How did I come up with this idea of visiting every country in the world?
I’ve always had a passion for travel. When I was a kid, I used to watch travel and nature documentaries on TV. Seeing all of those animals running wild on the African safari, Amazon rainforest, amazing waterfalls, beaches, and mountains; I decided that I want to see those things with my own eyes. I wanted to see the world, not just on TV, but through my own eyes. I started to collect World Atlas books, and my favorite thing was to go through these books page by page and just stare at the maps. I also had a flag book with the flags of all nations. I started to memorize those flags, and at the age of 8, I could recognize all of the flags. Crazy, right? I can’t remember all of those anymore, though.
I didn’t travel a lot as a kid (or I traveled to Spain every year because of my family circumstances, but I don’t count that). I only really started to travel when I turned 18. First I did just short trips in Europe, but soon after that, I was backpacking all over the world.
I had always known that I want to visit every country in the world, but the first time I really decided to do this was in December 2015. I was traveling in Central America, and I had just arrived in a small town in Guatemala on Christmas Eve. Almost everything was closed, and the whole town was empty, but I managed to find a restaurant which was still open. There was only one customer eating, a 60+ year old man from Portugal. He ordered me a mojito, and we started talking about traveling. He had traveled a lot, and he also likes to travel alone, like I do. He was impressed that I had traveled so much at a young age and he told me that within ten years I would visit every country in the world.
After this, I really started to think about it. I counted how many countries I had visited so far and came up with the number 60. It is almost one-third of all the countries, so I thought that visiting all of them is not impossible. Then I decided to do it.
I’ve always dreamed of seeing the whole world and visiting every country, but there in Guatemala, I finally decided to say it loud. I’m going to this; I’m going to visit every country in the world. It was somehow comforting to hear that someone else believed in me. My friends and family just think I’m crazy when I’m traveling by myself to all of these places. Then in 2016, I quit my job, bought a one-way flight ticket and started full-time traveling.