It's Not about the Number
“So, how many countries have you been to?” is one of the first questions I get when I explain to someone that I’m a digital nomad. And while other nomads take pride in this number, I actually have absolutely no idea what my personal number is! And I don’t really care…
Travel, for me, is not about checking off yet another country off the list. I’ve been to Japan several times, for example, but each time I discover several new and amazing things to do. It would be silly for me not to go to Japan, a country I love to explore, just so to go to a random other country so I can say I’ve been to X + 1 countries now.
Other countries, such as Turkey, I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting for a day… But that one day was completely eye-opening and special. So sure, I’ve been to Turkey, but the truth is, I haven’t really been there… there is way too much left to explore than I was able to in only one day.
When I was little, my parents took me on two cruises around the world… that I barely remember. I could probably ask them and add all those countries I’ve technically been to to the list, but what’s the point if most of what I remember from the trips is the joy of swimming in the cruise ship swimming pool?
Just think of how big the United States is! A new friend told me once that he didn’t like the United States - well, he’s only been to Seattle. That’s it! So can he say he’s really been to the United States? Just going to a different state is a whole different experience there! And so it is in other countries.
I always feel weird saying I’ve been to a country when I’ve only been to a small part of it. So I keep exploring, keep building experiences and memories, keep meeting people. Sure, I’d love to visit every single country one day, but I’m not in a hurry, and I will definitely not rush myself just to check off some arbitrary list.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter what country I’m in. It’s not about the number. It’s about the special experiences here on earth.