This morning, Ken and I were driving and I told him about this site, Matador that lets you make your own travel map. I said that it’s too bad I wasn’t able to fulfill my personal goal of 30 by 30th (seeing 30 countries by my 30th birthday). Seeing my travel map on this site, I was reminded that it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t at par at what I would have wanted to. There’s really so much more I want to see.
I told him if only I had better opportunities to start early I would definitely have done so, if I had been born in a different life situation. Unlike others who were born into a privileged family and whose parents would start them early on traveling, it wasn’t like that for me. Having been raised by a single parent, a supermom who focused on giving my brother, my sister and me the best education possible, we just didn’t have enough budget to travel abroad when we were kids.
So seeing the world became my ultimate dream and a passion I discovered early on that I simply had to work hard for on my own. I told myself I want to travel the world and I will do that on my own. So it became my drive to save, save, save and work, work, work. I had my first out of the country trip in February 2004, a trip to Thailand with my friends. I was 20 years old then. I told Ken this morning, I’m quite embarrassed to look back and realize it took me a long time to be able to and couldn’t believe that I was already 2 decades of my life delayed! There’s so much to make up for! I was feeling a bit sorry for myself when he told me something that changed a lot about my perspective. He said “16 countries in 10 years. That should be your count!” And realizing that made me proud.
Yes, I wasn’t born rich. Yes, I started late. But I was able to conquer 16 countries in 10 years with my own hard-earned money. Travels I was able to do on my own, travels that my sister shared with me that opened a lot of doors and dreams for me, travels that I was able to share with my mom to give back to her, travels with my best friends in the world, and of course travels with my dear dear husband that I will always treasure the most. 16 countries in 10 years. That’s not so bad.
So this morning, while my husband and I continued our drive I couldn’t help but smile and feel happy, proud and lucky. Thank you to my dear husband for always showing me a different perspective to things and helping me see the brighter side of everything. And I know we will definitely see so much more places together. So for the rest of our drive, I continued to list down more countries and dream destinations.
I told him I now have a new goal. I’ll just have to make it 40th by my 40th. So 24 more countries to go hahaha! 🙂