I’m getting to that awkward age where I go between feeling young and old. When I’m teaching a room full of teenagers and I bring up dial-up internet or VCRs, I feel like a dinosaur. Or when I realize that my baby brother who is ELEVEN years younger than me is going to be a freshman in high school next year. Or when people my age are starting to have babies on purpose. But then I walk into a movie theater to see a Rated R film (which only requires being 17) and get asked to show my I.D. and suddenly I feel like a baby again. It’s an interesting time.
My husband and I just turned 24 and now that we are done with school (for now, at least) and are embarking on our first taste of the “real” world, we’ve been thinking more and more about the kind of future we hope to build for ourselves. The last seven years of our relationship have pretty much just revolved around getting our education so we can start our careers, and now that we have done both of those things, we are ready to take on the next step. Since we still want to wait at least a few more years before we even start thinking about having children, we have some time on our hands to invest in our personal and professional goals. One of these goals, as you might have guessed, is to see as much of the world as possible.
Right now, the possibilities for travel seem endless…and a little overwhelming. It’s easy to daydream about all of the countries and cities we might visit (especially living in a country that borders both Europe and Asia!) – what’s not easy is prioritizing those possibilities and making a concrete plan of what to see and when. While I would love to be able to see absolutely EVERYTHING, I know that is something that is not realistic and would take the kind of planning that sucks the fun right out of traveling, which isn’t the point. I definitely want to go into it with some goals, planning, and prioritizing, but I don’t want traveling to feel obligatory. So how to find the balance between seeing as much as possible and not rushing through a bunch of places just to say we’ve been there?
That’s something we’ve been giving a lot of thought lately and I think we’ve finally decided on a traveling goal that works for us: 30 countries before we turn 30. We have six years to go and Turkey will be country #6 for me and country #4 for my husband, so we need to see at least 26 additional countries for both of us to reach that goal. That averages out to 4-5 new countries each year, which actually seems pretty doable. There are around 50 countries in Europe alone and we are also near several countries in the Middle East, so there are plenty to pick from.
As for which countries will make the list? Who knows at this point, but that’s the beauty of it. We have plenty of time to figure it out and can enjoy the ride as things unfold.
I can’t wait!