This year, at the age of 28, I realised that I’ve travelled to 30 countries. I wasn’t trying to do #30before30 but I can’t lie, it felt like a really satisfying number to hit. I’m very conscious of quality over quantity with travel. There is such a thing as speeding through places and there’s nothing more irritating and pompous that someone saying they’ve ‘done’ Thailand when they’ve only been to Bangkok and Pattaya. That said, travel is a bit like pizza in my opinion in that it can never be bad. Every experience teaches you something and helps to grow you in some way.
I realised that despite my many posts I’ve never told my readers where I’ve actually been. Yes, I’ve been to 30 countries but which ones? I’m always curious to know where people have been. It’s fun to hear what people think of places you’ve seen and it’s intriguing to learn about places that you’ve not yet encountered. When I meet a fellow traveller, my first question is usually, ‘where have you been?’, ‘what’s your favourite country?’ or ‘where are you going next?’
For those that are interested, here are my 30 countries:
7 Czech Republic
10 New Zealand
19 Cape Verde
21 South Korea
23 The Netherlands
Please call me out if you notice any duplication!
There are 195 countries in this world. Is it possible to visit them all in a lifetime? Does that leave time to go back and explore each country fully?
I’ve only scraped the surface of the USA, having visited Florida, New York and Las Vegas. In Germany, I’ve only been to Berlin and Australia was a mad but memorable scramble up the east coast.
I’m conscious that seeing the world may be a whistle stop tour. If you are 28 like me and you want to see all 195 countries by 69, you’d need to visit 5 countries per year. That doesn’t leave room for repeat offenders, you know, the countries that feel like a home away from home and that you want to delve deeper into.
Sometimes scraping the surface of a country is satisfying enough but rarely I think. There’s always more to learn and you need at least a few months but really years to fully immerse yourself and begin to understand the cultural differences. It’s easy to be infatuated with a country that you visit as a holiday destination. Of course it is. It’s either an adventure, a journey or an opportunity for relaxation. But it’s the equivalent of a holiday romance. To truly know a country, you need to get into a relationship with it and that involves dedicating time and energy, perhaps learning the language, working there or falling in love with a local.
Whatever your approach to travel, whether the focus is on quality or quantity, no travel can be bad or wasteful. It really is one of my favourite things.
So, how many countries have you been to and which ones? Which was your biggest surprise? Which would you like to revisit? And which are your must sees?
All my love