The Quest Has Begun – To See Every Country in the World by Age 50

I started my global travel back in 2001 when I first visited Paris, France.  I realized I could travel with my profession by getting good at what I do, and in speaking at conferences.

Since that time I made a number of personal travel goals.  It started with a personal Goal in 2002. To travel to a new country every year – ongoing

You can read about my travels at


  • Travel to a new country every year – ongoing
  • Visit the 7 Wonders of the World – complete
  • Qualify for the Travelers Century Club (75 TCC countries) – complete
  • Visit 100 TCC Countries according to TCC rules – 100 TCC countries – complete
  • Visit 100 UN Countries – complete
  • Visit all the states in the US 48/50, Australia 6/8, and Canada 8/14 and island nations around the UK and in the Med
  • Visit all of the UN Countries – Making progress, over 100 More than half way!

After reading Chris Guillebeau and his quest to visit all of the countries in the world and seeing his cool infographic, I decided I needed to make my new goal official… before I was saying things like… I want to visit all of the countries in the world before I die.

New Goal

I will visit every Country* in the world by my 50th birthday

*Country as defined by the UN by my 50th birthday. 105/193

Yes, I’m a dad, and my family is my first priority. I won’t let that get in the way of my family life, kids school, college, missions, marriages and so on.

Speaking of which, I was doing a friend comparison on the “Where I’ve been” app on facebook.  Of the 392 friends I have that use this app, my 13 year old son Jared is #9 on my the list (of most traveled friends).  

How will work handle this?  My travel schedule is already baked into the agreement I have with my fantastic employer Salient6.  They support me in my global evangelism and I can take 4 “big trips” a year.  In Chris’s world these would be similar to his round the world trips.  For me, I pick a region that I’m going to be speaking near, and work with awesome sponsors who sponsor my friends and I in building communities which bring education, connections, networking, which provide a pipeline of work and industry into their part of the world.  We continue to evolve the community building, and education part of what we do.  I hope to be making some announcements in this area for our upcoming travel to Equatorial Africa in the Fall.

Published by

Joel Oleson

Traveling is my passion. My quest to visit every country in the world while fully employed, raising a family and keeping my marriage healthy. I'm not just country hopping, but looking for the most immersive cultural experiences and capturing them as photos and videos. When not traveling, I'm living in paradise in sunny southern California working at Blizzard Entertainment, the world's most successful video game company in the world.

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