My Life List: Travel to one new country for every year of my life

How it started

Back in 2012, when I first created my bucket list over at Relocationjunkie.com, I had a dilemma. I wanted to grow old with grace, but I didn’t know exactly how.

You see, at the age of 17 or 18 I had had a dream. I don’t remember if it was a daytime or a nighttime dream anymore, but I remember the imagery vividly.

In the dream I was an old lady sitting in a rocking chair with 3-4 children sitting at my feet. The children looked up at me expectantly and said: “Nana, Nana – tell us a story! Tell us of the time you did _x_!”

The dream seemed so natural and true. It felt so comforting watching that image and it made me feel proud of the woman sitting in that chair.

That woman was obviously one who had lived a full and inspiring life. Why else would a bunch of children (known for their notoriously short attention span) want to hear her story more than once?

Over the years, the picture of that image has stayed in my mind. It changes occasionally. Sometimes there are more people in the room. But largely it stays the same.

I don’t know what specifically has kept that image in my mind,  but I do know that it has frequently triggered a single question over and over:

What kind of life would I need to live to be that kind of woman?

 

Struck with inspiration

One day, around the time I started working on my bucket list, the answer came to me. I needed to pursue an inspiring life.

How would I do that? I would start by travelling to one new country for every year of my life!

At 26 I definitely hadn’t travelled to that many countries just yet, but I figured I would be able to find a way to achieve my goal eventually.

I would see more of the world and keep myself accountable for experiencing new things. And I am now proud to say that at age 30 – just four years later, I achieved that goal.

Since then, I have promised myself to keep this item on my Life List until it no longer serves me. The one thing I have learnt over the years is that things can change.

Goals can change, people can change, priorities can change, and we need to stay flexible with that change. But for now this goal hasn’t changed and so it stays – viva la vida and let’s see where it takes me from here!

 


Country Visiting Timeline

2019

Planned – Monaco

2019

Planned – Peru

I’m climbing Machu Picchu my lovelies! What a dream come true!

2018

United Arab Emirates

Two words: Dubai Mall. If you’ve not been, take a look. The lifestyle in Dubai is just ridiculously glamorous. I love it, but feel so out of place at the same time!

2017

India

I have a real love/hate relationship with India. I love it’s rich culture, history and traditional heritage. I’m really not a fan of the lack of personal space and questionable hygiene though – having fallen ill for 3 months after my visit I don’t think you can blame me though!

2017

Mexico

I fell in love with a Mexican and then I fell in love with Mexico. It’s a beautiful place, with a rich culture, the best food and the people – definitely some of the warmest and most amazing people I have met. Chichen Itza is also a sight to be seen. Make sure you pass by if you’re in the area!

2015

Greece

Kos started off as my favourite Greek island as it’s the place I travelled to most frequently in the beginning. Since 2018 though, I must admit that Rhodes is now taking that spot – such a great place!

2015

Romania

I fell in love with the feel of Bucharest. When you walk around the city it’s just a one of a kind city. It feels like it must have been so magnificent at one point and yet the rich history and wars have left their mark. Definitely worth a visit.

2014

Scotland

Scotland – the land of kilts and haggis and oh so much rain. Definitely a place I will never forget!

2014

Portugal

Looking for a nice place to go for a self-catering vacation? The Algarve is your place!

2013

The Netherlands

Canals, cycling to work and lots and lots of rain.

2010

Czechia

2010

Vatican City

You can almost see the other side from the entrance. The coffee shops are great though!

2008

South Korea

A place I would definitely consider a second home. The people, the country, the food, the culture. Truly unforgettable.

2008

Spain

I don’t even remember the first place I went to in Spain. I have a feeling it was one of the Canary Islands though…

2007

Ireland

I went here for a short weekend break with my boyfriend at the time. The Guiness factory was definitely a firm favourite with him. Walking around Dublin city and the food were what I enjoyed the most!

2006

Turkey

Sunburns, after sun cream and lots of smiling faces.

2006

Japan

Japan is one of the most fascinating places I have been to so far – in the best and worst ways I must say. If you’re looking for an adventure, it’s definitely a good place to start!

2005

Singapore

2005

Hungary

Budapest has got to be one of the most beautiful cities I have been to. The food is great, the buildings are beautiful and if you’re looking for a good spa or two – yes they definitely have those too!

2001

Norway

I remember Norway being oh so cold and yet the people were oh so warm. What a beautiful place though – the mountains are magnificent!

2001

Denmark

The one thing I remember from Copenhagen is the amazing chocolate and apple cakes. Ok I remember a little more, but those are my two favourite memories. Such a beautiful place!

2001

Belgium

2000

Italy

Italy seems very hit and miss. Go to the right places and it’s amazing – end up on the wrong side of town and you may never want to return (I’m sorry Milan – you’re not on my return list. Rome and Florence – we may just meet again!)

1999

Germany

The first time I consciously remember entering Germany was when I was around 12. I went to a summer camp and stayed a whole 3 days. Wow is all I can say. And oh my goodness the food…!!!

1999

Switzerland

My home for 4 years and the place I made a number of lifelong friends in. Definitely had a formative impact on my life. So well organised too!

1997

France

I must admit I don’t remember the exact year I first travelled to France. I believe I was around 10 though and I distinctly remember Disneyland playing a part. An experience that was to be repeated many years later… Disney fantasies never go out of fashion 😉

1996

England

Ah England – the place that was to be my on and off home for 10 years. The memories I have of this place are truly priceless.

1994

Wales

Sheep, rolling hills and daddy long legs taking shelter from the rain indoors. Definitely a peaceful and immensely rejuvenating place.

1993

Slovakia

So I have a confession to make – the last time I was in Slovakia was actually when it was still Czechoslovakia. I still let it count as a separate country though as it no longer is together with Czechia now. Bonus!

1992

Poland

My first memory of Poland was when I was 5 years old. My mother’s best friend wanted me to eat vegetables. We had a stand off one night because I didn’t want to. Guess who won? That’s right – me!

1989

United States

My mom is American and she took me to the States when I was only two years old. We flew over the Grand Canyon – too bad I can’t remember it!

1987

Austria

I was born in Austria and raised here until I was 9 years old!

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