Some of the countries and territories I have visited:

  • 2019 – as part of the Love Around the World project: Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, the Maldives, China, Japan, Palau, Solomon Islands, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil
  • 2017/2018: Antarctica – the South Pole
  • 2017: Norway – Finnmarksvidda
  • 2016: Greenland, Russia (Siberia), Norway (Hardangersvidda), Malta
  • 2015: Cuba, Norway (Svalbard)
  • 2014: Bhutan
  • 2012/2013 – as part of my motorbike trip from Zagreb to Capetown: Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, the South African Republic
  • 2012: Peru
  • 2010/2011 – as part of my motorbike trip from Zagreb to Togo: Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Cabo Verde, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo
  • 2010: Libya, Japan, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, France
  • 2009: Kosovo, United Arab Emirates, USA
  • 2008: Italy, Indonesia (Western Papua), Syria
  • 2007: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Bolivia, California
  • 2006: Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia (Tahiti)
  • 2005: Guatemala, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile
  • 2004: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China and Tibet
  • 2003: Russia, Spain
  • 2002: Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Libanon, Israel and Palestine, Egypt

List of important expeditions I have undertaken or led:

2017/2018, South Pole – Walking from the coast of Antarctica (Hercules Inlet) to the South Pole. 722 miles in 47 days, which made me the 26th man in history and the first Croat to do this journey solo, unsupported and unassisted

2017, Finmarksvidda – crossing the Finmarksvidda Plateau solo, on skis

2016, Siberia – an expedition to the nomadic Nenet people in the north of Siberia and following their migration across the frozen river Ob, on snowmobiles

2014, Bhutan – Snowman trek in Bhutan: 198 miles walk through one of the remotest areas of the Himalayas in 21 days

2013, eastern Africa – as part of a motorbike journey through Africa we did an expedition to one of the last hunter-gatherer Bushman tribes. I don’t want to give more information about it because I plan to go back

2012, Peru – a climb to the highest tropical volcano – 21 079 ft high Coropuna peak

2011, Mali – as part of a motorbike journey through West Africa we did an expedition on foot through the territory of the fascinating Dogon people

2008, West Papua – three months in the remotest areas of West Papua, Indonesia, during which we went on three expeditions. The Wapoga was especially important, because we entered an area which nobody had entered before. During the Korowai expedition we got in touch with a clan of a tribe that had no previous contact with the outside world

2007, the Amazon – 23 days in the Bolivian Amazon; an expedition to an area no man has entered before; the search for a jaguar

2006, Papua New Guinea – 515 miles up the Sepik river and 167 miles walking through the jungle in the remotest part of Papua New Guinea, 52 days away from civilisation

2005, Bolivija – crossing the untouched Madidi Park jungle on foot and on a raft, 34 days, 279 miles

2005, Guatemala – rowing down San Pedro river in Guatemala; two weeks, 93 miles, and the discovery of an ancient cave with archaeological artefacts the Maya people used more than 2000 years ago

2004, Tibet – climbing an unnamed 19 685 ft high mountain peak in West Tibet

2003, Francuska – climbing Mt. Blanc, 15 789 ft, the highest peak of the Alps

What is the difference between a journey and an expedition?

Travel writers often use the word expedition, but I don’t think anybody knows what exactly is the difference between an expedition and a journey. Dictionaries and linguists don’t help us much, because for them an expedition is “a journey undertaken by a group of people with a particular purpose such as research or war” (Oxford Dictionary).

I think travelers often use the word expedition in order to make their trip seem more important, even if it has no explorative purpose.

For me, an expedition is something yet unexplained in dictionaries. For me, it’s a journey outside areas with classic infrastructure and logistics necessary for life (food, water, shelter), so the equipment needs to be carried, either by the expedition members themselves, other carriers, or pack animals, or transported by various vehicles (bicycles, motor vehicles, kayaks, sleds, etc). Also, for me it’s a journey that an individual or a group organize on their own, without tourist or other types of agencies.

Nowadays, when there are almost no unexplored areas expeditions could go to, I propose that criteria which distinguish an expedition from a journey include:

  • that one or more members organize and undertake it by themselves
  • that it takes place off the beaten track, where there is no tourist infrastructure, i.e. organized sleeping accommodation and food

On counting countries?

My attitudes towards it changed throughout my traveling history. At first, I counted countries until I reached about 60, and then stopped. Sometime before 100 I counted them again, and I still do it occasionally. I don’t approve of counting countries because it inspires superficial traveling, a “collector’s mentality”, which is precisely what I’m fighting against by promoting clever, responsible traveling. One thing that’s good about counting is that it’s fun, and that it shows in a clear and concise way the experience you worked on and invested in for a long time. Right now, I don’t mind counting countries, as long as it doesn’t motivate the traveler to visit a country superficially, just so that they can say they’ve been there.

I also think that it needs to be clarified what a “country” means, and what counts as visiting a country. There are many travelers’s lists which contain from 180 up to 250 countries in total. Many countries are disputable, such as the Vatican, Taiwan, Palestine, Kosovo… I propose the UN list, with certain corrections. For example, it lists the Vatican and Kosovo as independent countries, but not Taiwan and Palestine. The list contains 195 countries, out of which I have visited 112 by June 2019.

I wouldn’t count an airport transfer as visiting a country, if you haven’t at least gone through customs and entered the country. My minimum is to go to a town and spend a couple of hours there. It happened several times that I spent such a short amount of time in a country, for example in Iceland, Kazakhstan and New Zealand. On the other hand, I often went back to some countries (Bolivia, India, China – three times, Syria, Japan, Egypt – twice… Not to mention European countries). I often travelled to areas that don’t count as countries: Greenland, Svalbard, Antarctica, Tahiti…

Long story short, I don’t like it when traveling turns to collecting countries. But if  I don’t travel just in order to check countries off the list, I think it’s OK if once in a while I count how many I’ve visited.

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