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 a dream. I don’t remember if it was a day time or night 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 about the time you did _x_!”

The dream seemed so natural and true. It felt so comforting watching that image and it made me feel so 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 spans) want to hear her stories more than once?

Over the years, the picture of that image stayed in my mind. It changed occasionally. Sometimes I’m with a partner or there are more people in the room, joking around and/or teasing with laughter, but largely the image stays the same.

I don’t know what specifically has kept that image in my mind. It does feel a little like a premonition at times.

One thing I do know though is that seeing that image frequently triggers the question:

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 first bucket list, an 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 26 countries just yet, but I figured I would be able to find a way to achieve my goal. Somehow there was not a doubt in my mind it would be achievable.

I told myself that I would see more of the world and keep myself accountable for experiencing new things. At age 30, just four years later, I am proud to say I achieved that goal. Interestingly, this was both due to a combination of actively seeking out new places to go as well as life circumstances conspiring to help me out.

Since then, I promised myself to keep this item on my Life List until it no longer serves me.

I have come to realise that simply going to a new country does not in and of itself make a trip inspiring. You still need to go out and experience life at its best in the process. I’ve also become well aware of the fact that the one constant in life is change.

Goals can change, people can change, priorities can change. Therefore, we need to stay flexible with our approach to change too.

For now though, this is a goal I don’t wish to change. It has brought me a lot of joy, inspiration, adentures and many new friendships in life.

So with that being said – viva la vida and let’s see where life flows from here!

 


Timeline for New Countries

*Dates before 2008 are approximate – I’m afraid my long term memory isn’t that great at keeping track of exact years!*

2019

2018

2017

2015

2014

2013

2010

2008

2007

2006

2005

2001

2000

1999

1997

1994

1992

1989

1987

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