Why I Don’t Want to Be the Fastest Person to Visit Every Country in the World

Personal insight on the fastest person to visit every country in the world. 

Faster travel and more travel is not better travel- - Stephanie Be, - Travel-Break.net blog for more travel quotes

I’ve been to Machu Picchu twice; Rome thrice and Bangkok five more over. I spent eight months on the Australian East Coast and have made New York and Miami my “second home.”

As a professional traveler, I’ve taken up to nine flights per week.  Once, I went through six cities in twenty-for hours for a chance to get into the Wave in Arizona…. yes, it’s that beautiful!

Recently, a traveler made it her mission to be the fastest person to go to every country in the world. Great!
It’s not for me.

Sometimes, I only get twenty-four hours in a destination, other times, on a whim, I’ve altogether moved to new cities — bracing myself for a new culture, community, and change-paced lifestyle. However, if I had to choose between cramming in my experiences, or immersing myself in the places I visit, I would pick the latter.

Faster travel and more travel is not necessarily better travel.Click To Tweet

 

Here’s why.

1. Travel is about people, not just places. If you don’t slow down to get to know new people, you’re missing out.

I’ve met people while sailing Whitsunday Islands and then met up with them again in Thailand and London. I’ve met one of my best friends on Fourth of July in Amsterdam, while wing-manning my guy best friend — only to see her in Los Angeles, Philly, Cyprus, Turkey and Bucharest. Not to mention, I’ve re-connected with friends from Israel to New York City or Slovenia to Arizona.

There’s a unique personality type to frequent travelers that connects us.

Above all, the locals I’ve met in Vietnam or the Dolomites, the small village in Alanya, and the restaurant owners in Tahoe… have all taught me something new. They’ve showed me a good time and welcomed me into their homes.

 

2. The more places you travel to, the more time you’re spending on transit. If you’re hitting more places in a  short amount of time, you’re probably spending more time on planes than in destinations.

Don’t get me wrong, some airlines do it right. However, in general, I’d rather be at a destination than en route to it. Recently, a traveler claimed fame as the fastest woman to go to every country in the world, yet admit that she sometimes didn’t depart from the airports of some of the countries she visited.

Is that really “traveling?”

What does travel mean to you? Other than a stamp on our passport or country counting — did you really travel to a destination if you didn’t leave the airport? I only consider the destinations I’ve experienced. It isn’t the same to just pass through.

Travel is not transit. Travel is experiencing a destination and culture. Click To Tweet

I’d even argue that you can travel in your own home by inviting people over of a completely different culture over considering an airport stop-off as “travel.”

3. Moving quickly demands a strict itinerary; freedom and flexibility in travel shapes our experiences.

 

The ability to be spontaneous, the vulnerability that comes along with getting lost and the privilege of slowing down makes for unique travel experiences. I completely respect everyone’s travel style, but as for me and my travel… I’ll stick to letting travel take a hold of me.


What do you think? Do you prefer quantity spots over quality time there? Does it depend on the location? The people you’re with? How much time you have free?


 

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2017-02-23T10:07:15+00:00

7 Comments

  1. Francesco Cunsolo February 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Yes I send that female traveller a instagram , I have been travelling for 40 years and only 51 countries. She didn’t like my comment.

    • Ray February 28, 2017 at 8:59 pm - Reply

      She doesn’t like anyone who disagrees with her.

  2. Shobha February 24, 2017 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    I agree completely. I’ve been places with my parents, then solo, then with my husband and now with my kids as a family. Some places I love so much that I want to return and see again and again. For me that’s mostly cities – Rome, Paris, Venice, NYC, Tokyo but that’s a personal preference. And, I still don’t feel like I’ve ‘done’ any of these places completely. I’d revisit all these places again in a heartbeat and probably will. So much to explore in the world … so little time!

    • Stephanie Be March 5, 2017 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Great point! I can go to destination over and over and feel like I still haven’t “done” the place well.

  3. Claire Wang February 25, 2017 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    I totally agree. I would love to just pick one country and explore it for months on end. Sadly, I don’t have enough break time to do that, but that’s my preferred method of travel. Flying on high speed around the world just doesn’t seem like any fun to me!

    • Stephanie Be March 5, 2017 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      I’m in the same boat! I’ve done it a few times throughout my life; however I don’t usually get as much time as I’d like to explore a single destination.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. Ray February 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    She certainly has gotten a lot of flack for her “claim to fame.” While everyone is entitled to travel the way they wish, the more I hear about her so-called record and her quick dismissal of previous women who have visited every country before her, the more I dislike what she is promoting and who she is becoming. Really? She admitted to not leaving airports on occasion? How is that even considered a “country visit?”

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