Frequently Asked Questions
1. Have you always been a “backpacker”?
No, not at all! I started backpacking pretty late. Somewhere in 2011 I took my first steps in backpacking. It was an awesome 4,5 months trip to South-East Asia. Before that I also found travelling interesting, however; I did this mainly organized and I spent the night in fancy hotels. Nothing wrong with that ofcourse – but once infected with the backpacking virus you won’t easily catch me booking an organized all-in trip anymore! 🙂
2. How many countries have you visited now?
About 30 countries. A large part of South-East Asia, South Africa, North Africa, some countries in West Africa and almost all countries in Europe.
3. How did you come up with the idea of going on a world tour?
Some of us wants to turn an old farm into a dream house and others want to be chess champions. Making a world trip was -and is– my dream. The seed of this dream was planted after my first (long) backpack trip in 2011 and since then an ever-increasing desire in my thoughts, and conversations too.
4. Where (and how) did you start preparing for this world trip?
Perhaps the most frequently asked question I have received in recent months! The most important thing is to start an indication of time, money and additional reasons that can be a showstopper for a world trip. How exactly? Read my blog(s) about the preparations for a world trip -and you will know!
5. Why 99 countries?
Anyone who knows me, knows that I pursue concrete goals. 99 is quite concrete and is a goal as well! On top; I like to have a “story” around my world trip. I’m not unique just because of the fact that I’m travelling around the world, there are plenty of worldtrippers on our globe.. However; it’s simply more unique to have a specific goal and make a trip around the world through 99 (new) countries. On top of that, “the100backpacker” doesn’t really sound catchy, now does it?
6. Are you going to visit 99 countries, strictly speaking?
No. The number “99” comes from countries that are “new” to me… which I have not yet visited. In this trip I will travel through more then 99 different countries, including countries I’ve been to during previous trips (because of logical routes -or because the country is simply too cool to skip) In fact, I will be visiting about 110 countries during this trip, I just don’t count countries which I already visited before, for the number “99”.
7. What do you expect to be the highlights of your trip in terms of destinations?
Although I’m looking forward to all the countries on my planning and I’d actually like to list 99 countries… I secretly (extra) look forward to Nepal, Tibet, Cuba, Japan, French-Polynesia and the expedition to Antarctica.
8. How long will the world trip take about?
It is difficult to determine in advance exactly how long such an extensive journey will take. Really depends what I will come across along the way and whether everything goes according to plan. However; if I have a look to my current paper planning as a starting point, the journey will take about 5 years. Very annoying! 🙂
9. What do you leave behind in the Netherlands?
My family, my friends and a couple of moving boxes with personal stuff. Most of my stuff I sold -or “distributed among the arms” (as my sister-in-law would call it). This includes my home and the “security” of a permanent job.
10. How the hell on earth do you pack a backpack for 99 countries?
Quite simple; just like I would pack my backpack for a 3-week trip. A common “trap” is unnecessarily packing a lot of stuff with the thoughts “imagine if I need it”. Well; then you buy it on the spot… Unless you’re backpacking on planet Pluto you’ll just be able to buy your essentials locally. Check out my (upcoming) blog about “how to pack your backpack for years”.
11. Are you going to miss the Netherlands?
I’m putting 49% of my money on “yes”. Ask me if I’m going to miss my friends and family… I’ll put 100% of my money on “yes”.