It all started 7 years ago in the quiet, Bavarian countryside on my very first “teacher party.” One of my soon-to-be colleagues mentioned that her parents challenged her to visit 30 countries before she turned 30. We worked together for two years before she moved back to the US, but that little morsel is the only thing that truly stuck with me. 30 countries before 30… Hmmm…. I was 22 at the time, that’s plenty of time!
It should be noted that I have developed some of my own rules for this little contest against time:
- Airport transfers or layovers do not count – you must leave the airport premises
- You must enjoy a meal, or other significant cultural experience in said country
- Preferably you will stay overnight in said country (but this rule can be waived in certain instances of desperation, such as my example of Liechtenstein, I mean, really, who wants to stay overnight in Liechtenstein?)
- Preferably the complete list will include countries from multiple continents
You may also be interested to note that this little “contest” has haunted every hour of my free time for the last 7 years. Every time we plan a vacation, we must go someplace new. No repeats (except Italy). Alex is so sick of hearing about these 30 countries, he resorted to trying to force me to include Vatican City about 4 years ago (thankfully, I don’t have to “officially” count that one anymore).
As I am now 29 and 1 month, I have only 11 short months to complete this challenge.
And, now, folks, for the official list:
- the United Kingdom
- the Netherlands
- the Czech Republic
- Vatican City
- the United Arab Emirates
- the United States of America
For those of you that enjoy the visual representation:
I used Visited Countries to make my map, go ahead and make one for yourself!
And with plenty of time to spare, I have officially conquered the 30 before 30 challenge. Yay me! Now I can finally relax and go back to all my favorite places 🙂
How many countries have you been to?