Top 40 Countries, Revisited for 2018

The countries and destinations I’m most excited to visit one day, let’s call it my New Years Resolutions list…And may it be noted that I have accomplished 18 off my last top 40 countries list (and 3 runners up) in the last 3 years whilst adding 18 new countries and losing 1 out of loss of interest (Moldova), therefore this list does indeed bring things to fruition at an average of 4 ish per year… though this year I may not visit any of the below. Instead, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and a South African road trip remix are the likely future contenders as most easily accessible from Pretoria. However, should the opportunity present itself, Tanzania and Madagascar might materialize.

Apparently the Middle East is the area of the world I have neglected the most, for obvious reasons. Dear family, rest assured that this is reserved for far in the future.

The asterisks of the list are the ones I feel the most inexplicable Fernweh towards.

Furthermore, may it also be noted that since my last top 40 list, I have adjusted my belief that these are not best visited nomadically, but rather better reserved for breaks and vacations, while keeping a hub/home base. This is a big change for those who know me, but for those who know me even better, it’s been a long time coming.

Asia (4)



Sri Lanka


(Accomplished: Japan, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, runners-up Hong Kong and South Korea)

crocodile farm

Crocodile Farm in Vietnam

hong kong view

Overlooking Hong Kong

monkey forest

Monkey Forest in Indonesia

Middle East (8)









Eastern Europe (2)



(Accomplished: Poland)

salt mines krakow

Salt mines in Poland

Central Asia (3)




(Accomplished: Russia, runner-up Kyrgyzstan)

kuwait man

Making friends at the hotel in Kyrgyzstan

Africa (7)




Burkina Faso




(Accomplished: Benin, Namibia, and South Africa)

ostrich Ryder

Ostrich farm in South Africa

Western Europe (5)






(Accomplished: Denmark, Scotland, The Netherlands and Portugal)

dilapidated castle

Dilapidated castle in Scotland

South America (3)




(Accomplished: Bolivia, Peru)

Nazca Lines

Nazca Lines of Peru

South Pacific (3)



Papua New Guinea

Central America/Caribbean (5)






(Accomplished: Guatemala)

perfect lake atitlan


Volcanoes in Guatemala at Lake Atitlan

(Antarctica: Accomplished)

antarctica first

Ice and wind in Antarctica

What is also interesting to note from this list, including my post here is a majority of these countries became part of my top 10 favorite countries, including Guatemala, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Antarctica. In other words, my inclination to visit them normally does not (though occasionally does-see Namibia) disappoint. Which of these countries may vie for the top of my favorites list and I just don’t know it yet? It’s fun to dream, and guess. I’d place bets on Nepal, Georgia, Iran, Yemen or Lebanon making the cut because my favorite countries generally have a warm and hospitable population, ancient and well-documented history, religious significance, and a well-established and delicious cuisine-which must be why I love the Middle East and the South Asian subcontinent so much.

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 377 awesome articles for us.

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