About Me

Greetings! My name is Jack Noah Rees and I’m a travel blogger and tutor from a small corner of the Welsh countryside in the United Kingdom. It’s a picturesque and peaceful part of the world and a location that has, quite simply, inspired me get as far away from it as possible (I jest) – although the nomadic seeds were sewn at a very young age.

My Sister & I

I have always had a mild – others may say a fervent – obsession with countries, flags and travelling for as long as I can remember. I could recognise every country’s national flag before I could swim, cycle or use a Super Pumper (see the adjacent photo of my sister and me in our youths). I would spend countless hours looking through atlases and always dreamt of being able to visit these strange and foreign lands, just as soon as I stopped wetting the bed.

Fast forward into adulthood, and I really struggled to take those first fearsome steps into the unknown – to start the voyages and journeys that I had always dreamt of as a child. I had lived in Wales my whole life (and had had more part-time jobs than fingers on both hands) when I finally decided to take the plunge and move to Canada for a year. I had only made short trips around Europe until that point, so it was quite a colossal leap, but it soon became the first step towards a completely different life.

My time road tripping and exploring British Columbia strengthened my travelling ambitions, and I quickly realised that I was now unable to go back to the monotonous, safe existence I once had. My lifetime ambition, instigated by picking up a book on flags as a toddler, became to travel to each and every one of the one hundred and ninety-six countries in the world (it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time). This includes all one hundred and ninety-three member states of the United Nations, plus the two non-member observer states (Vatican City and Palestine), as well as Kosovo (the only country recognised by the United Kingdom but not yet by the UN). I decided to name my foolhardy expedition Bucket List 196.

However, I am not going to each country simply to tick them off a list, oh no. I won’t be flag-poling nations (jumping across a border for five minutes before returning) as this would defeat the whole object of my journey – except in places where there is a high likelihood that I will be struck in the head by a grenade. I think it is essential to experience a country through the eyes of locals, to contribute to their economy and to better understand what daily life is really like – this is one the main reasons I strongly advocate road tripping. I want to see as much of our world as I possibly can, both the spectacular and the deplorable, and following a list of nations is the best way of quantifying my goal (having OCD has nothing to do with it).

Grand CanyonI decided that a good way of preparing for my global journey would be to attempt to visit all the fifty states of America in one calendar year. A feat I completed in 2015 as I drove, along with three companions, the length and breadth of the contiguous forty-eight states, living in the back of a 1997 Plymouth Voyager called Sam. With so many tales to tell and tips to share from our grand adventure, I felt a sudden irrepressible urge to write them down (or rather type them up). The result of which is the subject of my first e-book, which I hope to finish at some point before I die (fingers crossed).

As for the future, my love of travel led me to create this website, from which I do my very best to inspire, advise and encourage you to move away from normality and start filling your life with fantastical experiences in foreign lands. Start by subscribing to my updates below before you begin your adventure with me here.  

J

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