Updated: Apr 23
You may have seen me recently in the Daily Mail where they wrote a pretty awesome piece about me with the headline “Teacher Sets off on Mission to Visit 30 Countries by 30.” When they sent me the published article I was a little surprised. We hadn’t discussed this as a title and I had casually mentioned it while they were interviewing me. I go back and forth on the country counting thing but honestly it’s kind of fun!
My goal when I’m traveling isn’t to count countries but it’s ended up being a really fun goal. My goal when I travel is to have a great time and experience something new and exciting! Should counting countries be your ultimate goal? Probably not. Is it fun and exciting? Yes! I don’t think you have to pick between the two as a goal when you travel so here’s why I chose to visit 30 countries by 30 and how I keep my mindset about it in check.
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Reason 1: experience lots of different cultures.
Not because I was to check off more places.
I love experiencing different things and different places. There’s so much to see and do in this world and one of the best ways to do that is go to new countries. Everywhere I’ve visited has given me a different experience and that makes me excited to have more.
If I decide to go somewhere just to check it off my list, then it probably will not be an experience I enjoy nearly as much. I do revisit places I love frequently. For example, I’ve been to Puerto Rico and Italy three times. I’ve visited Mexico three times and I have been to California at least five times. I love revisiting places and seeing what else there is to offer. You’ve got to have a balance of both!
Reason 2: every country is so unique
Not because I can go to a place for one day and say I know everything about it.
Every country (and city honestly) has it’s own unique culture and space. The more I can experience the better! I don’t feel like you have to visit a bunch of countries for something unique, but I think you do get something unique from each place you go. I’ve been lucky enough to have layovers in different countries and start to experience them. I know I want to go back to countries like Turkey to spend more time, but did get to experience the city it’s self and it was completely unique and wonderful!
Reason 3: I have 6 weeks of vacation between now and my birthday to visit 3 countries
Not because I am going to do a multi-country hooping trip in a short amount of time.
Honestly, I am so close anyway and travel all the time so why not make it a goal? It’s fun to think about and gives me motivation to go to new places. I am lucky enough to have a ton of time off. A week is a decent amount of time to spend in a country (although more is better!) and so why not take advantage of those breaks? I went to 6 countries and 3 continents last year and I don’t want to slow down.
Reason 4: there’s so much good food out there
Not because I want to try one dish and say I know everything about the food in a country.
I’m obsessed with all the different foods that are around the world! I love visiting different countries and trying the best of what they have to offer. I’m always happy eating a good meal and having some wine. Traveling expands your knowledge of food and let’s you see the best of each country. I am by no means a food expert, but eating the delicious food in a country is one of my favorite parts of visiting!
Reason 5: I’m really close already and I love making goals.
I have no reason not to for this one. As I mentioned, I’m pretty close to being there already and I might as well make this goal! It’s tons of fun to be working toward something (yes, I may be a bit type A…) and I do think it’s a fun way to document my travels. I think people way overthink the idea of counting countries. If your goal is to have fun and have great experiences, then you should go for it!
Reason 6: I know how to find great deals and make travel a priority.
Not because I make so much money I might as well spend it.
This one is really important. I know how to find a good deal and probably spend about $5,000 a year on my travels. I’m pretty transparent about the money I spend when I travel on my blog because I want people to know how affordable it can be. I am not afraid to say that I took an extra job to fund my travels and I’m not worried about how it looks.
Travel is a priority for me and I want to make it something that I continue to do for a long time. I know how to find good deals and will continue to be able to afford to travel as much as I do because of my research and what I want to do!
So, how do you feel about counting countries? Hopefully I gave you some insight into my thoughts about it and why I think it can be fun if done for the right reasons! Leave thoughts in the comments below.