The Country Challenge is On – Are You In?
|On Hebbelille, my brother’s boat outside Florø, Norway. Photo: Øystein Garfors.|
The feedback has gone through the roof, most of it is positive, and it turns out that there are thousands of people that are collecting countries on one scale or another, although at many different paces, with different goals and using a range of strategies. I have properly visited every country, although relatively fast using just under 10 years. I still decided to throw in some crazy fast trips after finishing, including popping by 19 countries in 24 hours. It turns out that almost every avid traveller know how many countries they have been to – out of all the countries in the world (why 198 countries?).
And this is of course not only about me challenging some well-travelled people. Please feel free to join me in challenging or inviting yourself, friends, family-members, co-workers or that obnoxious neighbours of yours that you’d be happy to see a little bit less of.
Travel generates a mutual understanding like no other method known to mankind. In between individuals, cultures, nations, religions and faiths. I truly believe that this world will be a better place if more people travel, interact with each other and are open to thoughts different to your own. That can only lead to more respect, more friendship and more mutual smiles.
Scared of terror?
You mean you have been put off travelling by the countless terrorist attacks in way too many countries? Well, please do not be. Why terrorism should not stop you from travelling.
And no, this is not about quantity over quality. This is about expanding your horizions, understanding the world, seeing and feeling cultural differences and escaping from the bubble that you have grown up within. This might help you realize that you do not live in the center of the universe and that people in other parts of the world don’t even know anything about your home country, and that they also consider themselves the center of the universe. And why shouldn’t they? Travelling is, in my opinion, the best way to learn about the world and yourself. Hence this challenge. So #Visit3, #Visit10, #Visit50, #Visit100 or #Visit198 but please, just leave your comfort zone.
You might also get the notion that you are extremely lucky to be able to travel abroad at all. A lot of people do not have enough to even provide for themselves or their family, let alone to set aside to foreign travels. Adrian Porras from Costa Rica recently wrote about his dream to travel in a guest post on garfors.com.