Remember a few years ago when I challenged myself to a crazy travel goal? I wanted to visit 30 countries by age 30. It’s the last day of my 30th year and here we are. While I fell a little short of my goal, there’s plenty of future travel I’m looking forward to. To be clear, I would never visit a country with only the shallow intention of adding another destination to my list. As someone who didn’t travel abroad until age 19, I’m quite proud of how far I’ve gone on my own. And I’ve also visited some of my favorite countries, like Mexico and France, multiple times. Listing out my travels gives me a secondhand appreciation of all the great experiences and moments I’ve had along the way.
Just for fun, here’s the current country tally of my travels plus associated content to help you plan your future trips. 80% of these I’ve explored on my own in the past 12 years, 32% in the past 5 years. Travel is not a numbers game, however many of these countries are neighboring should you want to plan a multi-country trip. The way I look at it is, if you’re flying all the way to Asia or Europe, you might as well explore as much as possible in the areas that appeal to you the most.
- United States
- Grand Cayman
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
Doing the 30 by Thirty travel challenge not only inspired me to explore, but to solo travel more than ever before. The more places you go, the more aware you become. Understanding different cultures has helped me grow as a person. Money is the only downside to travel, but it enriches you in countless ways.
This challenge was also a catalyst in inspiring more travel in the US. In the past few years, I’ve tremendously expanded on my domestic travel bucket list. Taking my blog full time has allowed me the ability to work remote and I’ve taken a few road trips and have seen 20 states for the first time in the past 10 years.
A lot of travel bloggers are either team country counter or not. How do you feel about the trend? Personally, I found this a fun travel challenge and it actually helped me plan trip itineraries I wouldn’t have considered before. Who knows if I’ll make it to 40 by 40, all I know is that it will be a lot of fun trying!