Posted April 28 2019
Continuing on under the theme of 'Where I have Been', how about a list of places I have been that are not UN Member States.
These are autonomous republics, regions and communities, self-proclaimed republics, disputed territories, and de facto states.
Each one is accompanied by a screen shot from Google just in case you think I am making all this shit up
Let's start off with some of the more obvious ones:
1. Catalonia / Catalunya
Catalunya is an Autonomous Community in Spain. Barcelona is in Catalunya, and I have spent a few nights here on various backpacking trips into Spain.
2. Basque County/Euskadi
Euskadi is another Autonomous Community in Spain. San Sebastian is in Euskadi, so, yes, I have been in Euskadi. 4 nights I think, in 2007.
3. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an Autonomous Territory and former British colony, now governed, sadly, by China.
Taiwan is a State of the Republic of China, although they have their own money and passports, just as Hong Kong does, yet it is partially accepted as being a country in it's own right.
And now for the less obvious ones:
Ceuta is an autonomous city of Spain. It's not even in Spain. Or Europe for that matter. It's in Africa. But I have not spent the night there. I just transited on my way back to Spain from Morocco.
Melilla is another autonomous city of Spain. It is also not in Spain, or Europe. It is, as is Ceuta, in Africa. Again, I did not spend the night there. I took the ferry from Spain to Melilla and directly I crossed the border to Morocco.
7. Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa, in the Maghreb region, partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially controlled by Morocco. Dakhla is the last town in Western Sahara, over 2000km from Marakech and still 200km from Mauritania. I have been there twice.
Defacto and partially recognised state on the Black Sea coast, geographically, it's still Georgia but in reality, it's controlled by the Russians. I spent 3 nights in Sokhumi.
9. Nagorno Karabakh/ Artsakh
Artsakh is a disputed region between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I have been there twice but only once did I sleep in country (2016).
The Republic of Karakalpakstan autonomous republic in Uzbekistan. It's where the Aral Sea is. I spent 1 night in Nukus and 2 in Moynak. All the others in this list, I was aware of but Karakalpakstan was a new one for me. I came across a weird and wonderful list and started to google the places to see where they were and had I been there or not.
The Pamirs are in Gorno-Badakhshan. Beautiful part of the world. That's a bit of an under rated description. Fuckin' amazing would be a better description.
12. Autonomous Republic of Adjara
Another one in Georgia. The major city here is Batumi which is a port city and Adjara being a Black Sea holiday destination.
And lastly, on such a list this surely would have to be in last place.
Užupis is a self-proclaimed republic within the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. Yes I went exploring there but I did not over night there.
And if you still don't believe me, here is a sign on entry to Užupis:
Since this article was written, I have backpacked in Transnistria. Transnistria is a de facto state, sandwiched between Moldova and Ukraine.
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Travelling the world solo, since 1992, as a low budget backpacker.