50 by Fifty
I like to set goals. Specifically, I like to set goals that I’m pretty sure I can meet. For example, sometime during the spring of my third year of law school, I made it pretty clear to everyone that my goal was to graduate. If I observed lent, I'd probably choose something to give up that wouldn’t be too difficult, like intravenous drug use, or sleeping till noon. Which I guess kind of defeats the purpose of goals, because as much as I like them, I really hate watching myself fail. That's one more reason I should never publicly declare that I’m giving up sugar.
So lately I’ve been pondering the role of travel in my life, how I’d like to celebrate turning 50, the state of affairs in Syria, how I can exercise my writing muscles, and…needless to say, I’ve had a lot of time to think.
I’ve come up with a big, audacious plan/dream/goal to have visited 50 countries by the time I turn fifty—give or take a couple of months. I’ve talked to Andy and he’s game for the challenge. If we get desperate, we may even combine the number of countries we’ve both visited to reach an average of 50 countries by our fiftieth birthday—which we both celebrate in 2017.
As of today, I’ve visited 35 countries, and Andy’s been to 40. In the meantime, I’m planning on writing a blog entry about each country I’ve visited, because while I’ve written about travel in general and some places in particular, I’ve not featured every country in a post. Don’t worry, there will be nothing encyclopedic about this, nor any rhyme or reason to my entries. But if we can manage this, it will be awesome, maybe even worthy of a book. And if for some reason, we don’t succeed, I suspect it’s a challenge where we’ll enjoy traveling as far as we can, even if we don't reach the destination.