35 by 35

I was scrolling through Instagram yesterday and I saw this girl who had posted that she was really excited to announce she had completed her goal of visiting 25 countries by the time she turned 25. She then went on to state that her new goal was going to be to visit 30 countries by 30. I commented, congratulating her and then said that I think I want to set the same goal and then I set about counting up my visited countries.

12. 12?! (Sorry to the people who voted on my Instagram story who told me I can’t count my 6 hours in Geneva – I think I’m still going to. I physically left the train station, saw a tourist attraction and racked up a crazy data roaming bill, I’ve been there. Plus, it’s not like I won’t be going back. But this led me to another interesting thought and debate, when do you count that you have been to a country? I think if you leave the airport/train station/ or park the car and see something touristy, that counts. You wouldn’t leave the airport in Beijing, go see the Great Wall on a 12-hour layover and not count China as a country you have visited. Whatever, don’t @ me about this. I’m counting it. I look forward to debating you all in the comments.)

12. And because in my brain I’m still 25, I sat and thought about how 5 years is completely doable to visit the 18 countries I have left to visit before I make it to 30 and started gleefully choosing my next countries.


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My brain exploded when I remembered that I am 28 and that I really only have 2 months left of my 28th year. I also took a look at my salary, general life, and spending habits and I realized that there is no way I can fit 18 new countries into the next 14 months of my life. Not only can I not afford it, but I just straight up do not have enough time or energy.

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So I have decided that I will visit 35 countries by the time I’m 35. This seems much more reasonable but my laziness and bank accounts are still making me doubt myself a little. I don’t care though. It’s part of why I’m writing this blog post.

This blog post is my announcement to the world that I am going to hit this benchmark, which is funny because I never finish anything. Oh well, I don’t care. It’s happening.

I spent some time thinking about the 4 new countries I would like to visit in 2018 and here they are, in no particular order: Iceland, Portugal, Germany & Croatia. I know that I’ve chosen countries that are still pretty centrally located to Europe. This is strategic because while I’m here, why not try to benefit from cheap trains/flight deals. Right? Right.

Also just for reference: Here is my completed list as of December 12th, 2017 with a handy dandy map for reference.

USA, Canada, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Greece, Switzerland.

I’ll be adding Australia to this list in a few short days and that will bring my total up to 13.


(make your own one of these maps here )

and lets not even discuss the disturbing lack of blue on this map of the good ol’ US of A.

Filling in this map is another goal of mine. I haven’t set a goal for that yet. Maybe 50 by 50? Seems doable.

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Honestly, like, what even is out there in the middle?

Kidding. I know it’s farms or mountains or something.

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Presque Perfection

Hi! I'm Amanda and I'm a 28-year-old American living abroad in Paris, France! When I was 24, I packed my bags and moved to Paris with $200 in my pocket and I immediately fell in love with the city of lights. I now work as an English teacher and a freelance translator and spend my spare time traveling, creating things, and perfecting the art of the "happy hour" with my besties.

7 thoughts on “35 by 35

  1. I’m so against country counting TBH! But each to their own! I feel that you can visit the same country over and over again and still manage to see/experience something new, so my advice would be not to be so strict with yourself! If you come to Greece, shoot me an email and I will be happy to show you around Athens! xx


    1. Ahhh! Haha, I totally get what you mean. It’s less about checking them off my list (I mean, it’s still definitely part of it) but also kind of about me pushing out of my comfort zone of Europe and North America to get a little further away. I definitely agree though about visiting places multiple times and experiencing something new! I’ve never been to Athens (well, I slept in the Athens airport on my way to Thessaloniki, but I don’t count that) so I’ll definitely let you know & if you’re ever in Paris, drop me a line 🙂


  2. […] I have so much to say about the year 2017. Despite it being a dumpster fire of a year for politics, women, minorities, foreign policy, the environment, the economy… (I could keep going but I’m really bumming myself out) 2017 was actually pretty good to me when it comes to travel. When 2017 ends, it will have included trips on 3 continents, 6 different countries, and 10 brand new cities, so it feels really hard to complain about my year knowing what an absolute privilege I have to be able to travel this way. 2018 will hopefully be just as epic as I continue towards my goal of 35 countries in 35 years, if you would like to know what I’m hoping 2018 has in store for me, you can find out here. […]


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