In 2015 I made myself a promise. My one true goal in life was to visit every country in the world. I also said I would stop at nothing to do so. So how is it that I travel less and less? Of course, I have been on two trips within the past few months, but I have not left the United States since February of 2020.
I recently asked my Mom, "At what age you think I would be when I visit every country in the world?" Her reply, "maybe 50." Well, I guess we will see if she is right.
There are one hundred and ninety-seven(197) countries in the world. One hundred and ninety-three(193) of those countries are recognized by the United Nations. Two are U.N observers (The Vatican( Holy See) and Palestine) and Taiwan and Kosovo, which are known as self-governed territories. Thankfully, I have traveled to 30 of these countries and intend to add more soon.
Pandemic restrictions kept me at home but I think it's time to change that. Don't get me wrong, I can travel, but I just tried to avoid getting a PHD in travel rules for every country. I missed the days where I could book and go worry-free but I am afraid those days are gone.
Before I travel internationally again, I thought I'd walk down memory lane to remind myself of the good times and look forward to fun times to come.
Here is a list of countries visited thus far in my travels.
St.Kitts and Nevis: This is more than a place traveled but my home. I spent 17 years on these beautiful islands and would not trade growing up here for anything in the world. I haven't been back for a few years but believe it or not it is the place I dream about most.
United States: I first visited as a 5-year-old on a trip to Disneyworld. I am still not a fan of rollercoasters. I eventually moved to the states where I currently reside. My favorite state is Seattle, Washington and hopefully one day it can be my home.
Barbados: I visited Bridgetown as a teenager. Even then I thought I knew it all. I spent roughly four days but it all seemed vague. Back then my mom made all the plans I was just a tagalong. It is one of the places I need to revisit and reacquaint myself with.
United Kingdom: When I obtained my college degree in 2009, my gift to myself was a trip to England. I remember it like it was yesterday. I spent over a thousand on the ticket. I had a $200 budget to span 14 days. Luckily, I stayed at my sisters' flat or I couldn't even afford the trip. It was there that I got bit by the travel bug and dreamt of traveling ever since. To date, London has been my most visited place and will always hold a special place in my heart.
France: I first visited France in the fall of 2015. I was wiser then and avoided visiting Europe in the summer. Staying in Paris is not cheap, however. It is better now but back then spending $200 a night in a hotel seemed high. Needless to say, It was the first of three trips and hopefully there is more in the future.
The Netherlands: I visited Amsterdam a week after visiting France. It was special. Chilled layback vibes and so much history. I had taken a class on Vincent Van Gogh in college so I had a starting point for the trip. The lesson learned was to stay away from the minibar in hotels.
Spain: My first trip to Spain was not to the mainland but to one of its autonomous regions. Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands was where I decided fully travel was my thing. I visited Madrid a year later and Malaga later that year as well. Barcelona was one of my more recent trips and my more memorable ones.
Germany: Study abroad during my MBA program brought me to Germany. Brief stints in Frankfurt and Koln.(Cologne) I also visited Berlin a year later. A trip to Octoberfest in Munich will most likely be my next trip but I look forward to returning.
Iceland: Iceland was a birthday trip after I turned 27 and I had a second trip in 2018. I've been on record saying this by far is my favorite place due to its unspoilt natural treasures and just the politeness of the people. I would like to return and do the entire island for a few weeks.
Ireland: From visiting the Guinness Storehouse to running up a tab at Temple bar, Ireland is one of those places everyone should experience. The food scene is unexpected and the open country on the way to Cork is miraculous.
Portugal: Portugal is one of my more recommended places to travel. It's roughly a six-hour flight from the states and once there, prices are very reasonable. I stayed at an Airbnb for $48 a night and getting around was relatively easy. I also took a trip to live like royalty in Sintra. Returning to Porto might be a good place to plan a trip next.
Morocco: I visited Tangier via boat from Spain. It opened my eyes to a world beyond Europe and even though the trip was short, it gave me a reason to return. Currently planning a trip that includes Fez, Chefchaouen, and Marrakesh. I just need the perfect time to visit.
Italy: Italy is by far one of my go-to places for a trip. From the canals of Venice to one of the many wonderful cities within. This is a place where you can spend months and see something new every time. From shopping in Milan to taking a step back in time in Rome, Italy is by far one of the first places you should visit.
Holy See: Vatican City is one of the two countries landlocked by Italy and a great stop for history buffs. It is a major tourist attraction so requires spending a day there but once inside, there is a lot to do and a lot of history to take in.
San Marino: The republic of San Marino has some of the best views ever. I made the mistake of planning a day trip to this beautiful hidden gem and won't make that mistake again. It is the other country landlocked by Italy and a great weekend trip if in Italy.
Canada: I've been to Canada on two separate occasions. First, a road trip to Niagara Falls and then a weekend in Toronto. Montreal is on my list as soon as the border opens and the western cities of Vancouver wouldn't be too far behind.
Luxembourg: Luxembourg was the starting point of a Eurotrip a few years back. The city has a lot to do and one of the calmer places I've been to. If you in the neighboring countries it's worth a trip.
Belgium: Brussels is one of those places that I had low expectations for due to lack of information and it ended up blowing my mind. Most people rave about other places in Europe but Brussels should be a starting point for any trip. There is a lot to do, a lot of history, and endless places to drink beer.
Australia: A few years back I was hell-bent on spending New Year's Eve in Sydney Harbour. So I overpaid on a last-minute flight to Sydney to make it happen to the tune of $2,204. It wasn't even first class. Considering it was a last-minute flight, it's the price I paid for being unprepared. However, I had a great time and even went on to visit cities such as Melbourne and Tasmania.
New Zealand: What can I say about New Zealand other than it's the one place you love that you didn't know yet. New Zealand is a gem. Aukland is a great place to start but it's a major city like most others. The treasure is going south to places like Queensland and Milford Sound. If you're lost and want to find yourself, this is a great place to go!
Cuba: Cuba is one of the places everyone should visit even once. Cuba has been upgrading to the 21st century but most of it is still stuck in time. Cell service is nonexistent in most places so it's a great place to soak up the place and leave the world behind.
Norway: One of the most beautiful places on earth. That would be my description of Norway in one sentence. The farther out you go from Oslo, the better the views become. Great place for hikers and campers. I spent most of the time in the city but it was a great trip nonetheless.
Austria: Austria is a wonder to me up until now. I wandered the city of Vienna endlessly and spend most nights with the compliments of sausage and beer. The Christmas markets are one of the best in Europe so if you can brave the cold weather, you should add Vienna to your travel list.
Colombia: To date, Colombia is the only country I have visited in South America. My trip was influenced by watching Pablo Escobar in Narcos. The city has changed a lot since then and is trying to put that perception in the past. My favorite thing to do in the city is to bike on Sundays. It's a great way to see the city uninterrupted as some streets are closed from 6 am to 2 pm.
Mexico: From having shots at the Tequilla and Mescal museum in Mariachi Square to climbing ancient pyramids in Teotetican to floating on the canals of Xochimilco Mexico has something for every type of traveler. My next adventures will be beach fun in Cancun and food tours in Guadalajara. I can't wait!
Sweden: I was in Sweden for a few days in 2019 and it was not my best trip to date. I was sick the whole time and spent the time getting around via the hop-on and hop-off bus. My friends in Sweden were also upset I chose to stay at a hotel instead of with them so the long and short, Sweden is due for a do-over.
Finland: My trip to Finland was short but I have already planned a return. I will fly in and spend a few days and then add a trip on the end. It's a great place for solo travelers as well as most of the Nordic countries.
Denmark: Copenhagen is one of the more laid-back cities I have visited and perhaps the most walked one too. Avoiding paying large amounts of transportation I walked almost everywhere I went. You can bike too if you're into that.
Greece: From climbing Acropolis to walking the beaches of Santorini, Greece simply has something for everyone. Love history, Antens. Want to eat like a king Mykonos. Want to take pictures, head to Santorini. With 227 islands there are endless options.
Czechia: The Czech Republic is one of the more unorthodox places I have visited but it was a great experience nonetheless. Eating Goulash daily and having cheap beers to end the night summarized the trip but it has a fast art and opera scene to keep most travelers busy.
I have also been to the airports of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Switzerland. Technically, I didn't leave the airport and if you do not leave the airport you did not enter the country.
I have also been to places like Bermuda which is not an independent country but an overseas territory of Britain it is not considered its own country.
I have learned a lot along the way and cant wait to get back out there.
Where will be country 31?
Wherever it is, I know it has to be soon if I am going to meet my goal.
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