Visit every country before you’re 35

Travel Perspectives — By on April 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm

That’s the goal, at least, that Chris Guillebeau has set for himself. So far he’s up to 107 countries and he’s 30-years-old. He was profiled yesterday by the NY Times.

I had my first international travel experience when I was 6 years old. My mom took me to the Philippines, and I wound up living there for two years. Then, when I was 22, I went to Africa as an aid worker for an international charity group. I was traveling a lot between Africa and Europe. I remember being on a train and having this mad thought that I should visit 100 countries before I was 30 years old.

I did the math. And according to my calculations, it would cost about the same as buying a new sport utility vehicle, about $30,000. A lot of my friends were buying S.U.V.’s, but it just didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to spend my money learning about new cultures in places like Burma, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Lesotho and the Balkans, places I never thought I would see.

I began my 100-country countdown in 2006, and finished it in 2008. But a strange thing happened. At about country No. 50, I had another eureka moment: “Why stop at 100?” I’m 30 years old now, and my new goal is to visit each country on this planet before I’m 35 years old. Some of my friends think I’m nuts.

One of the problems is that I am running out of places with easy access. It’s not like every country is an Italy or a Mexico. Soon, I’m going to have to start making arrangements to get to Chad, the South Pacific and central Asia.

Read the whole article for insight on some of his travel tips and experiences. You can also check out Chris’ website. artofnonconformity.com, where he not only keeps track of his travels but also pens some fun articles of his own. Some of his pieces include:

– A short collection of unconventional ideas

– Will success follow if you do what you love?

– 9 overrated tourist destinations (and 9 great alternatives)

It’s fun to read and he provides some nice perspectives on life and travel.

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