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Wales here we come

Five days till ERYRI 25k at Ultra Trail Snowdonia. We’re in Wales. This is the sixth country I will be running a race in.

My first race, in this second running life, was in the Netherlands (the Dieprijtcross), my second race was in Belgium, the Firefighter Mountain Trail in Beringen. After that I ran the 11k at the Dolomiti Extreme Trail in Italy, the Three Mealls Trail race (19k) in Scotland, and the Endurance Life Sussex Ultra (52k) in England. So Wales is country number six and Sweden (Kullamanen), later this year, will be country number seven.

25 races in a year

The ERYRI 25k will also be race number 25, since I’m running again. I think that’s a lot of races, as the Dieprijtcross in Eersel was only in March last year. But it’s fun to do all these races. It gives us – Sara always comes along – the option to see new places.

In my first running life I never ran abroad. Then again, I just did road races in those days. Although, I did go abroad once, when I ran the Roprarun. That race started in Rotterdam, underneath the Euromast and finished in Paris, underneath the Eiffel Tower.

38 countries visited

Wales is also a new country on my list of countries where I’ve been. Which makes the total list look like this:

  • Albania (teaching yoga)
  • Australia (backpacking and writing) *
  • Andorra
  • Austria (snowboarding)
  • Belgium (running and more)
  • Canada
  • China (Hong Kong)
  • Costa Rica (teaching yoga)
  • Croatia (road trip)
  • Czech Republic
  • England (running and more)
  • Egypt (diving)
  • France (snowboarding and more)
  • Germany (snowboarding, road trip and more)
  • Greece (backpacking)
  • Hungary (road trip)
  • India (studying and later teaching yoga) *
  • Italy (teaching yoga, running and more)
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Morocco (teaching yoga)
  • Netherlands *
  • New Zealand (backpacking and writing) *
  • Nicaragua (teaching yoga, voluntary work for a N.G.O.) *
  • Panama (teaching yoga)
  • Poland (road trip)
  • Portugal (road trip)
  • Scotland (running, road trip)
  • Spain (teaching yoga and more) *
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand (backpacking)
  • Tonga (backpacking)
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Vatican City
  • Wales (running)

That makes a total of 38 countries out of 195 countries in the world. Although, it does depend on how you count. Wales and Scotland can be seen as part of the United Kingdom, however these countries do have their own language and national football team.

Stop-overs don’t count

I’m not counting the counties where I just had a stop-over by plane or drove through; only the countries I’ve been to for at least a day. Okay, I didn’t spend the night in Vatican City, as the pope didn’t invite me to stay over.

Some countries I’ve been to don’t exist anymore, or at least not in the form they used to. I visited East-Berlin in East-Germany, for example, the year before the wall went down. Now it’s just Germany. And I’ve been to Yugoslavia, which now consists of different countries.

The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, India and Spain are the countries I’ve lived and worked in for at least half a year.

Yoga and running

Yoga so far has brought me to India, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Morocco, Italy and Spain. Now running is taking me around the world. Only this time I’m trying to travel slowly, as I think it’s time I reduce my ecological footprint and start giving back to Mother Earth.

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