Sunday, 5 March 2006

Oregonian and Kansas City Star on "country collectors"

Country Collectors (by Dan Leeth, The [Portland] Oregonian, Sunday travel section, 5 March 2006; also in the Kansas City Star as The one with the most passport stamps wins ):

Some people collect stamps. These people collect countries. Why? Because they’re there.

While some people collect postage stamps, travelers such as Gwin are more interested in accumulating entry stamps on the pages of their passports. They long to visit unfamiliar places, see unusual sights, meet uncommon people and partake in unconventional experiences. The more out of the way or harder to reach a site is, the more determined they may be to get there.

Although checking lands off a list may be the ultimate motivation, most have a genuine desire to see and experience as much of the world’s diversity as they can. In the vernacular of tourism, these are the true travelers.

“They’re prepared to go to places where there may be few other foreigners,” says Edward Hasbrouck, staff travel guru of Airtreks and author of The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World (Avalon, $21.95 paperback, 650 pages). “They’ve had the kinds of experiences that those visiting more touristy places may never enjoy.”…

For many, a prime way to collect countries is to imitate Magellan and take a trip around the world. For those who have the time and inclination to make their own private journeys, companies such as Airtreks in San Francisco specialize in booking globe-circling flights at economical prices. These are ideal for self-reliant travelers.

For those inspired to try it themselves, there’s a sidebar, How to collect countries: resources for the hardy recommending both for airline tickets and the The Practical Nomad: How to Travel Around the World for travel advice.

And The Oregonian wants to hear How many countries have you collected? . “We’ll follow-up with a story about you, our country-collecting readers.”

[Addendum, 2 April 2006: Another version of the same story is now in the Contra Costa Times and the Boston Herald .]

[Further addendum, 20 April 2006: Another version of this story is n the Toronto Star today.]

Link | Posted by Edward on Sunday, 5 March 2006, 16:43 ( 4:43 PM)
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