After a long time of touring, each individually and collectively, Rachel Davey and Martina Sebova had every visited over 100 of the 195 UN-recognized nations and territories on the globe.
The pair, who met throughout an overland tour of Europe again in 2008, had been having espresso collectively in Melbourne, Australia, once they first mentioned the prospect of visiting the 88 or so remaining nations on their lists.
They shortly determined to spend the following two years doing simply that collectively.
Whereas the considered touring to so many new locations in a comparatively brief house of time was considerably daunting, Sebova notes that having over half of the nations on the earth already ticked off made issues rather a lot simpler.
“I feel it will terrify me if I needed to begin visiting each nation and I’d been to love 10,” the journey blogger tells CNN Journey. “I don’t actually suppose that that’s even viable. You might want to be nicely traveled [before doing something like this].”
The excited pair then started planning for his or her massive journey, saving as a lot cash as they might so as to fund the journey, with the goal of spending round 5 to seven days in every nation.
Earlier than setting off in 2018, Davey and Sebova, who had been collectively for round a decade by this level, determined that they might not reveal that they had been a pair, and easily journey as associates.
“It was very pure,” says Sebova, explaining that they had been making use of for visas in some conservative nations didn’t wish to threat being denied entry.
“We had been visiting a number of nations the place even the idea of a same-sex couple doesn’t exist,” she provides. “And we didn’t actually wish to put our private security in danger at any stage.”
In accordance with the Worldwide Lesbian, Homosexual, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Affiliation (ILGA,) there are round 70 nations on the earth the place same-sex relations are criminalized.
Davey and Sebova say that performing as if they had been merely finest associates “wasn’t actually a lot of a change” and folks usually assumed that they had been sisters.
“It was by no means a giant concern,” provides Davey. “We by no means tried to cowl it. We simply didn’t [tell anyone].”
The pair, who doc their travels on their web site, Very Hungry Nomads, tried to go to the remaining nations in geographical order the place doable and opted to journey overland as a lot as they might.
The primary new nation they visited was North Korea and the pair went on to journey to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bhutan and Pakistan.
In 2019, they spent six months touring throughout Central Africa and say that the grueling bus journeys took a toll on them after some time.
“We did like 38 hours on buses, typically simply altering autos, making an attempt to get from A to B,” explains Sebova.
The pair say that a few of their finest experiences had been in locations that they had been extra cautious of previous to visiting.
“The individuals in Sudan and Iran had been among the friendliest those that we’ve got encountered,” provides Sebova. “And most of the people would assume these nations are actually harmful primarily based on the picture [we see].”
Eritrea, a small nation primarily based in East Africa, and the Caribbean island of Dominica had been among the many different stand out nations they visited.
In accordance with Sebova, the truth that they had been ladies of their late 30s who weren’t married with kids proved to be considerably controversial in among the nations they visited.
“There are cultural variations with simply being a girl and touring with no man,” she explains. “We had been denied a few visas simply primarily based on that.”
Though lots of their associates had chosen to place their financial savings into mortgages and/or companies over time, Davey and Sebova, who describe themselves as nomads, say they’re “glad to spend it on journey and fear about that later.”
Davey holds an Australian passport, whereas Sebova has a Slovakian passport, which sometimes brought on points when it got here to making use of for visas.
“Generally it was like, ‘you may get one right here, [but I can’t] which threw a spanner in there,” explains Davey. “But it surely labored out.”
After years of touring collectively, the pair are nicely conscious of their strengths and weaknesses, and every take duty for various duties through the journey.
They clarify that Sebova is extra naturally organized and focuses on ensuring their day runs as easily as doable, whereas Davey is “extra flippant,” and fewer expert relating to navigation.
“Rach will get misplaced within the lodge,” jokes Sebova, who additionally works as a tour information. “I all the time say it’s a miracle that she made it by means of each nation. We make an ideal workforce.”
They’d been on the highway for round two years, and had been simply 10 nations away from reaching their aim when the pandemic hit.
The pair, who had been in London on the time, selected to fly to Australia, and had been inevitably compelled to place the rest of the journey on maintain as a result of border restrictions in place on the time.
Nevertheless, they continued to journey, opting to purchase a camper van and drive across the nation collectively “with the borders of Australia closing behind us.”
“We ended up doing the large lap of Australia in 18 months and spent a number of time in Queensland and Western Australia, which was superb, as a result of we couldn’t depart the nation,” says Davey. “We lived in our camper van and it was heaps of enjoyable.”
When journey restrictions had been lifted for Australians in 2022, they had been compelled to attend till the borders reopened within the remaining locations on the checklist, which included among the Pacific Islands.
This proved to be significantly irritating, significantly as lots of their friends had been touring extensively now that the world had reopened, whereas they had been patiently ready for a couple of nations to raise restrictions.
“We began this journey pondering that we might end this huge quest in our 30s,” explains Sebova.
“Then we tipped into our 40s through the pandemic and we had been sitting in a van, not proudly owning something, nonetheless ready.”
They had been capable of journey to the North African nation of Libya the place border restrictions had additionally lifted, however needed to wait for much longer for his or her ultimate locations, Kiribati and Samoa, each situated within the Pacific Islands, to reopen.
Kiribati lastly lifted restrictions for worldwide vacationers in August 2022, and the pair flew in a couple of weeks later.
They reached Samoa, the ultimate nation on their checklist, on November 19, 2022 and say it took some time for it to sink in that they’d lastly achieved their aim.
“It [Samoa] was simply the right vacation spot to complete,” says Sebova. “I had this second once I was standing in entrance of a map of the world and pondering oh my god, we’ve got been to each nation on this map.”
The pair celebrated the large milestone with a good friend, who’d flown out to the tiny island nation, located midway between Hawaii and New Zealand, to fulfill them.
After they returned to Australia in late 2022 having visited each nation on the earth, they started receiving better media curiosity and folks beginning to ask questions on their relationship.
“They checked out our feed and naturally noticed a pair, one thing that different individuals simply don’t see,” provides Sebova, explaining that they had been glad to substantiate that they had been in a relationship as soon as they’d reached their goal.
“We had followers on social media who had been like, ‘oh my god, I all the time thought that you simply had been a pair, however you by no means stated something.’”
Davey and Sebova stress that, other than the problem of security, they needed to maintain the dialogue round their journey targeted on the truth that they had been two ladies taking up such an enormous problem, noting that they once they initially appeared into the few hundred vacationers who’d been to each nation on the earth, the checklist was comparatively male-dominated.
“You see so few ladies on this a part of journey, which is extra adventurous,” provides Sebova. “So we had been making an attempt to vary that, in addition to encourage different ladies by exhibiting that it [the world] isn’t such a scary place.”
Now that they’ve lastly achieved their aim, Davey and Sebova say they haven’t any plans to calm down and can proceed to reside a nomadic way of life for so long as doable.
They’re at the moment planning a visit to Thailand and hope to go to Indonesia later within the yr.
“We’ve all the time lived within the second,” says Davey. “That [being on the move] makes us each glad now. In order that’s what we’ll do. I don’t plan too far forward. We by no means have.”