Having the chance to travel around the world is a wonderful opportunity and I am grateful for the chance to be able to do it. But is trying to visit every single country in the world a realistic endeavour? Or is it a foolish waste of time and money?
Why visit every single country in the world?
This is going to sound funny but one of the biggest reasons I want to travel to every single country in the world is because I read the book: “The Alchemist”. In the book, they talk about people having a life mission that they need to pursue and complete in their lifetime. However, most people ignore that little voice in their head telling them they need to pursue this life mission to the end. As a result, a lot of people feel an overwhelming sense of regret when they are older for not pursuing their calling.
Supposedly, we all have a calling. And for me, that little voice in my head is telling me that I need to visit every single country in the world.
Logically, travelling to every single country in the world also makes sense from a business stand point. I have a travel blog and going to every single country in the world also means more credibility and blog content. It also symbolizes a trophy of sort which proves that I am indeed a well travelled individual.
But is it really a realistic and necessary endeavour to pursue?
The ugly side of trying to travel to every single country in the world
There are many downsides to trying to visit all 193 UN recognized countries.
First, it’s really expensive. In one of my previous blog post, I estimate that it will cost me about $120,000 CAD ($92,307 USD) to complete this task at hand.
That’s ALOT of money. That money can be used to put a down payment for a mortgage or at least pay off a big chunk of your home payments. And to make it worst, I don’t have that much money to begin with. Not even close.
Often times, I always stress over money and really it’s my fault. I keep travelling. No wonder I’m always low on funds.
Travelling to all the countries in the world also means going to the dangerous ones. Countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya are not safe. It gives me massive anxiety thinking about going to those places.
Last time I went to a dangerous country (Venezuela), I was so paranoid that I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure no one is around the corner trying to kill me.
When you undertake such a mission, naturally, you will receive a lot of ridicule from your family and friends. They’ll tell you you’re wasting your time and money. This is followed by a lecture that travel is for relaxing, not for going to dangerous places or places that tourist aren’t even visiting.
Also, no one also wants to talk about your cool travel experiences to places that tourists hardly visits. The end result is seclusion and ridicule from those around you.
Trying to visit every single country in the world is also riddled with frustrations. Many times, you need to apply for hard to get VISAS and then secure some sort of guide for the more dangerous countries. This is not only costly but a frustrating process.
Applying for so many VISAS requires you to fill out tons of forms, then sending in your passport and not knowing when you will get it back. Customer service is often times non-existent for countries outside the westernized ones.
So why go through the trouble of trying to go to all the countries in the world if it’s such a pain to do so?
I think at the end of the day, I always go back to that book “The Alchemist”. The wisdom from the book is so real to me. And that wisdom is that you have this inkling feeling that you must undergo a journey that must be completed no matter what.
And for me, that’s to visit every single country in the world. I’m not doing it to please other people. It’s simply a life mission in my 30s and 40s that I strongly feel that I need to complete.
In reality, you really only have one life to live. I’m not religious at all. And I don’t believe there’s an afterlife after you pass away. Therefore, the time you have on this Earth is very short. At the very least, you owe it to yourself to do something with your life where you can gain a sense of self-respect, achievement, pride, and completion. And for me, this is it. At least in my 30s and early 40s.
Can this mission be achieved in a realistic fashion?
When I originally wrote my game plan to visit all 193 UN recognized countries, I was looking at it from the lense of urgency. For some reason, I felt like I had to complete the mission as soon as possible.
But, the side of effect of me completing that mission would leave me in a financial mess and I realized I need to be more realistic. I can still achieve the mission to visit all 193 UN recognized countries, but I have to be okay with waiting a bit longer to accomplish it.
So I changed my timeline for completing this goal.
I’ll be in my mid-30s in April 2019 and it probably won’t be long before I get married and have kids. But, I can’t have a family and go to dangerous countries. That would be irresponsible. So my plan has changed a bit. By the time I turn 39, I must visit every African, Middle Eastern, and dangerous countries. That still leaves me with plenty of countries I need to visit after I complete that initial goal but it’s still achievable without being irresponsible when it comes time to start a family.
So yes, the mission to visit every single country in the world can definitely be achieved in a realistic fashion.