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Meet Luisa Yu, 79, who has travelled to all 193 countries in the world

Meet Luisa Yu, 79, who has travelled to all 193 countries in the world %Post Title

Luisa Yu, a woman from the province of Leyte in the Philippines, had a strong impulse to explore the world during her youth. Back then, the idea of traveling seemed like a distant dream.

However, she turned that dream into reality by visiting all 193 United Nations member nations. Her remarkable achievement was realized in November 2023.

Meet Luisa Yu, 79, who has travelled to all 193 countries in the world %Post Title

Yu accomplished her ambitious goal of visiting all 193 countries recognized by the UN, as acknowledged by NomadMania, an organization that honors well-traveled individuals who have explored a significant number of UN member states. In 2023, an additional 50 entries were added to the list of UN Masters, as reported by CNN. Remarkably, only around 400 people have ever embarked on this incredible journey.

Yu shared with Good Morning America that her inspiration sprang from the movies she watched, which predominantly featured westerns. These films ignited her passion for exploration and fueled her determination

“When I [went to] the movies, I [saw] this beautiful backdrop about the scenery, the nature, the rivers, the mountains, and that fascinated me,”

“That’s why I always thought someday I will go to these places and travel.”

When Luisa Yu was 23 years old, she was an exchange student studying medical technologies in the US. At that time, she made a bold decision. She wanted to visit all the countries in the world. However, visa restrictions prevented her from traveling beyond the US borders.

Meet Luisa Yu, 79, who has travelled to all 193 countries in the world %Post Title

Undeterred, she embarked on a unique adventure within the US itself. Luisa explored the country using Greyhound buses. She diligently saved her vacation time from working at hospitals in Miami, Florida, which allowed her to take long trips across various states. Remarkably, there are only two states left for her to visit, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Her determination and passion for exploration have led her on an extraordinary journey.

It took Luisa Yu 15 years to obtain her green card, granting her the freedom to travel internationally. During this time, she worked three jobs to save money for her adventures.

Eventually, as a Miami resident, she secured a part-time position as a travel agent, which opened up countless opportunities to explore new destinations worldwide.

Over the past 50 years, Yu has crisscrossed the globe, venturing into countries that are often challenging to access. Her experiences include sampling dog meat in North Korea, discovering the beaches of Somalia, and even skydiving in Dubai at the age of 73.

Her remarkable journey exemplifies a lifelong passion for exploration and a determination to embrace the world’s diversity.

Meet Luisa Yu, 79, who has travelled to all 193 countries in the world %Post Title

“Everyone said, ‘Don’t go to Somalia, that’s dangerous,’” Yu told NPR news. “If I want to go somewhere, nobody can stop me. I like challenges, it’s more exciting. I want to do everything.”

Yu’s final destination on her bucket list was Serbia and her fellow travelers advised her to save it for last, she was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome she received. Her friends organized a celebration and were waiting for her at the airport.

Yu’s advice to people who have caught the travel bug is to just do it. She told NPR: “Don’t wait for anybody. If I keep on waiting, it will never happen, because the opportunity sometimes comes only once.” (BusinessDay)

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