In Cape Verde. Aka. country number 198. What now? 

The fat lady sings. They think it’s all over. It is now.

I just visited Cape Verde, country number 198. Shit! Now what? I will never get to experience that adrenalin kick of entering a new country again. Ever. Then again, Scotland will vote for independence in 2014. So there is hope. I have of course been to Scotland, but as a part of the UK. Should the Scottish decide to separate from the English, Northern Irish and Welsh, Scotland will be a new country and must be visited. New Scotland. The leftovers of the UK must too. Where I went to uni. Two new potential countries, in other words. But if that happens the Great will leave the Kingdom. I think they should stay, despite my expected adrenalin withdrawal symptoms.

I’ll leave that for later. I will first celebrate completing what has been referred to as an interesting form of madness. In Sal, an island of Cape Verde. Yes, the African island nation south of the Canary Islands. Two brothers, a sister and ten friends have decided to come along. Quite voluntarily. Except for the few little things I promised to tell their loved ones if they let me down. In love and travel everything is allowed.

Thomas is a friend who flew in from Spain two days before the rest of us just to make sure that he could find the best restaurant in town. Selfish? Well, he’ll of course join in the celebration dinner on Saturday as well, but still a great thing to do.

Ronald just finished ten days of biking in Albania, Montenegro and surrounding areas, stopped at home in Holland for a couple of days before hitting the travel circuit again. Jørn is the Alzheimer’s alibi of the trip, approaching his mid 50s. And Charlotte, my Belgian friend, who showed true impulsiveness by deciding to join the ususal suspects at the drop of a hat. Throw inn the last person to join, Frode, who I only travelled with to North Korea. He sure is up for unusual destinations. I like!

Not to forget Andreas who will fly in Friday night for the party the following day. That was the earliest he could make it due to work. Well, someone has to do it. I also have to mention two friends of my brother’s, Trond Ole and Torgeir. I barely know them. But they get an excuse to travel, I get an excuse to make new friends. Win-win.

Last but not least, my three trip happy siblings, Håkon, Torunn and Øystein. Of course they didn’t have a choice. I am the eldest. And Øystein’s wife Benedicte joined too. A big family celebration! The three other siblings of mine managed to avoid my frequent invitations. There’s always another chance to party. Just not in a brand new country.

I will of course not stop to travel. Travelling is like a virus. An incurable one. I may have been to all the countries, but I have of course not been in every village or city, on every island and mountain top. Travelling makes me relax. Please don’t invent a cure.


  1. Congrats and pity I couldn't join you! Enjoy Sal and their amazing tuna belly and tartar dinners…. and of course all the f… sand blowing in the wind!! Tay

  2. I enjoyed reading it. I need to read more on this topic…I admiring time and effort you put in your blog, because it is obviously one great place where I can find lot of useful info..

  3. Just to make you jealous in return .I am just starting.. Number – 1. …..Congrats anyway… Dont shutdown your blog..

  4. Wow, great job!

    Could you please list all countries with a "one or two-word-description" for each country? I believe you would have pretty good sense about them 🙂

  5. What an incredible feat! Maybe I can't hope to travel to all 198 countries (Indian passports aren't the easiest travel documents), but I really do wish I can make it to atleast some of the less visited ones (Afghanistan is a dream that I wish comes true!!).
    I agree with the Anon above… A one or two word description about each country would be brilliant!

  6. Since you lived in the UK, I assume you have been to Wales (certainly a country) and Northern Ireland (complicated status, but since I'm from there, I'll be saying country, we have a soccer team… even though I would like Ireland to be one country on that island).

  7. Dear Gunnar, I would like to know what takes to have a life like that .. travelling all the time .. exploring .. crazy .. I mean how do you avoid the conventional life .. need to earn so that you can spend

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