Four months ago I set myself an ambitious travel goal: to visit 90 countries before my 30th birthday. Since I announced the 90 under 30 Travel Project, I have worked my way up to 82 countries and have four more months to visit the remaining eight.

Dye cones in Marrakech Morocco

In September I traveled to the Balkans, where I visited Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, and Serbia. All of them were new countries for me, and brought the total up to 79.

Church in Sarajevo Bosnia

In October I visited little Liechtenstein, and in November I spent a weekend of adventures in Andorra. Those two countries took the count to 81.

Bridge in La Massana Andorra

This month I spent a week in Brazil, which is how I got to 82.

Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro Brazil

It hasn’t all been smooth sailing (or flying, rather). In the past four months I have discovered that one place I assumed was a country was actually a British overseas territory. How Bermuda can issue its own passports and currency but not be a sovereign state is beyond me. Thankfully one of my readers reminded me that the Holy See is a country. I had forgotten to count it, so my total remained stable.

Beach in Bermuda

To finish off the remaining countries, my original plan was to take four more trips: one to Asia, one to Central America, and two to the Middle East. While that general plan remains in place, I got some great recommendations from my readers, who gave me a few new ideas for countries to visit.

Bronx Botanical Garden in New York City USA

As such, I still plan to visit Asia, but want to add either Brunei or Bhutan to the mix. The Central America trip has morphed into a South America trip, with Peru and Bolivia (and possibly Ecuador) on the itinerary. The Middle East trips remain the same. I refuse to let people scare me into canceling my Israel travel plans, and Lebanon is at the top of my list. The one additional trip I have added is a birthday trip to San Marino, a country that a reader reminded me was a sovereign state. All of these plans are still in the works, and I welcome helpful feedback if anyone else has other great recommendations.

Palace in Bangkok Thailand

The funniest thing about the 90 under 30 Travel Project is that instead of feeling like 90 countries is a lot, I feel like there are still so many sovereign states that I haven’t been to. Given that the number of countries in the world is somewhere around 207, 90 doesn’t even cover half of them. Even if I go with my planned itineraries, I will still start my new decade wanting to visit countries like Mozambique, Botswana, and Zambia, and areas like Mendoza, the Yorkshire Dales, and the south island of New Zealand. Then there are all of the places I’ve already been to that I would love to go back to.

Bridges over ponds at Hotel Tugu in Bali Indonesia

But I guess that is the biggest lesson of the 90 under 30 Travel Project. The more I travel, the more I realize how little of the world I have actually seen. I don’t mind, though. If I ever feel like I have visited every part of every continent, I wouldn’t have anything more to write about.

14 Comments on Lady Gives a 90 under 30 Travel Project Update

  1. Consider going to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. It’s a very safe city and is a cheap place to visit. It’s filled with beautiful ancient Persian architecture and monuments from when it was a part of the Persian Empire.

    Only two ways to get there from Europe: Moscow or Istanbul. Turkish Airlines will fly you there and they are a very good airline.

    And you do need a visa in advance, with Tajik Embassy located in Hammersmith.

    Safe travels, especially if you’re planning on going to Lebanon and Israel!

  2. You haven’t really been to the Middle East until you have been to Qatar! Richest country in the world. It’s unlike anything you have seen anyplace else.

  3. Totally agree about Qatar. Awesome place. Super, super safe. The Qataris have already bought half of London, so you might as well go visit our future overlords in person!

  4. Lebanon is a lovely country to visit. It is fun, loud, lively, colourful, and generous. Don’t expect western rules such as smoking areas or street lights to function very well here. But opulence, luxury, and a very arab meets Mediterranean vibe is always present. You needn’t be worried as long as you do proper research about what areas to avoid, and as a traveller there is no reason you shouldn’t be perfectly safe and treated to a wonderful vibrant visit. I am Swedish/Lebanese, Boston Uni alum, living in London, and have rarely seen a visitor disappointed by their visit. I’d be more than happy to recommend places to go, see, eat, stay. Enjoy! and Welcome!

    • Thanks Talissa! I really appreciate your tips for Lebanon. I’ve been to Stockholm and Dublin before, and loved both. I’m sure I will love Beirut as well!

  5. Also, you simply MUST go to Stockholm, Sweden!! History, culture, food, it is the Venice of the North. Not to mention nearly everyone speaks brilliant English.

  6. Last one I promise. Dublin, Ireland 🙂 🙂 Roudy, Friendly, Brilliant! The city is such a manageable size, yet packed with everything you dream of from a European Capital. Definitely make it stop off there. I did a semester abroad and would recommend it to anyone!

  7. My goodness lady in London. Im 30 on the 30th April, I also set my challenge to do a 100 countries before 30, unfortunately I’ll have done 88, I’m off to Kosovo tomorrow from Skopje, very nervous about the buses but hoping its fun. And your advice on Kosovo helped

    • Hi Daniel! I’m glad the info on Kosovo helped, and I hope you have a great time there! 100 countries before 30 is a big goal, and 88 is still a very impressive number!

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