Friends who see my travel posts ask how many countries I've been to. Didn't have an answer, so I sat and listed them out. Total of 41. They go 'wow'. When I plotted them out, I went 'wow', how little have I seen! Travel has been my greatest source of knowledge, more than any university education, book or TV show, to understand one another, to discover what makes us human and what truly matters.
Today, there are 195 countries in the world. That's a balance of 154. I'm giving myself 20 years to see, be, do what I can. That's 7 nations per year to cover the pale blue dot, our home, in the vast cosmic arena. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. As Carl Sagan beautifully put it, it holds the aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate.
Why 20? There are personal, political but the most important reason was given by 91 scientists from 40 countries who analyzed more than 6,000 scientific studies to draft the Paris accord. 2 deg rise in temp by 2040. At the current rate we are well on our way to wipe out several island nations and major cities in that time. Food, water, fresh air and coral reefs will be scarce.
As I plan these jaunts, I'd like to open it to friends who may want to join/help/cheer. It'll be sort of an awakened traveler collective. So, hit me up folks, with your aspirations, ideas and observations 😊