featured posts

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

lundi 9 juillet 2012

HOW DOES ONE BECOME INTERESTED IN GEOGRAPHY?


HOW DOES ONE BECOME INTERESTED IN GEOGRAPHY?

I was a pre-schooler, when my grandfather, olav ha shalom, came into the room with a bagful of sweets and said: these are yours, if you can recite for me all the countries a train will pass through from Cairo to Cape Town! 
I don't remember whether I was able to answer the question or how the sweets tasted, but definitely that was the beginning of the interest in world maps, atlases and globes and an imagination to travel. The world map had predominantly two colours then, Red and Blue. It was interesting to follow the changes in the names of the countries; Dahomey became Benin, for example. It also kindled an interest in world politics since the independence struggles were led by men of great stature…and there were visible items of those distant lands one could hold in your hands: stamps. Rio Muni, Marruecos, Ifni, Travancore and many other states long dead but you could hold their stamps in mint conditions. Some countries had stamps only with one face on them, such as Shah of Iran or Sultan of Brunei, and occasionally a country would issue many stamps each one for its states: like Malaysia. One set of stamps good to collect was the British Colonial Stamps (in which my father excelled) so you could have the same stamps with different names on it: St Helena, Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha, Gibraltar, North Borneo etc.
The interest in Geography continues to this day and as a child I was able to recite at an enormous speed all the countries of the world in alphabetical order.
So it was good to see the list of the Smallest countries of the world! I have been fortunate enough to travel widely, having covered 82 of the 196 independent countries but at least that many more in territories and provinces (nearly all the states in USA, all states in Australia, both N and S of Aotearoa, 16 out of the 33 states in Mexico. I am not well travelled in India or China, most populous of the countries, even though I have been to a fair bit of Japan). I have visited some islands hard to reach: Tokelau, Rapa Nui, Torres Straits.
So, which are the smallest countries in the world? Being interested in Small is Beautiful, it was gratifying to me that I have been to 4 of the 10, 4 are microstates in Europe, so only two are missing to be visited: Seychelles and St Kitts and Nevis.
Smallest countries in the world:
Maldives

Seychelles
St Kitts and Nevis

Marshall Islands

Liechtenstein
San Marino

Tuvalu

Nauru

Monaco
Vatican

You may then wonder, which are the Biggest countries on earth. Thus making it easy to visit them?
I have been to nine out of 10, with the exception of Algeria.

Russia
Canada
USA
China
Brasil
Australia
India
Argentina
Kazakhstan
Algeria.

Bon Voyage and Happy Travels..