21 COUNTRIES BEFORE TURNING 21

“once a year go someplace you’ve never been before”
– dalai lama

this is definitely a quote i live by! while i often revisit countries i’ve been to already to explore new cities or areas, i still try to go to at least one new country each year. so in honor of me turning 21 on june 17th 2018 i thought it’d be cool to do a little recap of the 21 countries i got to visit during those 21 years i’ve been on this earth so far.

i tried to put this list somewhat in the correct order, but i’m sure i messed up a few countries in the beginning. but anyway, here we gooo:


#1 austria

as you probably know i was born and raised in the beautiful country of austria, located right in the heart of europe. while i love traveling to new places, i also enjoy exploring more of my home country a lot! also if you’re ever in the area, let me know so i can show you around!

CARINTHIA, AUSTRIA (2003)

#2 italy

italy is where it all began! while i’m sure i went on some shopping trips to slovakia or hungary and drove through germany many times before, italy was the first country my parents took me to for a vacation. we went to VENICE when i was still pretty little and i’ve also been back to visit LARGO DI GADA as well as ROME a few years later.

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VENICE, ITALY (2005)

#3 germany

when going from easter austria to western austria, the quickest route is to drive through germany. so as i already said i’ve probably “been” to germany a couple of times before actually visiting for the first time. some cities i’ve been to in germany so fare are MUNICH, HAMBURG, BERLIN and COLOGNE.

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MUNICH, GERMANY (200?)

#4 tunisia

my first ever plane ride took me to tunisia. i don’t remember my exact age  (i guess i was around 10 years old), but what i remember is being really fascinated but also overwhelmed by the vibe and culture of the country. during a visit to the local market of DJERBA was probably when i experienced my first culture shock, which made me quickly realize how much traveling teaches you and how exciting it is to get to know new cultures!

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DJERBA, TUNISIA (200?)

#6 united kingdom

i first visited the uk at the age of 13 and completely fell in love with its capital LONDON. a good friend of mine once said “if you really love london, you have to go there every year”, and while i haven’t managed to actually visit every single year i’ve been there quite often.  london is without a doubt my favorite city in all of europe!

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (2011)

#5 hungary

i grew up super close to hungary (like 30 minutes by car) so we occasionally go there for shopping but i never really thought about traveling there. when i was a teenager my family and i went to BUDAPEST for a quick weekend-getaway and i was really surprised by how pretty this city is!

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BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (2011)

#7 france

i went to france shortly after visiting the uk for the first time. i got to visit PARIS and unfortunately i have to admit that i too felt like the city is pretty overrated. lately i’ve been feeling the urge to go back and give paris a second chance though so i’m sure i’ll revisit soon. other than that i’ve also been to the CÔTE D’AZUR in france which i absolutely loved!!!

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PARIS, FRANCE (2011)

#8 united states of america

when i was 14 i got to go to NEW YORK CITY for easter break. it was the first time in the usa for me – little did i know that that’s the country i’d call home only two years later. as most of you probably know I did a high school exchange to michigan when i was 16. during my exchange i got to visit so many places in the usa like CHICAGO, LOS ANGELES, NEW ORLEANS, and many many more. also i go back to michigan at least once a year to visit friends and family.

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NEW YORK, USA (2012)

#9 vatican

during a family trip to rome one summer we decided to pay a visit to the VATICAN CITY (which is by the way the smallest country in the world). it was really impressive but also very very crowded!

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VATICAN (2012)

#10 ireland

i got to visit ireland during a school trip with my class and it wa absolutely beautiful. we did a bus tour to DUBLIN, CORK, LIMERICK and GALWAY. the scenery is so georgeous (especially the cliffs of moher!!!) and we just had the best time there. so excited i’ll actually get to revisit DUBLIN to spend my 21st birthday there!

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CLIFFS OF MOHER, IRELAND (2014)

#11 spain

for summer vacation one year my family and i traveled to BARCELONA. while it’s not my favorite city ever i definitely enjoyed our time there a lot. all the buildings are super beautiful and i especially loved the great city + beach combination.

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BARCELONA, SPAIN (2014)

#12 monaco

a little while after visiting the smallest country in the world, i also got to visit the second smallest country in the world: MONACO. this was actually a business trip, but sure didn’t feel like one. the CÔTE D’AZUR is just such a stunning place – plus i loved to look at all the super expensive cars and yachts there. definitely one of my favorite beach getaways in europe!

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MONACO (2015)

#13 the netherlands

my then boyfriend and i decided to visit AMSTERDAM for a week one summer and i really really loved the so called “venice of the north”. the canals are just so so so romantic (especially at night), there are so many great restaurants and a lot to explore in the city.

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AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (2015)

#14 switzerland

oh switzerland – my happy place! i went to switzerland for the first timeto visit a friend i made during my high school exchange to michigan in GENEVA. after that i’ve revisited this beautiful beautiful country many times and got to see places like ZURICH, LUCERNE, DAVOS, BERN, INTERLAKEN, GRINDELWALD, LAUSANNE, the list goes on and on. it’s safe to say that switzerland is my favorite european country and i’d actually love to move there one day!

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CHUR, SWITZERLAND (2017)

#15 slovakia

same as with hungary, i also live super close to slovakia so i never really went there on vacation but so far i’ve been to BRATISLAVA twice and tried to treat it like an ordinary city trip. once i even did a cruise on the danube (the river that connects vienna and bratislava) which really was a cool experience!

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BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA (2017)

#16 méxico

three 19-year-old girls from europe traveling to mexico on their own – is that crazy? gotta admit, maybe it is. anyway: we just had so so so much fun during our girls trip to CANCÚN! we stayed there for 10 days and explored all of the riviera maya which was for sure one of my favorite vacations ever!!! shoutout to our moms for trusting us enough to let us do that!

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CANCUN, MEXICO (2017)

#17 czech republic

a while ago two of my friends and i decided to spontaneously go to PRAGUE for the weekend. so we just hopped on a bus and went there. this trip was so so so much fun and also held some surprises for us (more about that here). i really loved the city – i hope to go back there for the christmas markets one day!

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PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (2017)

#18 liechtenstein

liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world and also shares a border with austria. i’ve wanted to visit this tiny country for so long so during an austria-germany-switzerland roadtrip i did i just decided to stop by. i strolled around the capital VADUZ for a day and absolutely loved it there.

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VADUZ, LIECHTENSTEIN (2017)

#19 belgium

one summer one of my friends worked in belgium as an au-pair so of course i had to hop on a plane to visit her. we got to explore the capital BRUSSELS together and she also showed me around seaside town KNOKKE, where her host family lived.

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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (2017)

#20 thailand

thailand was the first (and as of now only) country i’ve ever visited in asia. it’s my mom’s favorite country so she was super happy to finally take me and my brother there at the beginning of this year. we got to experience the hectic of BANGKOK but also the peace and quiet of KHAO LAK. all in all it was a perfect vacation and i can’t wait to visit more of asia soon!

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KOH PHI PHI, THAILAND (2018)

#21 morocco

oh morocco. this country really blew my mind! i didn’t even really plan to go to MARRAKECH, i just found such a cheap flight + hotel, i couldn’t say no! the country is overwhelming and crowded and also a bit intimidating but on the other hand it’s just so fascinating and beautiful! i fell insanely in love with morocco and would go back in a heartbeat!!!

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MARRAKECH, MOROCCO (2018)


so so far i’ve made it to 21 countries, spread out on 4 continents. i’m forever thankful to be able to travel as much as i do and also to be blessed with such a supportive family that introduced me to traveling at a really young age. so bring it on 21, i can’t wait for all the adventures yet to come!

PS: whenever possible i uploaded a picture of me in the said country so you can watch me grow through my travels ♡

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36 thoughts on “21 COUNTRIES BEFORE TURNING 21

  1. Mary (The World Is A Book) says:

    Love seeing your travel photos and reading about your experiences. What a great recap of your travels. It’s always a joy to see this generation travel more. We’ve traveled with our teens since they were babies so we hope they never stop exploring too. Morocco and Thailand are high on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Caity Pfohl | The Pamplemousse Papers says:

    Love this post! I’m lucky enough to have visited some of these places but there are many I would love to get to, like Morocco and Tunisia! I’ve been on a similar mission to visit 30 countries before my 30th birthday. :) It’s great looking at all of your trips together and seeing the evolution of how you felt about travel. Often times our attitude changes about certain things along the way and we don’t even realize it unless we make the effort to! #mondayescapes

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Skyler - Learningbrave says:

    What a wonderful thing to have seen so much of the world so early on in your life! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the photos and reading your descriptions of these amazing countries. My family and I travelled through Europe for 9 months visiting 11 countries, of them all, Austria was definitely our favourite, it holds a special place in our heart. I feel encouraged through reading your post that my children will grow up and hopefully appreciate being dragged all over the world. Hopefully they will also gain a love for travel as you have! #MondayEscapes

    Like

  4. Shona says:

    Happy birthday for yesterday! I’m sure you are making the very most of it as you have with travelling the past 21 years. This is a great post for inspiring young people to get out there and see the world. It completely changes our perspective. Love it!

    Like

  5. Anda says:

    This is quite an accomplishment! I lived in a communist country until I was 33 and couldn’t go anywhere outside the borders. My travels started very late in life, but I’m making up for the lost years, hahaha! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Like

  6. paulandcarolelovetotravel says:

    21 countries in 21 years that is an achievement! Glad you loved Thailand too one of our favourites and it sounds like you have been to London more times than us and we live in the UK! Great post. #feetdotravel

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hilary says:

    Happy Birthday! 21 is a big milestone here in the US! I loved reading about all your travels and seeing the photos of you as a little girl. I’ve always dreamed of visiting Thailand and Morocco too! Thanks for sharing this journey down memory lane with us on #farawayfiles so fun!

    Like

  8. Sarah says:

    I loved hearing about where you’ve been! I think we’ve been to all the same countries (even Michigan!! We count as a country right?? Lol), except I’ve never been to Thailand or Tunisia.

    Like

  9. Jessi (@2feet1world) says:

    Happy birthday for Sunday! What an amazing list of countries you’ve visited already – I love that you’ve carried your traveller mentality even to those that are really close to you. Wishing you many more exciting adventures for the next 21 :) #wanderfulWednesday

    Liked by 1 person

  10. California Globetrotter says:

    At least you’re young enough you’ve probably always had a digital camera to share these pictures of your travels whereas many of the first countries I’ve been to were hard copy photos haha luckily, as an adult I’ve returned to a few places! #FeetDoTravel

    Like

    • Lisa Marie says:

      Unfortunately I don’t have everything on a digital camera. I really wish I had more pictures of Venice and Tunisia but oh well – I guess that just means I’ll have to go back one day!

      Like

  11. Rhonda Albom says:

    How great that you’ve been able to visit so many places while still young. I’ll agree with you on Paris (but both hubby and I have visited more than once and are still not impressed). Perhaps your second time around will be different. And as for Morocco, I planned for a couple of weeks and spent a month. If I had my choice, I’d go back to Morocco and visit more cities (Marrakesh is ok but it is a big diverse country).

    Like

    • Lisa Marie says:

      Aww nooo, I really hope I like Paris when I go back one day!
      And for Morocco: I wish I could’ve stayed longer too! In the beginning I was like “meh, a week in Marrakech, I’m sure I’ll get bored” but then I went to Essaouira and the Atlas Mountains too and I just fell so deeply in love with that country, I’ve felt an ache to go back and explore more ever since I had to leave!

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  12. Allison says:

    I have been to some of these countries and loved most of them, though I have to admit I do not share your fondness for Thailand. But I absolutely fell in love with Ireland when we were there in April. And Germany and Austria are two other favorites. May I put in a plug for Ecuador? It is definitely worth a visit. #wanderfulwednesday

    Like

    • Lisa Marie says:

      Aww, I’m so sorry to hear thet – I really liked Thailand a lot! What places did you visit there?
      Oh and I absolutely want to go to Ecuador one day. I’ve heard it’s so beautiful!

      Like

  13. Sara says:

    This is so cool! You’ve had several incredible adventures! I can’t decide which one would be at the top of my list… probably Liechtenstein because not as many people I know have been there… ;) I had a similar goal, but I’m too far behind right now… I need to get after it!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. TheSterlingTraveler says:

    This is so cool! Congrats on making it to 21 before you turn 21 (and happy birthday!). I’m not even close to going to 21 countries, and I’m a fair bit older! Good job – keep going! Here’s to 30 before 30! I’m sure you’ll have no problem doing that.

    Like

  15. Ruth says:

    Many congratulations on your upcoming birthday! Hope you have a great day! By the way, I am a June baby too. I love to see young people who have the travel bite. To me, life is a bit better when you have a desire to see the world and learn from other countries and cultures. Cheers to more travel!

    Like

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