08.11.2023 - 12:35 / insider.com
At 27 years old, I completed my wanderlust dream of traveling to every country in the world as a solo female traveler. To be exact, I've visited all 193 sovereign nations — plus Taiwan, Kosovo, and Palestine. Then, by the age of 30, I achieved my athletic dream of becoming an Ironman. I find great fulfillment in inspiring and educating young women to get out and pursue their passions — or whatever gets them excited in life.
I'm originally from Connecticut, and due to financial reasons, I never really had the chance to travel growing up. The only country I'd been to, before the age of 18, was Canada — where my mom is from. I had this innate feeling to explore uncharted territory and travel the world. Specifically, I wanted to explore places that people felt were unsafe and wouldn't usually travel to. I wanted to utilize my privilege and able-bodiedness to give back and enhance the world we live in whilst debunking myths about some of these precarious nations and promoting peace.
When I think about some of my favorite countries, my mind usually gravitates towards both human interactions and natural landscapes that brought me the most joy — I love nature. All of my favorite countries boast some of the most incredible landscapes, diverse cultures, and unique cuisines.
My top favorite countries change often, since each season I tend to reminisce about my favorite places from that time of year. Here are my current top 10 favorite countries.
I've spent a lot of time over the years in Argentina and have met some wonderful people from there. I'm drawn to their seasons and flora, which attracted me to racing a half Ironman on the Argentinean side of Patagonia.
Spring in Bariloche — a city in Argentina's Patagonia region — is like an amplified spring in Connecticut because of the vast mountain ranges and glacier lakes that reflect the vibrant leaves and make everything more intense.
From the incredible beauty of Salta to Córdoba, it's just one of my favorite countries. I also enjoy the scenery in Ushuaia, which is known as the gateway to Antarctica, and the fantastic cuisine. When I visit Argentina, I take full advantage of their empanadas, Asado, and amazing sweets.
Being a sucker for mountains and nature, Austria has always been able to deliver — the country is breathtaking. Learning about its history, and visiting castles and palaces makes for such an enriching trip. It's crisp, clean, fresh, authentic, and a place I've always enjoyed revisiting time and time again.
I always encourage culture and nature lovers to experience Bhutan at least once, if possible — it's a really enchanting place. When I was there in July 2016, I found it to be a very peaceful country and a very humbling experience. They've
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