I’ve just written a book called “Stories” from my travels to every country in the world. In this book, I describe exactly how I felt visiting the last country which was #197 – Cape Verde. I don’t want to give it all away and spoil it for the readers since it’s one of the most special chapters.
But I can assure you that I didn’t feel like everyone would expect. Sure, visiting every country in the world is a big deal. Only 200 people in history have achieved it. To put it into perspective, that’s fewer people than those that have traveled to space. Yes, it took 13 years, and yes it was hard.
The realisation when I stepped foot on my last country, Cape Verde, minutes after midnight was never what I had imagined.
The Day After you Visit Every Country in the World
In the second part of the last chapter of the Stories book I go over what happens when you actually visit every country in the world. You don’t receive many recognitions. I had two minutes of fame on Spanish TV, a few dozen articles the weeks before and after, and that was it.
You shouldn’t do something like this solely for fame or peer recognition. If you do you will be disappointed. Most people don’t grasp what visiting every country entails. “Oh, so you’ve done a world tour!”, “You must’ve traveled a lot!”, “Does everywhere mean everywhere? Even North Korea”.
It’s very hard to understand the struggles and the complexity of the logistics involved unless you have been to some of these places.
What Inspired me to Write the Stories Book
I had the idea for my Stories book a year or so ago. I wanted to release it just when I finished visiting every country in the world. But soon I realised the logistics and trip planning of my last few countries was turning out to be more consuming than I had anticipated.
That’s why I finished in early December, took a 2-week trip to celebrate with my friends and family, and then started writing the Stories book on January 1st. I did 2 solid months of work, then eloped for a few weeks to Europe and India to take some pictures for the book. Then COVID struck.
I returned home and focused on finishing it. The hard lockdown we experienced in Spain definitely helped its completion. I was especially grateful for that extra time because I had more time than anticipated to review and rewrite many parts of it. Thus, the end result was much better.
Stories Book, From my Travels to Every Country
Stories provides a one-page short story from every country in the world. It’s 197 pages together with another page of pictures from each of these nations. 305 images in full colour from all over the world.
I think it provides an interesting insight into every corner of this earth – with my personal stories, travel tips, funny anecdotes, scary moments and everyday struggles. What I like most about the book is that the countries are ordered chronologically as I visited them.
The reader has a colourful timeline into my life, how I grew into loving travel and how the goal of visiting every country was shaped. It’s a timeline for how I made it all happen. No matter who reads it, they will feel inspired to travel with their own goals, relating to my chapters in their own way.
Rich Tapestry of Stories: Fascinating & Hilarious
I have many favourite stories inside this book. Some are fast-paced and thrilling and describe one brief moment. Others are reflective and I discuss lessons I’ve come across in these decades of traveling the world.
I think it’s that balanced combination that makes the book so easy to read, captivating and interesting. It’s not a guide book, but a very personal travel journal. This, paired with the magnificent pictures makes for the perfect gift for any avid traveler.
The scariest story was ironically in Zanzibar on an idyllic beach on my honeymoon. We walked into the sea at low tide and carelessly wandered for hours. The tide caught my wife and me by surprise and we almost drowned. It was very frustrating. There was nothing we could do.
We passed from a pleasant stroll in crystal waters to a horrible nightmare with no happy ending in sight. I’ve never panicked more in my life.
Then in another chapter titled: “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, I tell the brief beginning to a wacky tale when we lost a friend on our Eurail trip. We were 19 years old, broke college students traveling Europe with a train pass and sleeping on the train station floors.
After a wild month of adventures in Greece and Turkey, on our way back home, we lost a friend on his birthday one night. He was nowhere to be seen, had no money, no phone, no credit card and no food. It sounds ridiculous but what ensued was even more stupid (and funny)!
Book Sales to Over 50 Countries in the World
Making money was never my goal with this book. I could’ve gone for a cheaper quality book, sold only in Amazon with a few wealthy marketplaces and paid ads to promote it with anyone out there.
This was not my approach though. I wanted to keep creative control. So I self-published, and I wanted to maintain high-quality standards despite it costing me part of my margins.
This is what really makes me feel pleased with the job we’ve done. All the feedback I’ve received from my community has been amazing and they’ve kept buying more copies to give to their friends and share with their word of mouth. It’s all I could’ve hoped for!
I feel it was the perfect format to tell these stories and for them to get to know me better. It was a beautiful process to embark on!
An Exciting 2020 and Beyond for Wanderreds
The world never ends! I’ll keep traveling if restrictions allow it. Slowly but steadily things will hopefully start picking up for the tourism industry.
I can’t wait to be back to the places I love, revisit new regions I haven’t been to, incorporate new horizons like Antarctica, Greenland and road trips high on my bucket list: biking through Patagonia and Kashmir. There are so many trips I want to do, I’m quite anxious!
If all goes well, I’ll also try to incorporate some group trips with my followers and I have another exciting project coming up before the end of the year! So it’s all-go for me in the second half of 2020 and beyond.
Thanks for reading my blog on why I published Stories. If you would like to purchase a copy for yourself or buy it as a gift for a friend/family member then you can do so on my website wanderreds.com.
A Quote from the Stories Book to Inspire Wanderlust
I’d like to leave you with a quote from my book:
“Why go through all of it? Why spend the money, the time, and risk it all?
Why not? As the famous mountaineer George Mallory answered when asked why he’d climbed Everest, “Because it’s there”. Ultimately I traveled to every country in the world for the sake of it. I did it to discover myself, to realize what I wanted in life. I traveled to every country because that was where I was learning the most. I chased stories, for they are the most valuable riches. Many years from now, on my deathbed, I may have a few regrets, but never that I didn’t fill my days with adventures or that I lived my life by the standards of others. In the quest to find our purpose, the most critical question we should ask ourselves is: “Am I living my life to the fullest?”
I don’t expect the crowd to care for my stories, but I hope a few misfits will feel a tiny ounce of inspiration to have the courage to live theirs. This book is for you. To push you to live in the moment and to spark your wanderlust.”