31 and counting

Well we’re back from our winter holiday to Prague, Vienna and Zurich. It’s 4am and I’ve been awake since midnight. I usually don’t jet lag this bad, but it’s hit both of us hard this time.

What can I say about our trip? It’s Europe, it’s beautiful and someday we’ll live there….it’s a goal and with the number of international schools there are in Europe a pretty good chance it will come through.

So this trip brings my wife to 33 countries and myself to 30. I’ll hit 31 the end of January when I go to Qatar for the Flatclassroom Conference.

I still have to pinch myself from time to time to think this really is my life. As my wife and I talked earlier this year, we realized this would be the year we visited more countries than our age. We’re both 32 and with an average of about 4 countries a year over the last seven years we’ll look to out pace our age for some time to come. The only thing that might slow us down is running out of countries. 🙂


On an interesting technical note, while at our friend’s house in Prague, I was jealous of how fast her Internet speed was. I did a speed test and found she was connecting at 4MB per second. “I just asked for the normal one” she said. Normal? 4MB is normal? I then talked with John Mikton, IT Director at the International School of Prague, about the speed over dinner one night. He told me that the government wanted to make 8MB per second the standard in the country. A fact backed up by Wikipedia:

The typical ADSL connection in Czech Republic is 2048/256 kbit/s (8192/512 kbit/s from year 2008) with data limits of several GB. Speeds, data limits, Fair User Policy (limiting link speed based on amount of transferred data) and overbooking vary per each ISP.

John went on to tell me that he got a call from his ISP telling him he could upgrade to an 8MB line and also reduce his monthly bill. Is it just me or is that crazy?

And then there is Zurich. While there visiting Jason Welker, we went skiing one day about an hour outside of Zurich. While on the mountain, Jason had Edge data service on his iPhone and at the bottom of the mountain it was 3G. He had just gotten his new iPhone the day we arrived and we had a great time playing with apps and the iPhone. He found some killer apps for skiing in Switzerland including an app that gives you all the ski resorts in 3D view and if you leave your iPhone turned on while skiing it will track via GPS your ski routes for the day. Crazy!

Overall a wonderful trip that gave me time to reflect and see parts of the world that seven years ago I never thought possible on a teacher’s salary. It’s a small world and getting smaller by the day.

If case you are wondering, here is the list of countries we’ve been to in chronological order because it’s the only way we can remember them. :0

  1. USA
  2. Mexico (wife)
  3. Canada
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Bahrain
  6. Italy
  7. UK
  8. Portugal
  9. Germany
  10. South Africa
  11. Thailand
  12. UAE
  13. Spain
  14. France
  15. Jordan
  16. Turkey
  17. Bulgaria
  18. Egypt
  19. Israel
  20. China
  21. Australia
  22. Singapore
  23. Vietnam
  24. Taiwan (Wife)
  25. Indonesia
  26. Malaysia
  27. Cambodia
  28. Hong Kong* (Wife; counts due to stamp in passport!)
  29. Japan
  30. Philippines
  31. Switzerland
  32. Czech Republic
  33. Austria
  34. Qatar (Jeff, Jan. 2009)

(Our rule for “counting a country” states that you must leave the airport and spend more than 8 hours in the country)

Here is a Flickr slide show of the pics from our trip.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.