I’m going to put it out there right away – officially speaking, I will only hit 29 countries by April 15th, 2019 – the day when I turn 30, but due to my upcoming July honeymoon to France with a long layover in Germany, I will technically have achieved the goal of traveling to 30 countries by age 30.
Now here’s what it’s really about, at least for me…
This was not one of my goals – when I first set my mind to be an active and avid traveler, I didn’t put numbers to it, or goals, or anything quantifiable except asking myself 1) will I have the days off and 2) how much do I need to save to afford it?
Travel is not a competition, not if you want it to be truly meaningful, anyway. Don’t get me wrong, my A-type personality gets endless satisfaction from crossing things off of lists, but this is not the case here.
This is actually pure coincidence and the result of an open-ended goal I set circa 2013 when I graduated college and could finally afford to go to far away places.
I was not hungry for numbers – I was hungry for foreign places, culture, and obviously food. It became a gold rush as a direct result of my insatiable curiosity about the world and my ever expanding opportunities. The more I saw, the more I learned and experienced, the more I wanted to expand on it. It made me feel like a better person, providing a sense of self-satisfaction and growth that I couldn’t get anywhere else.
How to Make Meaningful Travel Sustainable
The best way to treat your travel experiences is envisioning them as a relationship. Is this relationship meaningful and
- does it make you happy?
- does it add to your personal development and growth?
- to quote Marie Condo here – does it spark joy?
- are you becoming more aware and educated about the world around you?
- can you never get enough?
- does it always leave you wanting more?
I’ve always approached travel that way – that’s why it’s a healthy and sustainable addiction, because it’s actually a relationship. Yes, I speak in metaphors, but this is the best one I got.
It’s a sad day when some famous blogger or social media influencer declares defeat in the form of announcing to the world that they have traveled too much and no longer get the same “high” from their experiences. “Yeah, Thailand was ok, what of it?”
My travel goal is to never become that person and if that ever happens to me, I will announce defeat as a human being.
Happy almost 30!