto your bedroom desk, you do all the math in your head instead.
That’s right. It’s a tempting and alluring activity. Not just because more often than not the number is easy to calculate (both inches and countries), but also because we feel it “qualifies” ourselves in some way. Inches: how much of a sexual athlete we are. Countries: how much of a sexual traveller we are.
Yet before you go any further and start unzipping your flies/reaching for a map (please, think of the kids). Hear this:
It’s not the number of countries you’ve travelled to that matters, it’s what you’ve done with the experience that counts
Learning the Lesson
Of course for someone of my infantile intellect and toddler-like stubbornness, the moral of this story is so easy to forget. Only last night I caught myself out on Skype, waxing lyrical to another traveller about the number of countries I’d been to and naming each one in self-masturbatory triumphalism.
Admittedly, for a moment, I felt cool as fuck. “Look at all those countries” I beamed to myself, ready to skimp over to Facebook and update my profile. “Shit, aren’t I like the most intrepid kid in a 50-mile radius” my sad fucking conscious echoed.
Then, in the aftermath, after said traveller was sent reeling away from his computer, tissue in hand, my portrait in the other, it suddenly dawned on me. Who was the biggest douchebag in this equation? Well I’ll be blown! If it wasn’t this twisted piece of humanity whose blog you’re salivating over now.
The number of countries I’d travelled to? About as meaningful as a dry humping session with the mermaid from Splash.
The Buck Doesn’t Stop There
Lessons in the way of the ethical non-douchebag traveller aside for a moment, the fact still remains. When you travel the world in this day and age, eventually you’re bound to run into a “counter” sooner or later.
They lurk everywhere. Not just on the Internet but in hostel bars and clubs. Not just in your family (that fucking BUNAC prick) but in bus terminals and airport lounges too.
Still, at least with this post firmly set in your mind, at least you’ll be well equipped to tackle the smug little misers head on.
So the next time someone drops, ever so nonchalantly, the number of countries they’ve visited?
Go to town on the loser.
Drill them. Hard.
Ask them what years they went. Ask them what the capitals were. Ask them what their favourite sight was. Ask them where they stayed. Ask them who they slept with. Ask them what they ate. Ask them how many times they masturbated under the hostel blankets. Ask them the address of their hotel and hostel. Ask them what they thought of the countries infrastructure. Ask to see their passport stamps. Ask them how many local beers they drank until they passed out, waking up with vomit incrusted pubic hair. Ask them how much they budgeted for each day. Ask them what they packed. Ask them what the mongrels on Trip Advisor said they should do. Ask them if they met any famous bloggers (no wait, don’t ask that). Ask them if they’d go again. Ask them who they went with. Ask them if the sun shined. Ask to see their Instagram photos. Ask them if they read the write-up of the country on Brendan’s Adventures.
Tire. The. Fuckers. Out.
The Only Resolution
That, you see, my fellow backpackers, is the only way to win against such pervasive cretins of travelling evil. Ask that amount of questions and pretty soon their heads will be spinning, their skinny fists shaking to the skies, their natty anklets and backpacker beads flying, their whole smug little bodies torn into shards by pure inquisitive overload.
Yes. That’s the ticket.
That my friends, would surely be better than any UNESCO world heritage site. That, my friends, would surely be better than any tight travel fisting at the footfalls of Mount Fuji.
And as for feeling guilty? Take it from this compulsive country counter/dick measurer.
Nobody cares about the number but you.