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This-Magic-Journey
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This Magic Journey

This Magic Journey

I.

Everything begins with a crazy idea, and this particular crazy idea comes to you in stages.

You don’t decide to visit every country in the world when you haven’t been out of your own neighborhood. First you go to a dozen countries in Africa, then a dozen more in Europe, and before you know it you’ve reached 50-country status.

That’s when you start thinking about goals, and that’s when you first decide to visit 100 countries before you die.

As you get closer to the 100 countries, you discover the real goal—the one that’s been waiting for you all along. Every country in the world? Is that even possible?

The better question is “Why not?”

For if “What’s next?” is the most important question for productivity, “Why not?” is surely the most important question for living life.

II.

As you think through the process of going to 193 countries, combing through possible objections, you find no good reason why you shouldn’t try.

Even more telling, you know you’ll regret it if you don’t try.

So you start, a bit haphazardly at first, and then growing in confidence as you go along. The idea has been percolating for a couple of years, but February 2008 is when you officially kick things off. You go public, as they say, to the audience of ten people, half of whom are your family members.

You slowly learn to travel to the ends of the earth. But you don’t learn by reading books, as much as you like books.

You learn, instead, by doing stupid things. You pay too much money at the market and get talked into buying things you don’t want. You listen to the wrong people and take bad advice. You leave your iPhone in the back of a taxi… twice.

It gets better.

You master the art of Frequent Flyer Miles. You learn about Round-the-World plane tickets and budget airlines in Moldova.

You become comfortable with showing up in random countries with no reservation, feeling the thrill of discovery as you take the airport bus to downtown and walk around in search of a room.

You travel all around the world, over and over again. You fly First Class and Peasant Class and standing-room-only Class. You take African bush taxis and Soviet trains. You hop ferries in South America where the only English announcement is: “The casino is now open.”

You talk with taxi drivers around the world, getting their opinions on the Iraq war, the election of Barack Obama, and the relative sexual attraction of Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

III.

Lots of things go wrong. You get ripped off by the taxi drivers, you get lost in dozens of countries, you show up for flights that left the terminal hours before. Whatever.

Sometimes you feel frightened, and a couple of times you perceive you are in real danger.

More often, you feel alone. For there you are out in the world, and who else understands this strange journey? You spend entire days alone in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, unable to share a language with anyone as you wander the city.

The low moments are countered by the feeling that you’re doing what you’re supposed to.

You have a mission. You have a purpose. You have a clearly defined goal, and you feel challenged to complete this goal.

You reach a few milestones. Fifty countries left! Thirty countries left! From thirty countries onward you start counting down instead of counting up. Twenty-nine, twenty-eight, twenty-seven.

You go to Cancun to go to Cuba.

You convince immigration officials in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to let you enter without a visa. You go to Kabul, landing between the mountains in the dead of winter and staying at the Taliban’s favorite hotel.

You go to Somaliland, first touching down in Mogadishu and feeling glad about not getting off a plane for once.

You fly to tiny islands in the South Pacific, once finding yourself marooned as the only flight back to Fiji is delayed for mechanical reasons.

Then you have the final dozen countries. Just a dozen! Twelve countries! Not even a baker’s dozen.

Finally you have only five countries.

IV.

One day you wake up in New York City, eat a stack of delicious lemon poppyseed pancakes, and wander off in search of the permanent mission of Guinea Bissau to the United Nations. There you receive your final visa.

You clutch your passport in your hand as you walk toward Grand Central, thinking to yourself “This is it!”

And it all leads up to today, the day in which you’ll pack your bags and prepare to fly out to Dallas, to London, and then to your FINAL COUNTRY.

No more new countries. It’s almost over.

Was it all about the destination? Was it all about checking things off a list? Of course not. It was all about the journey, always.

But to have a destination in mind, to fix your thoughts on a goal that would take a decade to complete—the goal has been your constant. Without it you would have never come this far.

So as you think about the journey, you decide to enjoy the destination. Next stop, Norway!

Comments here.

###

*Our end of the world party will be this weekend in Oslo! Everyone is welcome.

Image: Dobi

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137 Comments

  • chewy says:

    Interesting that Norway is your last country! Wish I could make it to your end of the world party. Alas, I will be writing a paper while dreaming of my trips (Thailand and Japan) in a few months. Maybe I’ll tackle Asia first, don’t know if I could do the whole world.

  • Excellent writing !!! I really enjoy it.

  • Kirsty says:

    Wow. Congratulations on your journey and on your almost completed goal Chris. I agree that to enjoy both the journey and the end goal is to enjoy life. Well done you.

  • Marthe says:

    So excited to welcome you to Norway, Chris! 🙂

  • Kate JM says:

    Chris, thanks for this great post! You’re right, it is about the journey, about the fits and starts, the highs and lows. It’s good to be reminded of this in the middle of a journey, to enjoy the process.

  • Edmund says:

    Congrats Chris.

    Happy Birthday and Enjoy your “end of the world” party in Oslo.

    You deserve it.

  • Such a good article, I laughed out loud several times! One question, you must have heard the question, “Why do you travel the way you do?” It feels like all travellers, that are out on the road for a long time and go to places where no one else goes, receive this question. How do you normally answer?

  • Daryl says:

    Congratulations Chris! Haven’t done all the countries, but have done enough to relate to your experiences. Very eloquent.

    On a much smaller scale, finally set foot in all 50 states. Next goal – visit all the National Parks. Life is a journey, right?

    All the best.

  • Kelly says:

    Bloody hell, I cannot imagine what you are feeling. Congratulations!

  • Leigh says:

    YES! This is fantastic. Cheers to you, Chris, on this wonderful milestone. Proof you can do anything. Thanks for keeping the torch lit for the rest of us.

  • Leigh says:

    Lovely article. Do you have a diary or listing of where and when you went? (Maybe I missed that.) Just wondering when you came to my little country – the Bahamas!

  • Tiffiney Lozano says:

    Congratulations Chris! And thanks for sharing your journey- you are a true inspiration! Hope to cross your path one day

  • 'Nette says:

    The “what’s next” monster gnashes his teeth. Raaaaawr. x

  • Monica Suma says:

    This is my favorite newsletter so far! I was smiling all the way through it, love how you mentioned that nothing comes all at once, but in stages. It’s important to enjoy the journey as opposed to only the destination. And as you go along, realize that one can strive for more. Congratulations, wish I was there in Oslo to celebrate with you!

  • Kay says:

    For the second time in all the years I’ve been following you, you’ve made me cry. The world is a much better place with you in it! Congratulations!

  • April Marie Sky says:

    Thanks so much

  • Mayra says:

    BRAVO Chris…..(and Jolie too!)….what an amazing and inspiring journey….thank you 🙂

  • Anita Chase says:

    Nothing to say but thank you for the inspiration to keep saying, “And why not?” Congratulations!

  • Natalie Sundermeier says:

    Almost thirty years ago, my husband and I set out for Europe, with no internet and very few specific plans. We would get off the train in a town, hit the tourist office, and figure it out. It was a glorious almost three months of living on twenty bucks a day for two, staying in great and clearly not-great accommodations. We enjoyed the three-piece band in the Latin Quarter of Paris, one member playing an endless version of Simon & Garfinkle’s “The Boxer” on a makeshift bass with an oven mitt on a string and overturned wash tub. We became hermits in a rented room in a woman’s house in Innsbruck, reading an American novel aloud while my husband nursed a cold. We watched the sunset at midnight in Sweden, feeling invincible. Over the years, we’ve enjoyed lots of travel, culminating in 46 days traveling around the world in 2011 with our son and daughter, aged 17 and 18 at the time. They now have the bug, and relish the journey, not just the destination. They appreciate the joy of unexpected people and places. I stumbled across your Startup book at my local library, and am officially hooked on your adventures. Keep up the good work, and the inspirational words of wisdom!

  • Sabine B. says:

    Congratulations Chris! And I am very much looking forward to meeting you at your End-of-the-World party … for many weeks it looked like I could not go, but now I have planned a crazy tour involving friends and ferries, planes and trains … and I WILL make it – and I like the determination that you had for completing this goal of yours.
    Rock on!

    Sabine

  • Laura says:

    Fantastic! You are a true inspiration…

    I can’t say that I have traveled to all countries of the world, but I certainly also managed to convince immigration officials in Pakistan to let me enter without a visa!!!

  • Alison says:

    Love this post! Thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring me to accomplish my dreams!!

    Congrats on making it to all of them!

  • Katie says:

    Congratulations! I find your writing and your journey very inspiring. I quit my job today. Yay! I am over-joyed and scared.

    I am in the process of off-loading my apartment and 95% of my stuff. Then I am starting a two-month-or-so cross-country road trip to visit a bunch of national parks and investigate sunny places to live. See you at the WDS!

  • Susan Wakefield says:

    Chris, have been flat out amazed and in awe of your quest ever since I discovered your journey some 25 or so countries ago!

    Amazing journey and incredible insights from an unconventional and heroic path. You have offered us your readers courage to join you (even in just our minds) on the road less traveled – in the biggest possible ways imaginable!
    Your journey has inspired and motivated me to reach for bigger things than seem logical or probable. It is so easy to live small lives as Thoreau said … of quiet desperation. Thanks for teaching us that we can live into our wildest dreams.

    All the best for this final destination, congrats on achievement of this large goal and all the best on re-invention and dreaming of what comes next!

  • Kathleen Ressegger says:

    Congratulations!! This is truly inspring. I just started traveling four years ago and was given the gift of wonderlust. I’m not sure where my path will lead, but after reading your journey and seeing your updates on instagram I know that anything is possible.

  • Daniele says:

    Chris, I agree, it’s all about the journey.
    Life is THE journey of each one of us, we MUST live in a way we can enjoy it.
    GOOD NEWS: we all have the inner power to make it
    BAD NEWS: we need to find the way to unleash it
    Can’t wait to be part of the end of the world party in Oslo next week 😀

  • Wonderful. Wonderful! Congratulations.

  • hi chris,

    congrats on accomplishing this goal! i’ve been following your journey with interest the past few years, and it is indeed an impressive feat.

    i wanted to challenge you, though, on one aspect of your reflection on it in this post… i think it’s as problematic to only ask “why not” as it is to only ask “why”… if we create and pursue goals gratuitously, certainly we still benefit from the journey. we always are on our own particular journey, and are given daily opportunities for growth and learning. we benefit from the journey, if we allow ourselves. but i think a journey with a thoughtful goal, a journey for which we have answered the question “why?”, can be even more beneficial. you talk a lot about living a life of purpose, but i’m skeptical of a non-conformist approach that doesn’t encourage questioning deeply– especially of ourselves. asking why is part of this.

    basically, i’m suggesting it all comes down to balance. make sure you ask why not, and don’t let yourself settle for the easier, less-challenging choice of conformity…. but also be sure to ask why, and if the answer doesn’t come, perhaps you’ve got to adjust your goal until the why gives meaning.

  • anne m bray says:

    Fantastic. Congratulations!
    What’s next?

  • Boyuan Gao says:

    This is simply inspirational! Enjoy.

  • Lisa says:

    Chris..

    Congratulations on a remarkable goal accomplished. Thank you for following your dreams, creating your blog, and being committed to your writing so we could travel on this journey with you through your stories.

    Cheers!

  • You are freakin’ amazing. I admire you not because of what you’ve done but because of how you’ve shared what you have done and inspired myself and others along the way. It’s never been just about you doing epic shit. It’s been about your generosity, big heart, compassion, love for others and doing your part to change the world in the most amazing way. I’m so happy to know you through WDS and your blog. Sending a ton of gratitude and love to you for your party at the end of your journey!

  • Cheryl says:

    Beautiful Chris! Got choked up reading this one…so happy for you

  • Susan Van Slyke says:

    Congratulations! I wonder how many people have matched your accomplishment–it has to be a very small club. Your name should be on a plaque at the UN.

  • Lynne says:

    Here’s my comment: You are inspiring and thoughtful and I thank you for what you write and share! Love the way you report the not-so-good things too, and don’t let them deter you. Thanks so much and congrats on the journey.

  • Lana says:

    this post made me cry. I have wanted to go to every country in the world for a long time, and your journey has made me say “why not, too.” I can almost feel the joy of completely something that sought after and that much endurance. Congrats and Happy Birthday!

  • Mark says:

    Congratulations Chris,

    What an amazing journey and story- have a great time in Norway!

    Your $100 Startup gave me the kick to finally get my business
    going- even though still a work in process.
    Thank you for your inspiration and words of wisdom. .

  • Jon says:

    Good for you Chris! Good for you. Just finished “The Art of Nonconformity”; getting ready to start “$100 Startup.” Enjoy this moment.

  • Jimmy says:

    Thanks for being inspiring.

  • Corinna says:

    A M A Z I N G journey and A M A Z I N G you!
    So incredibly glad you chose to share. Inspirational and motivating.
    (<3'd 'Nette's comment)

  • Kim says:

    Thanks Chris, I faithfully read your stuff, have bought and read the $100 Start Up last summer. Very envious at what you have created for yourself and your partner. Never a day goes by where I don’t think of my my idea and putting it in motion, yet for some strange reason, I don’t, which bothers me even more. Having said that I am not in a strong position moving forward. I am 12 years away from retirement and things look bleak. As I see it your method is my best bet but consistently fall back to my old habits of familiarity instead of going for it. Call it fear of success or whatever you like but I know I have a killer idea if I can just get the motivation to begin. Too much thinking, not enough doing. Maybe exposing myself like this will help by making myself more accountable. Perhaps making the task more bite size and learning from my mistakes will give me more motivation. After typing this all out and looking at it, I wouldn’t think I needed more motivation
    All the best
    KP

  • Shari says:

    Congratulations Chris!!

  • Sasha | Global Table Adventure says:

    I’m so incredibly happy for you. It feels weird to be proud of a stranger, but there it is. Enjoy the celebration!!

  • Kerwin says:

    Chris,
    This is a great read and I’m all about the journey as well. My journey still continues with only 107 countries/territories amassed.

    I was wondering about how you got to do Saudi Arabia; must get that story when I see you on Sunday.

    Thank you for sharing your journey with me, well O.K., us.
    Kerwin.

  • Dave says:

    Shot bro! Epic achievement.

  • Zoe says:

    Beautifully written, inspirationally achieved. Thanks for your contribution to the magic of the world.

  • Danny says:

    Congrats Chris! You are on a personal journey, but you’ve helped so many countless others along the way, and you will continue to do so with your books and blog. Thanks for that, for helping everyone say ‘why not’ and ‘what’s next?’ 🙂

  • Sherri says:

    I have enjoyed reading your posts for the last couple of years. Thanks for inspiring me (and millions of others) to go for their dreams!

  • Marian says:

    Bon voyage Chris. Have learned quite a few things from reading of your quest. I will be curious to know how you travel in future. Congratulations! You realise some people will read the April 1 date and think you couldn’t have done it? And it would seen incredible to anyone who just discovered you. Enjoy the party!

  • Angela says:

    This one made me tear up! I’ve relished following your journey, your growth as a writer, getting to know you in the process, and being regularly inspired to embark on my own journeys as a result of yours. Can’t wait to celebrate with you in Norway! This Sunday!

  • jeff says:

    Beautiful Chris. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • Michelle Brass says:

    YAY!!! Whoohoo!!! Congratulations Chris! That’s so exciting! So happy for you. What a cool and amazing accomplishment – have fun celebrating at your end of the world party! And Happy Birthday too!

  • Brandon says:

    Congratulations Chris! Enjoy your flights, the fjords, and your final country. Your journey as always is a vibrant beacon.

  • Chris,
    What’s amazing is how you stayed with your goal throughout the journey, never giving up.
    I am still curious how Norway, which touches Sweden, wasn’t visited at the same time.
    See you at WDS in July.
    All the best. I shall be in Copenhagen in May.

  • Olga says:

    Budget airlines in Moldova? You made that up, right? 🙂

  • loved every word….you completely captivated me-bravo! happy happy birthday!!

  • Patricia BT says:

    Hi Chris

    It was a magic journey, and great to follow you via your site, and now you can choose your preferred destinations for holidays, they will have another taste 🙂

    I did travel in the 90ies, to Asia mostly, and yes, it’s magic, all the experiences you describe above remind me of my own journeys! What I mostly enjoyed is to meet people, with different cultures, music, food…. our World is full of wonder.

    I’m so sorry I have to cancel my trip to your End-of-the-World party in Norway, really. I wish you a wonderful 35th birthday, and all the best to you and your wife.

    Hoping to meet you at WDS 2014

    Cheers
    Patricia
    Switzerland

  • Joseph Priest says:

    Congrats Chris, l’ve enjoyed the journeys!

  • Congratulations! Enjoy your party — much deserved! So real to hear of your process, that you didn’t magically appear as a savvy world traveler. That anything can be learned if you set yourself on the path, any path, that calls.

  • Keith says:

    I have loved all of your adventures and now the realization of your goal. Well Done. A true inspiration and a living example of a passionate person pursuing your passion.

    How are you feeling now you have completed your goal?

    All the very best for you next goal.

    Regards,

    Keith

  • Denise says:

    Wow, congratulations, your journey has just begun, now what? It’ll come to you as you allow your source to give you guidance. Thanks for the inspiration. Keep living out loud!

  • Anne says:

    Congratulations Chris. You’re an inspiration to all who dare to dream and achieve big dreams.

  • Mike says:

    Happy Birthday! Excited to see what happens after the end of the world.

  • Johnny Jet says:

    Congratulations! What a HUGE accomplishment and you are an inspiration to all.

  • Michael says:

    Wonderful, Chris! I’ve been following your journey and ticking off my own achievements as well, such as making a nature doco for Nat Geo in different countries and helping to develop a national community storytelling project in Australia, and at the moment I’m at 36 countries and counting. I was excited to read about one of my friends in $100 Start Up, too. Terrific book. The world is constantly changing and it’s great to be part of the ride. Thank you for the continuing inspiration and enjoy those first few steps in Norway.

  • Scott Brown says:

    Awesome! It is weird to say because I don’t you at all, but..I’m so proud of you!!
    You’ve been a big inspiration for me. I’ve only been following your blog for the last year and a half but It really helped me to set the goal I am working toward now. Thanks Chris

  • Marion says:

    There is an old movie in which the star proclaims (more than once), “Life is an adventure!” Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Now it is time for you to return to the places you loved most but didn’t have time to really relish — go forth and revel in them.

  • Frank says:

    This is an amazing achievement and truly a source of inspiration. I really enjoyed this article, the way it was written made it feel like I could have been there myself. It’s far easier to imagine this than to actually do it, congratulations!

  • Pooja says:

    Congratulations Chris! You are there! Freaking AWESOME!!!

  • Jesse Barger says:

    Congratulations! What a journey. I’d be interesting in knowing if you’re a little sad that it’s over. Also interested in what now? I’m sure whatever it is it will be big….

  • Allie says:

    Chris, you totally are a ROCK star! Kudos! Well done! So well written, as always. It is absolutely ALWAYS about the journey. Enjoy Norway.

  • Paula says:

    You are such an inspiration! Congratulations. I’m looking forward to your Next Big Thing!

  • Luke Hodson says:

    Congratulations, going to every country in the world is an amazing achievement, enjoy it!

  • Tracy Hall says:

    Well done, Chris! The end of the world is nigh. I hope you have an amazing time in Norway and enjoy the feeling of conquering this small blue dot. Next stop, the Moon?

    Cheers
    Tracy

  • Katherine says:

    Living the amazing dream, guest what? It’s real.
    Love the post and have a blast with all the wonderful folks who make it to Norway. Big hug to you!

  • Jenn says:

    Great article! I have really enjoyed reading about your adventures. Congratulations!
    Can’t wait to read about what’s next.

  • tim says:

    congratulations! are you aware of others that have done this?

  • Monish says:

    Chris,
    Great post! Really well written. It is always about the journey – so time to relax. I haven’t been one for travelling, but your blog is inspiring. It may take me some time to be the world traveller you are – but I’m thankful for you sharing your experience. Many people stay sedentary.

    It’s like that popular quote I see around where the man looks up at the trees and says “I wonder why the birds just stay up in the trees instead of flying — and then I think the same for myself.”

    cheers mate,
    Monish

  • Dirk Brandts says:

    Terrific to read this! What an inspiration to me and many others! I was pretty proud of myself in 1974, at age 19, when I made it to every continent on the planet (including 2 trips to the South Pole), but the notion of getting to every country seemed out of reach. I’m glad that it actually wasn’t for you : )

  • Congratulations, Chris!!! You’ve accomplished a really awesome goal. I haven’t been to as many countries, but my goal is to visit each continent, some living in for a while. Right now, I have 3 to go. Between this year and next year, I hope to bring that down at least by one more, if not two. Reading the rundown of your journey’s experience brought to mind the journey of Arthur Blessit to carry the cross around the world. Many of the feelings and thoughts that you mention are somewhat like those of Arthur. Traveling alone can get like, but the goal is what makes it all worth it, whatever it may be. 🙂

  • Kat says:

    Chris, I love hearing about your journey. So brave, so exciting. Enjoy your trip to Norway! Btw, I had originally corresponded with you via email over a year ago concerning taking a step towards finding my writer’s voice. You graciously answered my email by suggesting starting up my own blog. Well, I have done just that. Thanks for the iNsPiRaTiOn. -Kat

  • Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations Chris – clearly there is another book in the making and I can’t wait! As soon as my 13 year old dog-child goes, I’ll be off on my own adventure – I’m starting with a year of travel and taking it from there.

    Best in Norway! Cheers to you.

  • Lanora says:

    Congrats! And Happy Birthday/End of the World!

    Disappointed that I won’t be able to join you on Sunday in Oslo.

    One EOTW ticket available. 🙁

  • Kristine says:

    Do you hear us cheering for you!!!!

  • Haishuo says:

    Extremely inspiring and motivating! Congratulations!

  • William Del'gado says:

    Chris, impressive, an outstanding human journey you described. Your lessons in the process, is not the destination is the journey. is not the planing of ten years but the spontaneous shooting from the hip as you are alone in nether land and reminding us that not all things come at once but in margin, gradually solving the puzzle and connecting the dots.
    Now what? Space? Mars may be a good start…the moon may seem too pedestrian for thee.
    Congrats!

  • Trish says:

    Is there a picture book for this? I wanna see your photo album.

  • Karen says:

    wow–congratulations to you’ You are an inspiration to not only fill the bucket list, but to empty it as well by LIVING life.

  • SarahWT says:

    Congratulations, Chris! Have loved reading about your journey. Thinking of you as you head to and enjoy your final (for now) destination! 🙂

  • Mike says:

    Well done! Quite a nice accomplishment. I can’t imagine that you are one to rest too much, so what’s next?

  • Emma Bell says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming **AMAZING** acheivement, I would love to follow in your footsteps and visit every country in the world before I pass on.

    Your words are always inspirational, you should be very proud that not only will you complete the challenge you set for yourself, but that you also shared the experience with all of us as well. It has been an absolute delight to read your tales.

    Please never stop.

    Emma – Sydney, Australia

  • Jan says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about it. Wishing you, Jolie & crew the best this weekend as you celebrate your 35th birthday in Norway:)

  • Becky says:

    It’s been very exciting to follow your travels for the past few years. I’m so excited for you and I will be thinking of you as you embark on this journey that will complete an ambitious goal for you. Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing what comes next.

  • murtuza says:

    Congrats Chris! You have been an inspiration..

  • Cindy says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

  • Beatrice says:

    Your elation certainly comes through in your writing. What you have accomplished, and more importantly – experienced, is nothing short of amazing. Well done and well earned. Thank you for sharing what you have learned. Enjoy your after party!

  • minimalbull says:

    Chris, awesome job. You are a true inspiration. Congratulations on becoming the ultimate traveler! I am excited to see what you do next, man!

  • Angel says:

    Chris!
    Greetings from MN!
    Congrats on your final country!
    This post really hit home. Your posts typically do, but this one has more than the others.
    Thank you for sharing. It’s truly inspiring.

  • So proud of you, Chris! I’ve been following your journey since 2009 and I can’t believe there is only one country left. Thanks for blazing this trail, for yourself and for the rest of us. I’m planning an around the world trip to work with organizations empowering women, and the path you have carved out, your Brief Guide to World Domination, your blog and the unconventional life you live have been a powerful motivator for my trip. Thank you. And I’ll see you in Portland for WDS! Can’t wait!

  • Dean says:

    Oh,,, when I was just a wee lad,,,, more than fifty years ago now, I think, I read a book, perhaps my first, “Paddle to the Sea” by Holling C. Holling. Another wee lad carves a canoe with a tiny man and sets it loose upon its life’s journey. It begins somewhere north of Lake Superior.

    Many people, many years, “Put me back in the water, for I am Paddle to the Sea.” written upon the bottom. And he does.

    So too I have wished, and now soon will, with a sailboat, houses sold, kids in college. Your tale rang as a call to me, clear, sharp. Likely someday I’ll be going, or you coming, we’ll pass. I promise to wave.

    Congratulations, Chris.

    Dean

  • Benny says:

    Congrats Chris! We’ll be following along online since most of us won’t be able to make it to Norway.

  • Tina says:

    This is so damn awesome!

  • Crazy exciting! Just read “279 Days” as a pre-cursor to setting up a business in a country that is not my own. You’re reaching your goals and inspiring me to move forward on this project!!

  • Heidi says:

    CONGRATULATIONS Chris! I am so happy I have followed you since 2008 when you began World Domination. TRULY INSPIRATIONAL!! well done – thank you for sharing your journey with all of us.

  • It must be the most amazing feeling, to complete a goal after ten years and to have had such experiences along the way. I can only imagine how that must feel….maybe almost overwhelming at times. Is that why you looked at it from the outside, saying ‘you’ do this, that and the other rather than ‘I’ ? Congratulations on getting there and have the best party ever, in Norway. I’ll be celebrating with you in spirit !!

  • Asif Gill says:

    Good read! More than the information I enjoyed the writing, love your style.

  • Erin Wilson says:

    So happy for you, Chris. Hope you can wring every bit of goodness out of this celebration.

    Looking forward to what’s ahead 🙂

  • Amy Scott says:

    Amazing, Chris! A beautiful post to sum up a beautiful adventure. You’re an inspiration to us all. I won’t make it to the party this weekend (I’m in Buenos Aires!), but I’ll see you in Portland this summer.

  • S'Mores says:

    You never cease to entertain and inspire me, Chris! Great entry!

  • What an amazing journey. Very inspiring. Enjoy Norway!

  • Tim says:

    congratulations on making it this far in your journey! tons of fun it must have been

  • Julio says:

    The inspiration never ends, thanks… and congrats on your journey!

  • Violeta says:

    Congratulations! Looking forward to learn about your next big goal!

  • Ree Klein says:

    This was an amazing post; I “couldn’t put it down” once I started reading…much like your entire story. There’s so much to admire about you, Chris. You:

    – were brave enough to dream,
    – started on a path that seemed impossible,
    – never stopped (nicely pointed out by another commenter above),
    – shared your experience and inspired us all, and
    – came out the other side a richer person ready for the “next” adventure.

    Thank you so much for letting us in and poking us to take action on our own dreams.

    My favorite line in this post: “For if “What’s next?” is the most important question for productivity, “Why not?” is surely the most important question for living life.”

    Cheers,
    Ree from EscapingDodge.com

  • Jan says:

    Wow, Chris! So inspirational! Thanks for your great work!

  • Heather Dakota says:

    Congratulations Chris! Sorry I couldn’t make it to Norway! It has been an exciting journey following you as well.

  • Scott says:

    There is nothing like the feeling you have when you complete a goal. Cant wait to see the next chapter and read about your next exciting goal.

  • Lainie Love says:

    OUTRAGEOUS & heartfelt congrats for conquering such an incredible goal, Chris. Woohoo! Tremendous thanks for allowing us to go on the ride with you. Be sure to share the revelry from your ‘wrap’ party in Norway too. Would be there if it weren’t for a previous teaching commitment here in NYC! Will look forward to connecting at WDS in July in lieu.

    BIG love & massive miracles,
    -Lainie Love

  • tony sheng says:

    congrats chris – how awesome!

  • You’re an inspiration my man! God bless as always and keep on trucking.’ 🙂

  • Kevin Riedel says:

    Now what?

  • Dave says:

    Congrats on achieving a rather lofty goal. I started following back in 2009, and never had a doubt.

    Cheers to the next chapter!

  • Gabriela Sousa says:

    Congratzzz, Chris!!! You might be feeling victorious! And that’s what you are!

  • Christine says:

    I can’t get over the fact that Norway is your last country, it makes me feel like I come from this weird, far away destination at the end of the world, but also honored. I wish I could have shown you my beloved hometown, but I’ll be in the US, writing on my China blog. Somehow I think you understand. Hope you have a great party!

  • Debra says:

    I love reading your posts….keep them coming.

  • Cath says:

    So, so excited Chris! It has been a real pleasure watching you achieve this goal over the years. I talk about you to everyone!

  • Nikki says:

    Gave me goosebumps … brilliantly inspirational.

  • Mamta says:

    inspiring ….been folllowing you around the world….super super awesome.
    Yes Magical is the word 🙂
    Bless You

  • Akinsola says:

    Chris while you are ending yours I would definitely be starting mine, the end of a dream and the birth of another. You have come this far not by mere wish but by real actions,
    What best describe your story is this and lesson from it

    “It does not matter how slow you go so long as you do not stop.”

    — Wisdom of Confucius

  • Mark Powers says:

    Wow, Chris . . . a huge congratulations to you on this truly momentous accomplishment. I completely admire all of the work you put into making this a reality for yourself, and for educating and sharing with so many of us along your journey. I can’t begin to imagine the obstacles that you’ve overcome, nor the mixed feelings that you must be experiencing right now. This is huge! Thank you, congrats again, and I’m excited to hear what lies ahead for CG.

  • Tony Akston says:

    Congratulations Chris on an amazing journey. You have stamina!

  • Becky+P. says:

    Congratulations.

    I felt “close” yesterday when I knew you were in Norway since I’m in Poland. I didn’t see that you were to have a birthday party last night until yesterday afternoon. I know it is weird that I was excited for you since I don’t even know you, but I was!

    I hope you don’t go into some serious “postpartum depression” now that you’ve reached this big goal. Keep on keeping on!

    And thanks for sharing your journey freely with us via this blog.

  • Wow. This is definitely one of my favorite posts that you’ve written, Chris, without a doubt. The way you use the second person here is simply awesome! It’s kind of reminiscent of “Bright Lights, Big City” by Jay McInerny, meets a James Bond novel!

  • This is great, and paints an excellent narrative of the process for all of us whose bucket list includes the idea of crossing countries off the list. For, as you say, it is more than that.

    I am at the point where I visit new countries not to sightsee but just to see; to explore the business environment, the opportunities, and how people live. I am going to Pakistan and Bangladesh to make new investments and will only see the capital cities… just small parts of them, actually.

    I know it reflects where I am in my life and in my journey that I no longer sightsee, but may choose to again in the future. On this journey, you can always look back and base time in your life based on where you visited then. “April 2013? Oh, yeah, I was in Guangzhou.” It makes life far more interesting.

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