Before I start this post, I want to say thank you to those, who have visited my site, looked at one of my pictures or read one of the words I’ve written! Thank you! I couldn’t believe, that after just 3 months of starting my blog, there have been readers on 6 continents and over 100 countries. This is amazing!
As you know, I’m travelling to all countries in the world. It is not my dream to do it. It is my plan. Last year on a flight enroute to South America I was 23 and gave myself 10 years to accomplish it. Now I’m 24 and more than ever convinced I can do it.
But, and this is a huge BUT, travelling to ALL countries is not something you just do. It takes a lot of research, energy, money and time. Let me start with the term ‘all countries’.
First of all, calling oneself a country or nation is not enough. To be declared as a sovereign nation you need to have your own borders and a completely independent government. According to the United Nations Member States List there are 193 sovereign nations. But it is not that simple. This list does not include Palestine, Vatican City or Kosovo and there are many breakaway states as well, like Western Sahara, Transnistria or Somaliland. These are just partially independent and not widely recognised as sovereign states. So when I say I will travel to all countries in the world, I mean 193 sovereign nations plus Palestine, Vatican City, Kosovo. 196.
At the moment I have been to 57 of 196. For some it seems like a lot. For some it is a small number. But I don’t care. I am in no contest with anyone else and I’m not looking at it like a race. Call it whatever you want. A mission, an expedition, extended holiday plans or absolute insanity. I set myself the limit until I’m 33, because a plan or goal without a deadline, will stay a dream forever.
There is a saying called “If I get a dollar everytime…”, and now I’d like to do my own. If I get a dollar everytime someone told me “Why would you go there?”, “You’re lucky”, “You’re crazy” or “What? You’re in town? I thought you were travelling” – I would be filthy rich. Truth is, I’m not. I’m working. And I’m working hard for it. Plus, I have enough experience now, that I know a good deal, when I see one and I usually book flights when they are really, really cheap, even if they are to countries I’m not overly excited about.
I’m super psyched about going to a lot countries, where I’d go NOW and there others, like in West Africa, where I’m feeling more like “Nah, maybe in two or three years”. What I want say is that, if I find a good deal with cheap flights to a destination I’m not super psyched about, I’m still going to do it, because after all, travelling to all countries is expensive and will probably have a 6 figure number. Therefore I’m trying to get this 6 figure number lower and lower. And right now it would not make a lot of difference for me, if I go, for example to Guinea, this year or in 2 years.
Another very important matter is research. I won’t fly anywhere, just for the sake of being there and getting my passport stamped and go back home. I love my passports and stamps, they are my holy grail, and I want to see places and get the most out of my trip, therefore I know where I land and what I will do.
Especially if those places are considered dangerous. Absolute No-Go’s right now are Yemen and Syria. I don’t see me or anyone else going there anytime soon. Places like Pakistan, Iran or DR Congo are considerably fine, but still not a piece of cake and going there requires lots of research and exact knowledge of what you are doing. I know, that my plans strain with my family and my relationships and are difficult to endure sometimes, but it’s what I’ve chosen to do.
I’m incredible thankful for the life I’m living and I don’t know, where my road is leading, what is looming around the corner and what life has planned for me. I’m taking a risk in trying to build a life I won’t need to take a vacation from.
Thank you for following along!