One of my biggest inspirations when it comes to international travel is Chris Guillebeau, a young entrepreneur who has made it his personal ambition to travel to every one of the Earth’s countries by his 35th birthday. He’s made it to 151 so far, with 41 to go before his deadline on April 7, 2013.
I’ve mentioned Guillebeau on this site before, as author of the blog and book, The Art of Non-Conformity, and inspiration to definitely a few thousand people who want to live outside the box. He’s written ebooks on travel hacking (i.e. finding ways to travel comfortably and frequently for very little money), making money from art, and starting your own micro-business; most recently, he organized a meeting of about 500 free thinkers already engaged in non-conformity. But it’s his relatively simple goal of touching down at least once in every nation that resonates with me as a sufferer of acute vagabond neurosis and an overall travel crackhead (meaning, I’ve spent rent money on a plane ticket in the past).
Already a self-employed world traveler, crucially armed with a credit score that many of us could only dream of, Guillebeau decided to go for the gold back in 2006. He explains on his site how a combination of savings, frugal living, and airline points earned by credit cards net him dirt-cheap airfares and keep him on the go. Granted, most of us will never have the resources in sufficient alignment to hit every country on the planet, but there’s nothing to keep us from trying; it’s all about priorities.
And it’s not even about going to every country or doing something because someone else is doing it. It’s about reaching a personal goal and feeling the sense of accomplishment that comes with attaining that goal.
So rummage through The Art of Non-Conformity and get started on your own personal greatness. Or try to beat him at his own game – you’ve still got 22 months!
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I’m participating in Vai Via’s 15 Day International Travel Challenge and yesterday’s challenge was about where I’d like to travel next. Angola tops my list for sometime within the next 12 months, followed by Mozambique and Australia, but there are hundreds of other places that I still need (and want) to get to.
Today’s challenge is, literally, an adventure or challenge while traveling. As most of my trips have been citified, most of my adventures have as well. Navigating traffic in Cairo as a pedestrian is one of the most harrowing experiences that I can remember, while almost being caught in an altercation between the police and a gang in Caracas is another one for the books. Physically-challenging experiences just aren’t that appealing to me; while I like exercise, I’m not keen on mountaineering or other feats of nature that endanger life or limb, LOL.