I’ve passed the 50 country mark this year, but there’s still so much more of the world I want to see. I gave some thought to the top five countries I haven’t visited yet that I most want to see, and how and when I’ll fit them in, and I’ll share that here.
Sometimes my trip planning happens for reasons other than the country being at the top of my list:
- There’s a mistake fare or cheap award.
- There’s an incredible First Class product I want to fly.
- I want to check a new region off my list.
- I want to meet up with a traveling friend.
Those are all valid reasons for a trip or two, but I want to refocus and visit the countries where I think I’ll have the most fun and learn the most.
Beyond just thinking about going there, I’m coming up with a time and type of miles to use. Just the act of making a plan makes it more likely I’ll follow through and finally get to these places.
1. Colombia: October 2014
I remember the rumblings when I was on the gringo backpackers trail through Peru in the summer of 2007. Most of the backpackers had not been to Colombia as the country had had a terrible reputation for killings, kidnappings, and terrorism for years, but the few who had been were unanimous: Colombia was their favorite country of the trip.
Everyone had a different reason–Cartagena and the Caribbean, the mountains, the nightlife–but everyone agreed. The seeds were planted then, but somehow I never got around to seeing Colombia even as I visited farther afield countries like Paraguay and Bolivia.
Colombia has been at the top of my wish list since 2011 when I had a big map of South America on my wall and sketched a possible trip where I’d land in Maracaibo, Venezuela, cross the border to Colombia and do a trek to the Ciudad Perdida, visit Cartagena, Bogota, Cali, and Medellin, then head home.
Back then, a great deal came up on a cash ticket to see East Africa and Turkey, so I scrapped the Colombia plan.
When I found out I’d have a perfect 2.5 week travel window this October, I knew where I wanted to go. I plan to travel to Bogota for the entire time to embrace slow travel and getting to really know one place instead of rushing through three (though I like rapid travel too.) I am expecting to love Colombia and to visit the rest of the places on my lost 2011 itinerary on future trips.
I’ll book my trip with American Airlines miles because of what commenters said in this thread.
- What’s the rest of my top five countries I still haven’t visited?