Counting Countries is one of the many things that people have different opinions on.
‘What’s your number?’
In our late teens, early 20’s it was how many people we had slept with. Now, for a travel addict like myself, it’s how many Countries I have visited.
Some people don’t seem too bothered about how many Countries they’ve been to, they’re happy to re-visit Countries meaning their number doesn’t increase regularly even though they travel a lot and good for them I think!
Other people seem to go to Countries they haven’t been to before purely to increase their number and do you know what? I get that too.
I would say I’m in-between.
I DO count Countries. 100%. In fact I have a page in my notepad app dedicated to the list of Countries I have been to, they are numbered so I don’t need to count them each time and I add to this list every time I touch down in a new country. (Anyone else do this??)
If someone was to ask, I’d pretty much know off of the top of my head what that number is (right now it’s 47).
However, I am happy going back to a Country I’ve been to, 2018 is going to be a year of going back to at least 4 Countries I’ve been to before. I’m happy seeing the same City again, I loved Paris and Budapest even more on my second visit in 2016. And actually, one of my favourite things to do is visit a Country I have been to but another area so it’s still new, but not totally new.
It’s worth remembering the location of where you are based and travelling to frequently does have a big effect on the number of Countries you have visited. Right now I’m doing so many City breaks, only spending around 48 hours in one place and to be honest, sometimes I feel kind of bad saying I’ve been to that Country. Did I REALLY go though?
Talking of City Breaks, they are how I managed to do 13 Trips last year whilst working a Full Time Job – you can read more about it here! 1 Year, 13 Trips, 25 Days Annual Leave – How I did it & My Tips to Help You Use Yours Well!
Especially because when I first started travelling it involved living in the USA and Australia. Backpacking South East Asia and South America. I spent at least 10 days in each Country during my backpacking trips and more often than not, a full month. If I’ve visited a Country for a full month, then I’m confident in saying I’ve been to that Country!
But ultimately, rightly or wrongly, I think counting the Countries I have been to and striving to go to new places and therefore new Countries is what keeps my wanderlust high, it’s what keeps me going through the mundane parts of life.
When I look back, it gives me a snapshot of what I’ve done and it makes me so so PROUD!
At the start of 2015 whilst travelling around South America I set myself a goal to finish the year on a total of 30 Counties. That year I spent 7 months backpacking, visited 21 Countries and basically, I smashed that amount. This goal really pushed me to save money when I wasn’t travelling that year and pushed me to squeeze in more trips and it was an amazing year!
At the same time, after meeting a girl in South America who really inspired me because she was nearly 30 and had visited about 50 Countries whilst working full-time (and not a blogger), I said I wanted to visit 50 countries by the time I was 30. Well I’m not yet 28 and I’m only a couple of Countries away from this! If I could have told 24-year-old me that this would happen, I’d be so proud!
So essentially, this is why I DO count Countries and visiting a new Country for me, is always that bit more tempting than visiting one I’ve been to!
But the best thing about this world and our lives is that the only thing we ‘should’ all be doing, is what is best and feels right for ourselves!
Are you a Country Counter or not?? Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn
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My Name's Ellie Quinn.
I'm a complete travel addict and have been since I took my first backpacking trip in 2010.
Since then I've visited 50+ Countries on various trips! I created this blog to share my travel tips to help you travel better!
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