16 countries in a year, I don’t even know if that’s impressive any more! I don’t know about you, but every day I’m bombarded with a constant stream of Facebook posts and filtered Instagram photos telling me why my life is inadequate and “Mr/ Mrs travel blogger” is oh-so superior to me. I’m pretty chuffed with my feat of 16 countries in less than 12 months, it was without a doubt the best thing I’ve done to date BUT and that’s a big BUT (hence the capital letters) it wasn’t all plain-sailing. And that’s why I thought you might enjoy my blog because obviously I’m going to brag about all the incredible places I’ve visited but I promise to counteract this smugness with horror stories of 16 hour bus journey’s (with no toilets on board) and bed-bug ridden hotel rooms. So here it goes, my first post to the world wide web.
Let me break it down for you – 16 countries in one year equals well over 100 cities/towns/villages and even more hotel beds, countless bus journeys that I’d rather forget and lots of yummy meals I’d rather never forget. Every journey has to start somewhere, mine started in Sydney, Australia where I had been living for 4 years and working as an Event Producer. I was lucky enough to be able to travel throughout Australia with my job, say for example I had an event in Darwin on a Monday I would fly up the Friday before the event and cram as much sightseeing in as I possibly could over the weekend. I got to see every city in Australia thanks to my job and I guess it was during that time I decided I wanted to see so much more of the world. And so, after lots of negotiations with the boyfriend we finally decided to pack our bags and leave ‘down under’ for good in June 2014. Our first stop was Bali. After that the countries went like this –
- El Salvador
Looking at the list now, it may not look like much, well for me anyway it looks pretty measly considering all that I’ve experienced in each country. It wasn’t just a flying visit for me, the least amount of time I spent in a place was Malta at two weeks and the most was Italy at six weeks. I think to really see a country you need to spend more than a week there, hang with the locals even if you don’t speak the language, stay in small hotels or b&b’s, eat where the locals eat and if you’re feeling brave and have a strong stomach get the local buses as much as possible 🙂
The most common question I’m asked since I got back from my trip is “What was your favourite country?” – do you know how bloody hard it is to answer that question. My answer has always remained the same and that is “there are good and bad things about every country so I couldn’t pick just one”. That’s a really boring answer isn’t it?! But you know what, I kind of feel like a traitor to the other countries if I singled out just one as the ultimate place to visit. But I will narrow it down to three – Italy, Vietnam & Mexico with a special mention to El Salvador for being the most surprising. I’ll talk more about my top three in my next blog post, I might even do a top five if you’re lucky.
P.S. Thanks for reading 🙂