So I think I’m going to make a new life goal. To go to all the countries in the world…before I’m 50. Seems semi-reasonable and not overwhelming. Especially since I’m likely to go to 30+ countries on my RTW in the coming 1-2 years. I’m not trying to break speed records. I’m in it for the long haul.
Chris Guillebeau, a man who I truly admire and who’s Art of Non-Conformity blog you absolutely must read, has made it a goal of his to make it to all 192 United Nations member states before he turns 35. He is currently at 125 with just under 3 years to go. I know he’s going to make it!
This RTW trip grew from an idea that diverged from my original goal to make it to all 7 continents before I turned 30. After 6 continents, I only had to go to Antarctica. I was going to make it! However, after starting to save for that, I realized that a dream of mine to take a RTW journey was now truly possible. The money I was saving for Antarctica would easily take me to several countries. So the dream evolved into a RTW.
I still badly want to go to Antarctica, though I’m concerned it will be harder and more expensive as they are now limiting the number of people who can visit the region each year. I’m thinking that if I can make it to South America on this RTW in a winter, I’ll just hang out in Ushuaia, Argentina for a few weeks and see if any cheap last-minute berths open up. I know this is risky but I’m fairly flexible and believe it is possible to save about 50% off, if I’m lucky. And by lucky, I mean trying to get in the right place at the right time, i.e. getting to Ushuaia at the beginning or end of the season and sticking around for a couple of weeks. This guy did it and so did these people. These people say it’s possible but risky if you really want to get to Antarctica. I do but it doens’t have to be this time around.
My ideal Antarctica trip would be a small vessel with less than a 100 passengers so that I could actually get off the boat and walk around, plenty of wildlife, icebreakers, itineraries that take in the Falklands, South Georgia, one that departs late November or late February (as I think the ones in December and January might be very full and expensive), any kind of berth, and that would take about 2 weeks or longer.
There are a lot of beautiful things to see in Ushuaia so I’m confident that even if it doesn’t work out, I will still have plenty to keep me occupied.
Hmm…on second thought, not having tickets ahead of time for the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco and Coachella this past year was pretty nerve-wracking and not something I wanted to do again, even though both worked out in the end.