When I went on my maiden backpacking adventure in 1994, and first fell in love with traveling, I made a pact with myself. It was quite simple…that by the time I die, I want to have visited more countries than my age. So, if I die at 75, for example, I want to have travelled to more than 75 countries.
Well, on January 25th, I will turn 42. But next Tuesday, I will be leaving my home in Mexico on my visa run, and visiting Guatemala for what will be my landmark 50th country. I could not be more excited. It is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for many years, and I fully plan to immerse myself in the ancient culture and magnificent scenery. And it will keep me on target with the pact I made with myself in Bali, way back in ’94 when I looked like this.
But I have to stress, however, that traveling is not all about numbers. Yes, Reaching The Big 5-0 is a significant milestone, and I’m very privileged to have been to so many amazing and beautiful places, and often on numerous occasions. But it’s what we feel and experience in these places that is important, and not the number, a definite case of quality over quantity.
I’ve learned so much about myself during my travels, and have experienced so many wonderful things, and of course, I’ve met hundreds of brilliant and inspiring people.
So as I plan my adventure for next week, it is with a humble heart and wide eyed excitement. Yes, it’s the Big 5-0. But more than that, it’s yet another opportunity to broaden my own horizons and become a better person for my experiences.