Today I hit a milestone. I met someone from Iceland, meaning I've come in direct contact with people from 50 different countries! You can check out the flag of Iceland and the other 49 nationalities on the "Nationalities I've Met" page. Just hover the cursor over a flag to see the country name, and click on it to enlarge.
When I left home just over three months ago, I knew I'd be meeting travelers from across the globe. However, I never dreamed I'd meet such a diverse group of people in such a short period of time!
Travel is about more than just the experiences you have. It's also a way of expanding your mind-view, and challenging your perception of foreign people. Being on the road has made me realize just how xenophobic and stereotype-promoting people can be back in the United States. I've learned that while some people do propagate their country's stereotypes (I've certainly been that stereotypical American on a few occasions!), most do not not. The overwhelming majority of people I've met have been warm and friendly, and accepting of their fellow beings. It does not matter whether you're from France, Iraq, Australia, Senegal, Chile, or Canada (note how I cleverly included someone from every continent but Antarctica). Each person has something interesting to offer, and most will welcome you with open arms.
Here's to 50 more countries!
My name is Yonah Paley. I quit my job in the United States to travel. I also write movies and do photography. As I backpack across the world, I share stories, philosophy, and travel tips.