I came back to London on the 7th April 2019, So I can't go abroad until after 7th July 2019. So, it made me plan a few things out.
For my next trip, I am going to be away for half of July! I'm due back at work early August. So I've got a lot of travelling to do in a timeframe of 16+ days.
Dream Theater concert in Slovakia.
This will be my 5th time seeing Dream Theater. I saw them 3 times in Australia (Jan 2008, Dec 2009 and October 2014) and one time in the UK (April 2017).
The last time I saw Dream Theater I got punched out on Broad Street in Birmingham by a Scumbag Eastern European and whacked in the head by a repeat English criminal (and that made the papers). The fuckwit who whacked me in the head is still behind bars until the dawn of the 2020s.
So I am hoping nothing really bad happens after the gig. I was in Bratislava last August and it's a very safe city!
I was last here in July 2013, so 6 years for my return to this wonderful capital city. I did skip a few things out on Budapest and the last time I was here, the Parliament was under construction.
I've been dying to get to Beirut for many years. I grew up with Lebanese people in Australia, Dad was always buying Lebanese bread from the shops. I'm spending a few days in Bcharri to learn about Khalil Gibran and also see allot of Beirut.
The Heartlands of Southern Africa
So you Draw a line from the Angolan/Namibian Border, you keep the line going into Zambia and onto Mozambique! Then you draw a line from Zambia all the way down to South Africa. You draw 2 lines that connect West South Africa with Nambia and then East of South Africa to Mozambique and I'm talking about Southern Africa
It has taken me 8 years to go back to Africa. I've spent the majority of the last 7 years living in shitty Australia, working in London, being Creative in Stockholm and getting Ill in Asia!
I was supposed to go 4 countries in November 2018 to celebrate my 33rd Birthday (Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan and Egypt). This got fucked over thanks to payroll stuff ups upon my return to London in 2018.
In hindsight I was kinda grateful I didn't go there in November 2018 (Waste of a passport page) because I got to go from Cancun to San Jose in 11 days over Christmas 2018 and that too took me 8 years to get back to North America.
There are 8 countries I'm talking about in Southern Africa
- South Africa
My plan is to get a flight from Beirut to Jo'Berg and just go stir crazy noodles in country hopping in this part of the world.
I've studied the Map of Africa since I was 25! Buses go from Jo'Berg Park Station to Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Nambia and Lesotho require trips to rural cities in South Africa where Minivans can get you across the border.
I have 9 pages left in my UK passport. I require full pages visas for Zambia/Zimbabwe (NOW KNOW AS KAZA VISA) and Mozambique. So the border guards in Lebanon and these countries better fill up my passport (OR USE PAGES THAT ONLY HAVE 2 STAMPS). South Africa won't let you in without 2 blank pages! Still, I'm going to enter South Africa like 5-6 times on this trip.
If I can get to 8 countries in 14 days, This will push my tally of nations into the '90s.
By the time I get back to London, I should be on my 90th nation. Remember I've only got 18 more nations to get to 100 and once that is done I can move back to Stockholm.
The last countries I go to will probably be places that I never thought of going. So if you said to me back in May 2010 (when I was flat broke) "Martin, how would you like to see Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?" I would have told you that I'm sick of Island as I've lived on 2 already!
But when I come to think of it. Out of 82 nations. The only ISLANDS I've been on are:
Papua New Guinea
Also bonus points for visiting Guernsey Twice!
So there may be some Islands thrown in the final 10 for good measure
By the end of the year when I head abroad again for my Birthday or my Christmas vacation there's a chance that I won't be in London/England/Europe for that time. I could be in Asia, Africa, South America or the Carribean!
So if I tell you what my last 10 countries would be. It would be a wishlist beyond the lines of
South America: Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname
Carribean: Trinidad, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Dominica
Asia: North Korea, Mongolia, Japan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
Africa; Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda
Now I can't really put words into perspective and say OVERLAND METALHEAD WILL MAKE SURINAME HIS 100TH NATION. Imagine if I am travelling from Amman to Addis Ababa Overland, I want to make Sudan my 100th nation. But I can't because Jordan is 99, Egypt is 100, Sudan is 101 and Ethiopia is 102!
When I started out my travels in 2010. I had no Intention of making
Monaco # 10
Netherlands # 25
Costa Rica #80
It just happened that way on where I went in the world on that given year or what bus I was going to take at 12 midnight or what train was leaving Bucharest today! When I was in Lao DPR I told myself well that's now 49 nations. What could I make my 50th nation?
I could have gone to Iceland, Japan, Philipines, Any Korea, Nauru! But it was to be Russia as I had waited 9 years to board that rich Tran Siberian that would take me to Moscow and get me back to England!
(BUT DON'T YOU EVER CRAVE ALLOT ABOUT GOING BACK TO SWEDEN?)
Of course, I fucking do! I go to sleep wearing a Swedish Football/ Ice Hockey shirt, my iPhone screen lock is Qurorthon grave in Stockholm. I still have my Stockholm transport card in my wallet.
If I could be smart, not leave my own country and build a nest egg thanks to my current London life. I'll relocate to Oslo, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Trondheim at the drop of my hat. If you want Martin Anthony to keep your Oslo Cafe clean, give me an email and I'll be over on the next Ryanair flight for less than a tenner and I'll just hang up my rucksack until I become Swedish or Norwegian.
In life people always say that Anger is a wasted emotion. It's very useless. People always get angry at me for visiting 82 amount of countries in 9 years! Well, I am very angry that you have a stupid baby when you could have used a condom and adopted an 8-year-old from Ghana. So, now your Jealous that you can't go to Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Norway, Denmark, Armenia because you have a fucking child! So it is your own fault your not crying at Sandino Monument in Managua!
When I looked at my Map of Europe in 2018 I was angry that I had only been to 6 new countries in 2017, I was angry because I didn't leave my stupid island for 11 months, I was angry that there were so many gaps in my European map.
So I filled in all those gaps over a period of 15 months. So I am happy that I am done with Europe. But I'm Angry that I haven't been to South America and only 1 African nation.
So that Anger influences me to visit 8 African nations in July/Aug 2019 or one day to visit a Mosque and a Shul in Suriname!