Thirty Nations by my Thirtieth Birthday

Discovery: of culture, of countries, of character revealed.

The World Pushpin Pano

For years I have explained that my love for travel and appreciation for culture is rooted in an obscure longing to find gems scattered across the globe that belong in my soul. Reflection is not always my strong suit, as I tend to move quite fast through life. However, upon realizing I am a few countries shy of tacking thirty pushpins into different nations on my bulletin board world map, I’ve made it a quest to visit them prior to my thirtieth birthday. Whilst preparing to tackle the next adventure, I will be focusing on how traveling has changed me and helped me see the world more fully. Abroad or at home, both innocence and ignorance have been my companions. My first international exposure as an adult was in 2009. I was a twenty-one-year-old little girl, coming out of a socially-awkward childhood, clueless as to cultural differences and customs.

The adventures were intoxicating, though I believe they would be better referred to as conquests… pushpins, if you will. Desperate to quench an insatiable hunger and thirst for meaning, purpose, and understanding, I leapt from one life experience to another. Volumes of journals were filled, with the occasional page left blank, unresolved, waiting for the completion of the thought, the comprehension of the events at hand. I never felt prepared to reflect or ponder the past, but grasped at the new, leaving behind gaps for which I could not yet find satisfactory expression.

The hope for this blog series is that in some way I will be able to contribute to the community of explorers; whether describing locations or customs or the invaluable lessons that come with exposing yourself to them. In reading and listening to other travelers’ experiences, I have been inspired. It has given me insight to what I can learn from my journey because, in some way or other, I can relate to theirs. Thank you in advance for letting me speak honestly on where I’ve been, physically as well as mentally, and how my addiction to travel has propelled me to delve into the greater world, and how myself and others view it so differently.

Beginning 31 August 2017, thirty Thursdays remain before the milestone in question, and each week until March 25, 2018, I will share a story from the journey.

It is my hope that this connects me with more like-minded people and travelers, ones who have valuable insight to the world and the persons with whom we share it.

Let maps, adventure, and pages of journals unfold:

Read along in the posts below:

1. USA – Maps and Markers
2. Canada – The Awe of a Child
3. Thailand – Put Me in My Place
4. Nepal – Freed by Peace
5. Malaysia – The Worlds of Murphy’s Law
6. Cambodia – first they killed my education
7. Mexico – Below Borders 
8. Dominican Republic – Entitled, Will Travel
9. China – Menu Mania
10. Myanmar – Photographic Glimpse
11. Nicaragua – For the Love of Bicicletas
12. Panama – A Cloud Forest Illuminated
13. Norway – Reality Show or Reality Check
14. France – Fromage with Friends
15. Germany – Drunk King, Sober Saunterer

16. Netherlands – For the Love of Beer

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