Am I still a tourist ?

Visiting 50 countries is on my bucket list.  I’m still at 35.  Three more are planned for next Spring.

This picture shows the countries I’ve visited:countries

Some I’ve visited for hours, some for days, and some for years.

How do I define a visit?  

If I sprint through Heathrow airport during a connection to Paris, did I visit England?  Can I include that on my list?  (I did that, and I didn’t include it.)

This is my rule for inclusion on the list:  a conversation, a meal, and a pee.  In order to have visited a place, I need to meaningfully talk to someone, eat something, and use the restroom.

In my view, foreign exposure is a range: tourist –> visitor –> resident –> citizen.

I did some research on this topic.  One study I co-authored (unpublished) indicated that breadth is more important than depth for developing cultural intelligence (CQ).  Visiting multiple countries for a short time each affects CQ more than living in one new country for multiple years.

That is why I visit as many countries as I can.  But for each of these countries, I can’t claim cultural expertise after a short visit.

Many people mistakenly generalize.  Someone visits the countryside of Ireland for a few days, then tells us how all Europeans prefer darker coffee, or that the European climate is damp.  This is an error.  One Irish town doesn’t represent Dublin, much less Kiev and Athens.

To understand a place as much as possible in a short time, I engage in three activities:

  1. Visit a local grocery store, to see how locals sustain themselves.
  2. Walk around the city in early morning, before the crowds arrive,  as shopkeepers prepare for the day.
  3. Ride pubic transportation.  If the country has none, commute the way common people commute.


I challenge you to visit as may places as possible, and to learn as much as you can while there.

Side Note:

As you can see from the map, my exposure to Africa is lacking.  If you would like to finance a trip there, please contact me at  Economy class flights are adequate.

::: Be fierce. Be kind. Be knowledge-hungry. :::

Published by Brock Stout, PhD

Brock has helped many people to be extremely successful. He has lived in various countries and has enjoyed several careers, but is now a writer and a career coach. He sustained mild lead poisoning as a child, resulting in neurological damage. The result was a life of learning disabilities, always struggling to keep up. But he completed two degrees from competitive universities, then advised Wall Street executives in Asia for 15 years. He later earned a PhD and worked as a university professor for six years. He has started three profitable companies in between. So he particularly wants to help those with special learning challenges. Because so many of us now have these special challenges, they are no longer special. But they are challenges. He wants you to TEACH YOURSELF how to be successful.

2 thoughts on “Am I still a tourist ?

  1. My rule is if I leave the airport and see the world outside the tarmac. ________________________________


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