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