Yep, it’s true, I almost travelled to 50 countries before 30. That was my aim, however a little thing called a “Global Pandemic” got in the way and brought overseas adventures to a temporary hold. In the March of 2020, I was newly 29 and had visited 47 countries. I was confident that I’d be able to travel to 3 more countries before the year was out. LOL. We all know how that turned out for me. In the end I went to my 50th country a few months after turning 31.
Rebrand: 50 countries by 31!
How did I travel to (almost) 50 countries before 30?
I quite literally made travel my full time job.
When I finished university I wasn’t ready to settle into a career and work my way up the ladder. I wanted adventure! Travel! Far flung lands!
I bought a one way ticket from Australia to Scotland with a vague plan to spend 6 months travelling around Europe. I managed to do a tiny bit of European travel and then promptly ran out of money. Realising I needed a job to fund my travel dreams, I decided to kill two birds with one stone: I got a job as a travel agent.
Being paid to talk about travel all day long, discounted holidays, and free trips under the guise of working? Sign me up!
For the most part, I really loved that job. And it offered me some truly amazing travel opportunities. I was young and energetic then so I swapped shifts, worked public holidays for time in lieu, and squeezed every last second of my annual leave to optimise my travel time. I once landed off a flight from Australia at 11pm and was at my desk at work by 8:30am the next day, drunk with jetlag.
Through that job I was able to visit some gorge places. Like, really gorge. I’m talking Six Senses Laamu levels of gorge.
I worked as a travel agent for three years, but once I left that company, the travelling didn’t stop. Although I lost the staff deals, I didn’t lose the travel bug. I made travel my number one priority over the course of my twenties and most (all) of my spare cash went towards it.
My ’50 Countries Before 30′ rules:
What’s a little adventure without some rules and guidelines….
- Don’t go somewhere just to tick a country off the list. I actually have to want to go or what’s the point.
- Airport layovers don’t count.
- I had to actually spend some time in a country (I once flew into Geneva but drove straight over the border into France so I don’t count Switzerland in my list).
- I count the UK as four separate countries (this one divides the crowd but it doesn’t just scrape me over the 50 mark anyway so whatevs).
The 50+ Countries I’ve Travelled to:
I considered listing them in chronological order but that would require some pro-level memory skills, so I’ve listed them by continent instead:
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- New Zealand
- New Caledonia
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
- St Lucia
- British Virgin Islands
- Northern Ireland
- Vatican City
- South Africa
I thought that I would slow down on the travel front once I achieved my goal of visiting 50 countries before 30 but that hasn’t quite happened yet. It’s only February and I’ve already managed to squeeze in an international vacay this year. I have another two planned before summer, and then who knows where the second half of the year will take me?!
Here’s to 100 countries before 40! Joking. Maybe.
- READ MORE: Is 30 too old to take a gap year?
- READ MORE: 5 Reasons it’s Great to Take a Gap Year at 30
- READ MORE: Sober Travel Tips: Your First Sober Holiday
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