195 Countries And You’ve Only Seen One

A few years ago while traveling in a hostel in Toronto, an Australian that I made friends with noticed I was fumbling through pockets for my passport.

“Do you mind if I take a look at that?” he asked.

After handing it over I watched him simply stare at the cover before looking through a few pages. Little did I know that the United States passport holds some of the greatest power for travelers in the world. He almost tugged a little on it when I reached back over the table for it because of the value it has for those bitten by wanderlust.

A recent news article published by CNN talked about the top ranking passports and how that small little book affords me access to 147 countries. It piqued my attention to search for this post from Traveller:

USA and UK passports are the most powerful, each possessing a total of 147 countries its citizens can visit without needing a visa.   Some of the least desirable passports are from Bhutan (40), Myanmar (28), Nepal (38), Afghanistan (38), Iraq (38) and North Korea (44). These countries can be notoriously difficult to get a visa for.

The weight of it hit me after reading about the different passports of the world. Especially those listed as “least desirable”. It means those who were simply born in a country have less ability to travel and see other parts of the world. Wow, that’s powerful.

I told myself, “There are 195 countries in the world, and I’ve only seen one.”

Sadness and excitement swept over me at once. It’s time to get busy.