The more I travel to off the beaten path countries, the more I start questioning myself do I really want to visit every country in the world? Life is short and it is me who is always says do more of what makes you happy. Is visiting Niger, Burkina Faso and countries like that really what I want?
What is actually making me happy at the moment? Where do I want to travel? Do I wanna travel solo? What has more priority, my business or pleasure? Or is it just one of those travel dips that I am suffering from?
So many questions currently I am dealing with! And in all honesty, I am a bit ‘lost’.
Do I want to visit every country in the world?
The answer is easy: YES! I would love to visit every country in the world, but at what costs? How far do I wanna push myself at the moment to visit lesser known countries? And does it really have my priority at the moment or do I just wanna enjoy life, just like I have done all those years that I am traveling.
Business vs. Pleasure
From social media it seems like travelers like me are always living the dream. Traveling the world, creating content in cool places. How could life get any better, right?
Trust me that is just social media. We are all fighting our own battles away from what you see online. Yes traveling still is making me happy, but I feel like I need a change.
The harsh reality is that traveling simply costs a lot of money and somehow we need to sustain ourselves. In the background we all have to hustle to get things going. The perception that all travels are sponsored or make money is COMPLETELY wrong.
Lately I hosted a couple Traveltomtom group trips and it is a great business model. On top of that they were really fun and I am super happy about it. But it also means a lot of organizing and planning. It is a different way of traveling. Do I want to organzine more group trips or do I want to plan less and enjoy the freedom of traveling. Visiting every country in the world would gain me a lot of authority in the business on a long term, but isn’t the best for the short term business.
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Margot van der Linde Tripping in Namibia with Traveltomtom ? Traveltomtom Group Trip: Namibia
When I lately did a poll on my Instagram stories about 7,000 people voted and only 60% said to be a fan of luxury travel. I was surprised! Let me tell you, after all those years of traveling the world I am totally digging luxury travel. Staying in a nice 5 star hotel brings my mind so much more at ease than a cramped cheap hotel room or lovely Airbnb.
I get it though, it sound more adventurous to not stay in a 5 star hotel, but what you do outside your luxury hotel is still up to you. You can still travel the world in style and have the craziest adventures.
Luxury travel costs a shit ton of money. Spending about $200 per night on hotel rooms is not something I can afford when traveling 365 days a year! I wish… because comfort makes me happy!
Anyway what I am willing to say is that traveling all the time and to off the beaten path places costs not only a lot of money, you also giving up a lot of comfort. I would love to be writing this blog posts looking out on a green lawn and a snowcapped mountain in the background, but the reality is that I am in an overpriced hotel room with the curtains closed because of the horrible view, with blasting AC because outside it is boiling hot.
Does money really makes you happy
The other day I sent this to a friend of mine: Money = Freedom and Freedom = Happiness! A simple quote that popped up in my mind not willing to say that money = happiness, but indirectly it is. It makes life so much easier and especially in the business and world we creators live in.
Do you know how much money it costs to travel to every country in the world? It is insanely expensive I can tell you! One week in Niger for example will cost me about $3,500 USD add another week Burkina Faso to that and the total of 2 weeks in Burkina Faso and Niger cost me around $5,500 USD.
If you have gone through some of my articles here on my blog then you know how much I used to spent when I was traveling in South East Asia in my early travel days. For that money I could live a couple months like a king in places like Indonesia and Thailand and have the time of my life!
Do I really want to push my business that much more to make even more money and spent it on becoming one of the few people in the world that every visited every country in the world?
Related: How I afford to travel and became a travel blogger!
Now I am spending that amount of money in 2 weeks, just to see 2 new countries in Africa. Is it because I would really like to travel to every country or am I getting to a point where I just want to tick off another country on the map. So that when I get the question to how many countries I have been, I can say a higher number?
The last few months I am starting to ask myself these questions more and more. There is no judgement towards other people, this is about me! Is visiting every country really making me happy at the moment?
Something that puts me off a little is the rat race about this whole thing. Every time I meet travelers it is the first thing they ask. How many countries have you been? It seems like it became even more important because of social media and I admit I am part of the ‘problem’, as I state it also in my Instagram bio that I have been to 117 countries. Every time I get to a new country I say it out loud and I am proud that I got somewhere new.
But even people that don’t travel, they ask the exact same question. Most of them don’t even know how many countries there are in the world. Apparently it is all about the number…
Our lives is basically a game of numbers, whether you are a blogger, an Instagrammer, a YouTuber or just a traveler these days. Everyone wants more views, likes and higher numbers and it seems like everyone is just chasing how to grow their following, how to make more money or finishing to visit every country.
But isn’t that exactly why I quit my job 9 years ago and started traveling the world? I didn’t want to be part of that culture, I started traveling to make the most of my life. To live a life with no regrets and find happiness in adventures without thinking about the bigger picture.
May be this is just another travel dip, but these are my feelings and dilemmas at the moment! Do I really want another trip to Africa or do I want to be climbing mountains in the Himalayas or partying at a pool party in Brazil?
I said it out loud already to my friends and on my Instagram stories. At the moment I don’t feel like visiting every country any more. Do I want to finish it some day? YES! But we will see, when it is my time… I am sure I will regain inspiration along the way. May be it comes back sooner than I imagine.
For now I just want to try to enjoy my travel life again!
To everyone chasing to visit every country in the world, go for it! I wish you all the determination, energy and luck you will need. And when you finish I will be happy for you and a little jealous. I will get there some day, but it will take time!
Safe travels everyone!