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Meet the 79-Year-Old Globe-Trotter: Luisa Yu’s Remarkable Journey to Every Country in the World

Traveling to every country in the world is a dream few achieve, but 79-year-old Luisa Yu has done just that. Her incredible journey, which began at the age of 23, has taken her to all 193 United Nations member states. Luisa’s story is not just about visiting places; it’s about perseverance, passion, and a lifelong dream come true.

A Lifelong Dream Takes Flight

Luisa Yu, originally from the Philippines, has always had a passion for travel. As a young girl, she was captivated by the stunning sceneries she saw in movies. “When I went to the movies, I saw beautiful backdrops of scenery, nature, rivers, and mountains. That fascinated me,” Yu recalls.

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Courtesy Luisa Yu

This early fascination ignited her dream of exploring the world, and she held onto this vision throughout her life.

Starting in the USA

Yu’s travel journey took off when she moved to the United States as an exchange student in St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 23. During her initial years in the U.S., she couldn’t travel internationally due to her visa status. However, this didn’t deter her.

She began her travels within the country, using the Greyhound bus system to explore various states. “Greyhound was the best because you just hop in, and the next day, you’re in another state,” she explained. This adventurous spirit set the foundation for her future global travels.

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Courtesy Luisa Yu

Embracing a Career in Travel

After establishing herself in the medical technology field, Yu decided to transition to a career that would allow her to follow her passion more freely. She became a travel agent, a move that afforded her the flexibility to take time off and travel extensively.

Over the past five decades, Yu visited numerous countries, from Italy and Thailand to Libya and Iran. Her goal became clear: to visit all 193 countries recognized by the United Nations.

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Courtesy Luisa Yu

Reaching the Final Destination

Yu’s journey culminated on November 9, 2023, when she visited Serbia, her 193rd country. Friends persuaded her to save Serbia for last, planning a surprise celebration for her arrival. “They said, ‘You’re gonna have to come to Serbia because we will be flying.

We are very close too and we’re going to celebrate your last country.’ It was a big surprise,” Yu recounted. The celebration in Serbia marked the completion of her incredible journey, fulfilling a dream that began more than five decades ago.

Recognized and Celebrated

Luisa Yu’s achievement has not gone unnoticed. Nomad Mania recognized her as one of two individuals from the Philippines to earn the title of “UN Master,” a distinction for those who have traveled to every UN member state. Her travels have taught her profound lessons about humanity’s shared dreams and kindness.

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Courtesy Luisa Yu

“I find that everybody is like us. They have a dream for a better job and a better opportunity, and most of them are very, very kind and very helpful,” Yu observed.

Lessons from a Lifetime of Travel

Throughout her extensive travels, Yu has gained invaluable insights into different cultures and ways of life. She emphasizes that despite differences in culture and geography, people everywhere share similar aspirations and kindness.

“I have seen a lot of things from different people, their life and their cultures. I learned a lot,” she said. Yu’s experiences highlight the universal nature of human dreams and the kindness that transcends borders.

Encouraging Future Travelers

Yu’s message to aspiring travelers is simple yet powerful: take the leap. “Don’t be afraid, go out, travel,” she advises. “Don’t wait for anybody because if the opportunity comes, it might never happen again. Just be yourself. And also, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Nothing is going to be impossible. You just have to go out there.”

Her story is a testament to the idea that determination and passion can turn even the most ambitious dreams into reality.

Inspiring the Next Generation of Travelers

Luisa Yu’s story is an inspiring testament to the power of dreams and determination, reminding us all that the world is vast and full of possibilities for those willing to explore it. Her journey encourages others to embrace their wanderlust and see the world’s beauty and diversity firsthand.

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or someone dreaming of your first trip, Luisa’s experiences serve as a beacon of inspiration, proving that with passion and persistence, any goal is achievable.

So, if you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the world, let Luisa Yu’s incredible journey motivate you to take that first step. The world is waiting, full of adventures and discoveries just around the corner.

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