30 by Thirty

Ok today, I am in a bit of rush about to head off to Lewes Bonfire night. The cross burning festival in the heart of twee Sussex. Where more people vote on the efgy to burn than in local elections. A place where Christopher Lee’s Lord Summerisle would be rightly scared. Unfortunately today is not for harking back to my pseudo sussex routes. Instead you get a ramble about another challenge that I have set myself.

30 by 30. Not quite self explanatory nor a poor homage to Faith the rogue slayer. 30 by 30 is my simple challenge to reach 30 countries by the grand old age of 30. Now with just over a year and a half to go, most of Europe covered this is looking pretty challenging.

I started this project a couple of years ago but never got very far. Although I am lucky to have a parent in the caribbean, my travelling had been pretty limited to one island Antigua and lot of trips to France. Until I reached Uni but then student life and possible too much time spent in student politics, got in the way of doing any proper travelling. I don’t bemoan this, quite frankly pretty fortunate to have the joy of getting to know Antigua beyond its tourist attractions. And yeah off course fortunate to have been involved in student politics – definitely learnt the importance of a thick skin…

Last October I got the opportunity to move into a warehouse in London, the downside it was still a building site (but looking back some of the best memories of living in a warehouse come from the building site). Rent free whilst my room was being built all gave me a chance to say sod it, book myself a flight and grab an interrail pass. It was just a taster two weeks and 6 countries.

Starting of in Croatia, I pretty much went to the station and jump on the next train out – this was pretty much my approach for the rest of trip. By the end of the two weeks, I had ended up in Munich, Budapbest, Vienna, Venice, Ljubljana and back to Zadar via Zagreb just about ready to fly out. Like any traveller, the odds were in my favour that I would meet a lot of awesome people. Then at the start of the year, I did my first road trip, speeding across Europe in 10 days, via Bruge, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague.

Not long after I took a second surprise trip to Vienna. Learning even with only fours days in Bratislava there is very little to do. Too many months on and I am very aware the time to complete this challenge will fast approach. Now Europe is pretty much covered where next to squeeze in as many countries as possible?