As I continue my own quest to visit every country in the world, I love reading stories about how others have achieved the same feat.
Sal Lavallo is just 27 years old, but recently visited Malta, his final country on the United Nation’s list of 193 countries in the world.
It is easy to dismiss him as a rich kid who had the time and resources to visit every country in the world based upon the privilege of his birth, but I don’t think that is a fair charge.
And even if it is, what does it matter? He not only touched foot in every country in the world, but did it with purpose. Asked how long he spends in each country, he told Uproxx:
I mean obviously, with 193 countries, it completely depends. I think each trip needs to have a purpose. Like, for me, the point is never to check off a box. There’s always something I want to do or something I want to learn in the country. I’ve not lived in the states since 2011 so in the past six years, very little of it has been trips for tourism, very little has been short trips. There are 15 countries that I’ve lived in for two or more months. I think there are also 15 countries that I’ve been in that I haven’t slept in. That goes for mostly small countries in Europe like Luxembourg. The average is five days. For a long week, I’ll stay at each port.
Shout Out to Starwood Preferred Guest
His trips are partially funded by points. Lavaollo has Platinum status with Starwood and has been to 60 Starwood properties in 40 countries over the last five years.
How does a full-time traveler take a vacation?
Sometimes, when I need to disconnect, I will find one of the Starwood Preferred Guest resorts and I’ll stay there for a whole month. I won’t use my phone, and it’s like a very comfortable way to take a step back. It’s also a much higher comfort level because you get free breakfast and all that.
I like that.
Congrats to Sal for his accomplishment! More details on his journey and a full interview here.