As 2020 rapidly approaches, I've decided that it's time to up my travel game and get back into visiting countries I've been meaning to get to over the past decade or so but haven't.
The reason 2020 matters?
In 2020, I'll be the same age as my grandmother, Jerrie Mock, was when she flew around the world, becoming the first woman to do it. I'm no pilot - though taking my first flight lesson is coming up on one of the anniversaries associated with her flight next year - but I am an adventurer and traveler. And the best ways I could think of honoring her legacy are through meeting a dream she had for me - a dream I share: getting to visit more countries than she did.
For a lot of people, getting to 52+ countries by the end of next year would be a struggle. But I've got a leg up on a lot, with already having visited 34 countries, principalities, and island nations. So I just have 18 to go.
This year, I plan to make it to 5 new countries, and at least 14 new countries in 2020. And because my travel companions often request ideas for how to save and plan their travels safely but cheaply, I'm going to focus on these destinations and travel planning tips over the next two years.
I'll be doing some revisits and new destinations in the UK & Ireland. Look for tips, stories and more this year from Dublin, Cardiff & Doctor Who, Birmingham & surrounds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Isle of Arran, London, York/Leeds, Liverpool/Southport, and Guernsey.
In honor of Grandma (Jerrie Mock), I'll be hitting up Morocco, too! Aiming to visit Marrakech and Casablanca, so look for travel tips and more this year. I also hope to make it to Egypt in 2020.
Along my way, I'll be visiting some of Grandma's favorite spots in Europe, including The Azores and Portugal. I'll also visit one of my mom's favorite spots, and revisit Paris briefly. You should expect loads of stories on these spots coming up.
I'll head east in Europe to visit some new to me countries, including Romania, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Andorra, another of Mom's favorite spots. I expect my mother and husband to join in for many of these locations, so look for some accessible and low-energy travel tips in particular from these locations.
In South America, I'll take in the culture of Brazil, Ecuador (hopefully joining missionaries in both locations), Argentina, and Grandma's favorite, Suriname. While there, I'll be learning about the native and traditional foods for my upcoming cookbook about Grandma and travel.
And, finally, to round out to my 52+ countries before I'm 39, in 2020 I'll travel to Asia where I'll visit several countries Grandma connected with deeply, along with some new spots. I expect to make it to China, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, India, Thailand, and South Korea. I'll also head back to Australia and New Zealand, and hop over to the Solomon Islands. I also expect to enjoy a Matcha and Tea tour throughout Japan.