Ultimate Travelist Challenge

As you ride through life, trying to keep your head above water and your feet on the ground, it’s inevitable that you’ll face challenges along the way. Some of these will be thrown at you, others will be self-sought. As a person who always needs something novel, difficult or just damn stupid to extend myself, I have decided to undertake my biggest mission yet, a quest if you will. I’m not certain whether it’s even possible, let alone realistic.

I’ve set myself challenging tasks in the past. I’ve run marathons, climbed mountains, entered an Iron Man and I’m currently in training to run a double marathon. Yes, that’s two marathons back to back. 52 miles. I know.

However, this next venture is something way bigger!

Two books have led me to this point. The first is Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist and the second is The Happiness of Pursuit.

The Ultimate Travelist was gifted to me by the lads at Old Colfeians RFC where I coached for 3 years. It was a leaving present prior to #TUNNOCKSWORLDTOUR. To understand more, I should really give you the full title and strapline: ”
Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist: The 500 Best Places on the Planet… Ranked“. 500 places eh? That’s a lot.

Before leaving, I waded through the pages, looking for amazing places in the countries that I was due to visit. The images and descriptions had me figuratively frothing at the mouth in anticipation of my trip. I couldn’t wait.

During my time in Africa with the Bhubesi Pride, I read The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau in about three days. It is incredibly rare for me to get so emphatically lost in reading. I passed it on to other members of the group who absorbed it in similar brevity.

Here is the premise of the book from the official bumpf: “The Happiness of Pursuit helps you find real-life fulfilment by undertaking a quest that is big and ambitious, surpassing the limits of routine-filled lives.” What better time to read a book like this than when I was already doing something big and ambitious? This book pushed me to consider all manner of further possibilities and nothing seemed out of reach.

I knew I was fully bitten by the travel bug.

I’d known it for a long time but it was only on returning back to the UK that I put the pieces together. I wondered how many of those 500 places I’d already visited. I wondered how long it would take to complete the rest. Then without a huge deal of fuss, I decided that my quest would be to visit all 500 places in the book before I die.

Welcome to the Ultimate Travelist Challenge! (#ultimatetravelistchallenge)

I will be telling stories from the journey here along with my experiences of all 500 places!

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