A Party for the End of the World


Location: Oslo, Norway
Date: April 7, 2013

Dear Friends,

We’re having a party to celebrate the end of the world next year. It might be cold, but it will definitely be fun.

Will you save the date? You can now get a ticket for the party or a whole tour.

Your correspondent,

Chris Guillebeau


A long time ago I had a crazy idea to visit every country in the world.

Like a lot of crazy ideas, it began with a wild thought, and only later did I think to myself: No, wait—this could really happen.

The steps toward making it really happen have been chronicled for the past four years on this blog. When I published the first post on AONC, I had been to 70 countries. Not bad, but also fairly achievable for active travelers. Attempting to go everywhere—all 193 countries, with no exceptions—helped to orient my life around a measurable goal.

While I went from country to country and readers began to engage, the project shifted in scope. I learned that many readers were pursuing big goals of their own, and I felt personally challenged to make my work meaningful to them. I still felt like an explorer, but I felt even more like a curator of an ideal or worldview.

Whatever the project has come to be, it’s certainly a lot better than what it was in the beginning, and for that I have YOU (AKA “the readers”) to thank.

I still have a few challenges ahead. The elusive Guinea Bissau remains unvisited, despite achieving a visa last week, as does Tuvalu, a small nation in the South Pacific. At the moment, though, everything appears to be on track.

Thus I keep moving forward, writing you today from Sao Tome (#190!) and rerouting my travel plans for December to visit the other two challenging countries.

For those who can make it to next year’s finish line, I’ll look forward to celebrating with you on an April evening in Oslo. And for everyone else who can’t be there in person, please know that you’ve been a big part of the whole journey.


– Chris


*Check out 11 Ways to Be Unremarkably Average—now in comic form from Gavin at ZenPencils.

Bergen Image: Lenoz

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