After decades of traveling, both separately and together, Rachel Davey plus Martina Sebova had each visited over 100 of the 195 UN-recognized countries and territories on the globe.
The pair, who met during an overland tour associated with Europe back in 2008, were having coffee with each other in Melbourne, Australia, when they first discussed the prospect of visiting the 88 or so remaining nations on their lists.
They quickly decided to spend the next two years doing just that collectively.
While the thought of traveling to so many new destinations in a relatively short space of time was somewhat daunting, Sebova notes that getting more than half of the particular countries on the planet already ticked off made things a lot easier.
“I think it would terrify me if I had to start going to each nation plus I’d been to like 10, ” the travel blogger tells CNN Travel. “I don’t really think that will that’s even viable. You need to be well traveled [before doing something like this]. ”
The particular excited set then began planning for their big trip, saving as much money as they could in order to fund the particular journey, with the aim of spending around five to seven days within every country.
Before setting off in 2018, Davey and Sebova, who had been jointly for around a decade by this point, decided that they would not reveal that they were a couple, and simply journey as friends.
“It was very natural, ” says Sebova, explaining that they had been applying for visas in some conservative nations didn’t want to risk being denied entry.
“We had been visiting a lot of countries where even the concept of a same-sex couple doesn’t exist, ” she adds. “And we did not really want to put our personal safety at risk at any stage. ”
According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans plus Intersex Association (ILGA, ) there are close to 70 nations on earth exactly where same-sex relations are criminalized.
Davey and Sebova say that acting as though they were simply best friends “wasn’t really much of a change” and people often assumed which they were sisters.
“It has been never a big issue, ” provides Davey. “We in no way tried to cover it. We just didn’t [tell anyone]. ”
The pair, that document their own travels on the website, Very Hungry Nomads , attempted to visit the leftover countries within geographical order where possible plus opted to travel overland as much as they could.
The first brand new nation they visited was North Korea and the set went on to travel to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan and Pakistan.
In 2019, these people spent six months touring across Central Africa plus declare the grueling bus journeys took a toll on them after a while.
“We did such as 38 hours on buses, sometimes simply changing vehicles, trying to get from A in order to B, ” explains Sebova.
The particular pair say that some of their best experiences were in locations which they had been more wary of prior to going to.
“The people within Sudan and Iran were some of the friendliest people that we have encountered, ” adds Sebova. “And most people would assume those countries are really dangerous based on the image [we see]. ”
Eritrea, a small country based in East The african continent, as well as the Caribbean island associated with Dominica were among the other stand out nations they will frequented.
According to Sebova, the fact that these were women in their late 30s who were not married with children proved to be fairly controversial in certain from the countries they went to.
“There are cultural differences along with just being a woman plus journeying without a man, ” the girl describes. “We had been refused a couple of visas simply based on that. ”
Although many of their buddies experienced chosen to place their particular savings into mortgages and/or businesses over the years, Davey and Sebova, who else describe themselves because nomads, say they are “happy to spend this upon traveling plus worry about that will later. ”
Davey holds an Australian passport, while Sebova has a Slovakian passport, which occasionally caused issues when it came to trying to get visas.
“Sometimes it was like, ‘you can get one here, [but I can’t] which usually threw a spanner in there, ” clarifies Davey. “But it worked out. ”
Right after years of travelling together, the particular pair are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and each take responsibility for different tasks during the journey.
These people explain that Sebova is more naturally organized and focuses on making sure their own day runs since smoothly as possible, whilst Davey is “more flippant, ” plus less skilled when it comes to navigation.
“Rach gets lost in the hotel, ” jokes Sebova, which also works as a tour guide. “I always state it’s a miracle that will the lady made it through every single nation. All of us make a great team. ”
They had been on the road for approximately 2 yrs, and were just ten nations away from achieving their particular goal when the pandemic hit.
The set, who have been in London at the time, chose to fly to Sydney, and had been inevitably forced to put the remainder of the vacation on hold due to the border restrictions in place during the time.
However , these people continued going, opting to buy a camper van and drive around the country with each other “with the borders of Quotes closing behind us. ”
“We ended up doing the large lap associated with Australia in 18 months plus invested a lot of time within Queensland and Western Sydney, which was amazing, because all of us couldn’t leave the country, ” states Davey. “We lived in our camper vehicle and it was heaps of fun. ”
When vacation restrictions were lifted for Australians in 2022, they were required to wait until the edges reopened within the staying places around the list, which included a few of the Pacific Islands.
This turned out to be particularly frustrating, especially as many of the peers were vacationing extensively now that the world got reopened, while these were patiently waiting for a few countries in order to lift limitations.
“We started this trip thinking that we would finish this particular massive mission within our 30s, ” points out Sebova.
“Then we all tipped in to our own 40s throughout the outbreak and we were sitting in a van, not really owning anything, still waiting. ”
They were able to visit the particular Northern African nation of Libya exactly where boundary restrictions acquired also raised, but needed to wait around much longer for their final places, Kiribati plus Samoa, each located in the Pacific cycles Island destinations, to reopen.
Kiribati finally lifted limitations with regard to international travelers within August 2022, and the pair flew in a few weeks later on.
They will reached Samoa, the final country on their listing, upon November 19, 2022 and say this required a while for it in order to sink in that they’d lastly achieved their objective.
“It [Samoa] had been just the perfect destination to finish, ” says Sebova. “I had this moment when I was standing in front of a map from the world plus thinking oh my god, we have been to every nation on this map. ”
The particular set celebrated the particular huge milestone with a friend, who’d flown out to the tiny tropical isle country, situated halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, to meet them.
When they returned to Quotes in late 2022 having stopped at every nation in the world, they will started receiving greater media interest and individuals starting to ask questions about their own relationship.
“They looked at the feed plus normally saw a few, something that other people simply do not see, ” provides Sebova, detailing they were happy to confirm that they were in a relationship once they’d arrived at their particular target.
“We experienced followers on social media who had been such as, ‘oh the lord, I always thought that you were a couple, but you never ever said something. ’”
Davey and Sebova stress that, aside from the problem associated with security, they wanted to keep the discussion about their trip focused on the truth that these were two ladies taking on such a massive challenge, noting which they whenever they initially looked into the particular few hundred tourists who’d visited each country on the planet, the list was relatively male-dominated.
“You observe so couple of females in this part of take a trip, which is a lot more adventurous, ” adds Sebova. “So we were trying to change that will, as well as inspire some other women simply by showing that it [the world] is not such a scary place. ”
Now that they’ve finally accomplished their own goal, Davey plus Sebova state they have no plans to settle down and will continue to live the nomadic way of life for as long as feasible.
They’re currently planning a trip to Thailand and hope to visit Indonesia afterwards in the year.
“We’ve usually resided in the moment, ” states Davey. “That [being on the move] makes all of us both happy now. So that is what we’ll do. I don’t plan too far ahead. We all never have. ”