When allowing fate to pick your next travel destination a few guidelines should be set.
1. No war zones
2. No countries with severe US or Canada citizen warnings (Tara is Canadian)
3. No countries where either of us has already been (With the exception of us creating a "specialized adventure." That is to say, Tara & I met in London so UK should be out, but a "walking tour of the coast" or a visit to the islands would be considered specialized as a completely unexplored and knish take on a UK visit).
And here is where our planning hit a pothole. It's very hard to spin a globe, have your finger land on a country that doesn't fall under one of these categories. And as a friend pointed out to me, most likely when you spin a globe your hand is bound to stay the lateral line along the equator or else end up in a body of water. So with these thoughts, I gave my globe a little pat and decided the best course of action would be picking out of a hat.
With our list of rules in mind, we put all 197 countries into a Google doc (sources list from 193-197 countries depending if they list certain debated countries - Tibet, Taiwan, Palestine et al) The U.N. only recognizes 193. In addition to the country list we added any islands we wanted to single out as most are owned by a bigger bird).
From there we narrowed our options down. I looked up every country on the map to see where it was located, let's just say my geography in Africa and the Middle East is far better than it was a few weeks ago. And although part of me is a little ashamed I didn't know this before, I was delighted to discover a tiny country between France and Spain called Andorra! How excited this discovery made me!
In the end, I had nixed 73 countries, which does seem like a lot. At least 25 from having already been. Tara nixed an additional 51. What can I say? We are well traveled ladies. And here is where I come to a stop. Keep reading to Post #3...