Travel Blog

Final Four : Finishing my 25-country goal

July 28, 2011
25travels - final four countries

I’ve been getting comments and emails asking me about my goal to visit 25 countries by 25. I’ve turned 24 last June. With less than a year to go, I’ve already been thinking and planning where do I cap-off my current goal.

NYC - MoMA: Jasper John's MapPhoto from Flickr

I have four more countries to go to for my ‘list’ and picking these countries and making plans weren’t easy.

I have two sets of plans for the year mainly because of a possibility of coming back to Europe for work in the coming months. So I divided my list into two – with one involving moving back to Europe and the other with me staying in Asia. Now of course, plans CAN and most likely WILL change but here’s how I see my year of travels going through.

If I come to Europe…

 

Sweden

Sweden 2011Photo from Flickr

I’ve never been to Scandinavia – and I’ve always been intrigued by the lifestyle and the winter weather. I’ve heard that it can be quite brutal on winter, but this is something that I don’t get to experience living in a tropical country (sounds like torture, but I’m all about challenges). One of my best friend currently lives there, and I’ve promised to visit when I come back to Europe. Hopefully, I get to arrange time to see the Northern Lights as well. Perhaps I will get try surströmming as well (not really).

Portugal

LisbonPhoto from Flickr

I had missed my flight to Lisbon back in 2009 because of issues with my visa – but once I get to come back, I’ll definitely give it another go. I’ve always heard lots of nice things about Lisbon and the surrounding cities. A trip from Porto down to Lisbon will most likely be on the itinerary – with visits to Peneda-Gerês National Park and Cabo da Roca.

Ireland

Cliffs of Moher 1Photo from Flickr

The Cliffs of Moher is a place that I’ve always wanted to see! With RyanAir flights coming cheap – definitely, this is worth a shot! There is a visa requirement though that I have to go through, annoying – but a must-do for someone like me. Of course, a definite visit to the Guinness factory and an Irish pub should be added.

South Africa

table mountain sunsetPhoto from Flickr

Now, it’s not close to Europe – but given a European salary and work holidays – this is a place that I’ll be able to visit. I’ve always wanted to visit South Africa and definitely a few weeks’ vacation here is something I’ll get to do. From Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town – this will be a great addition on my list and a great culmination for my goal.

Other countries on my list:

Norway:The fjords and all things nature. I want to stand on pulpit rock (Preikestolen)
Croatia:Dubrovnik and the rest of the Croatian coasts for a great feel of summer
Greece:Athens and Santorini – why not?

If I stay in Asia…

 

Thailand

Maya Bay (The Beach)
Photo from Flickr

I’ve already booked tickets thanks to flights sales from Cebu Pacific. Everyone has been raving about Thailand, so I need to see what it has to offer. Of course, I’ll get to visit Bangkok and spend a few days there – and then probably go down to the Andaman coast for some beach and drinking time.

Laos

Vang Vieng
Photo from Flickr

I’ve always been intrigued by this country and I been drawn by what I read of Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Vang Vieng. It’s a country rich with new cultures and experiences – I should say that I’ll regret not including it my list. I would also like to get to see the Irrawady dolphins. And it’s a relatively easy jump-off point after my trip to Thailand. So yes, this needs to be here.

China

Great Wall of China
Photo from Flickr

Of course, with only a sea separating Philippines and China, this is a definitive yes. The Great Wall, Olympicsstadium with an included train trip with the new train from Beijing to Shanghai. Plus of course, there’s Hong Kong and Macau – which is only an hour flight from Manila. The food is already enough drawcard for me – just say Xiao Long Bao and I’d book a flight there soon!

South Korea

My Farewell to Seoul
Photo from Flickr

I am not a huge fan of Korean soaps nor of their music, but I’m intrigued by its sudden growth in terms of destination. A visit to the de-militarised zone is an option, though I’m not sure if in anyway this supports the northern neighbour regime. But on anycase, definitely I’d like to sample Seoul’s vibe – and a few anyangsaeo. 🙂

Other countries:

Indonesia:It is our southern neighbour – and a visit to Yogyakarta, Bali and Lombok is on the list. Though flights from Manila is really bad for this.
Myanmar:The Bagan temples. Enough said – though the country’s political situation somewhat stops me from doing so.
New Zealand:Considering that I might be unemployed at this period, then this might not be a practical option. But definitely if the flight and visa gods support me – I will make sure this happen.

Have you been to any of these countries? What are your suggestions of places to visit or experiences to try? Do you have any countries you’d like to suggest?

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22 Comments

  • Reply Shalini July 28, 2012 at 00:21

    India’s definitely an experience you won’t forget :p

  • Reply Tony January 28, 2012 at 05:02

    Interesting pieces of destination. A must see places before i die i must say.. lol..
    Tony recently posted..Lets Get To Know Each OtherMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick January 28, 2012 at 08:54

      you don’t need to die to see them mate. 😛

  • Reply Apple September 5, 2011 at 04:24

    Reading your blog makes me wanna travel this time… just so sad that I need to cancel my trip this month and hopefully, make a way to get a leave so that I can push through with my plans of visiting a friend in Taiwan and exploring Thailand next month.

    We might see each other at the Bangkok airport. haha…
    Just in case, tell me when will be your China trip. I also wanna see the Great Wall!

    you’re almost done with this goal… what’s next? RTW tayo!!! 😀

    • Reply Jerick September 5, 2011 at 15:23

      Thank you, Apple! I’m booked for China this January – should be awesome! then 2 more countries to worry about til June!
      RTW is definitely on the picture – but will definitely need some serious saving.

  • Reply Anis September 3, 2011 at 11:16

    Definitely go to Laos, China and New Zealand! Great countries all. When in Laos, go to Luang Prabang, hike the Great Wall in China and go bungy jumping in NZ 🙂
    Anis recently posted..Tips for a great road tripMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick September 4, 2011 at 00:50

      Agree! thanks for the suggestions! have heard much good things about Luang Prabang, so definitely it’s on the list!

  • Reply Roy August 12, 2011 at 02:54

    Try South Africa AND China lol 🙂 They are high on my wishlist as well
    Roy recently posted..Five Malls in Kuala Lumpur to Escape the HeatMy Profile

  • Reply JC July 29, 2011 at 19:06

    Sounds like a great plan! but have you been to Spain? Come visit us 🙂 We have cheap accommodations and if you come to Barcelona I’ll give you a quick tour around!

    • Reply Jerick July 30, 2011 at 14:13

      Yes, I’ve been to Spain but only in Madrid and its suburbs. I haven’t been to Barcelona and have always wanted to go around the country – definitely, I’ll your advice once I get to go back there!
      Jerick recently posted..Final Four : Finishing my 25-country goalMy Profile

  • Reply Julia July 29, 2011 at 19:01

    Great list! If you get to Portugal don’t forget the Algarve coast, it’s lovely there. You also have some places on your list that are on mine – China, NZ, Indonesia, S Africa and Sweden. If only I had unlimited money *sigh*
    Julia recently posted..Dream a Little Dream…My Profile

    • Reply Jerick July 30, 2011 at 14:12

      Great, i’ll add that to my list. And definitely, I hope that in those places we can cross paths, that would be great!

      Yeah, i’m a bit short of money otherwise i’ll make my goal up to 30 countries this year. 😉
      Jerick recently posted..Final Four : Finishing my 25-country goalMy Profile

  • Reply johnny July 29, 2011 at 11:47

    Thanks for the link mate – and good to see Thailand and Ireland on the list, my 2 ‘home’ countries 🙂 good luck bro!
    johnny recently posted..Motivational Monday: Don’t Miss Your OpportunityMy Profile

  • Reply Neil July 28, 2011 at 20:26

    South Africa was really cool mate, got some pics on my site if you want a look. Otherwise google the ‘Garden Route’. Coffee bay was awesome too.

    Also urge you to consider Sri Lanka. My favourite country!
    Neil recently posted..Top 5 costs you probably don’t think about before you go backpackingMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick July 29, 2011 at 17:32

      Yep, I’ll check those places out in SA. I saw some cheap tickets actually from the PH, so maybe I don’t need to go back to Europe to visit it.

      I want to go to Sri Lanka too – but maybe not this year, but definitely it’s on my list.
      Jerick recently posted..Final Four : Finishing my 25-country goalMy Profile

      • Reply Neil July 29, 2011 at 23:37

        For a cheap week/weekend i cant speak highly enough of Poland either. Sopot, wroclaw and krakow were all awesome.

        Flights from Belguim surely couldnt be that much?
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        • Reply Jerick July 30, 2011 at 14:10

          Yes, Krakow & Sopot was great place to visit! I like the vibe & architecture of both places, and Krakow has a good night scene. Definitely, I’ll consider coming back when I’m in Brussels – flights are cheap with Wizzair. 🙂 My last time was a bit of a rush (4 days only – and spent running through Krakow then Radom to Warsaw)
          Jerick recently posted..Final Four : Finishing my 25-country goalMy Profile

  • Reply Tobias July 28, 2011 at 19:00

    Hey Jerick!
    Sweden is a nice place to come, although pricey. If you do come, let me know and well have a beer or two. 🙂
    However, if you come in the winter you’ll not be able to get the Surströmming as it’s traditionally only served in late August and September. Trust me, you’re better off without anyway 😛
    Tobias recently posted..My Midsommar weekendMy Profile

    • Reply Jerick July 29, 2011 at 17:30

      Cheers Tobias! Definitely, will let you know when I get there. Yeah, after writing this post – i did more research on surstromming and the posts I’ve read did change my mind. Is it worse than balut?
      Jerick recently posted..Final Four : Finishing my 25-country goalMy Profile

      • Reply Tobias July 29, 2011 at 19:00

        It can’t compare to Balut, really. Surströmming kills you with the smell. It’s like Durian fruit but 10 times stronger. If you open a container in a room, people will flee. The taste is not too bad though…
        Tobias recently posted..Donating clothes for charityMy Profile

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