Meet The Stamp Collectors: Taryn of Her Travel Style

Meet The Stamp Collectors is a series of interviews with travelers who've reached the milestone of visiting 50 countries, hence they've collected 50 passport stamps. This elite group of adventurers share real-life insights about their love of exploring our precious planet. They are voyagers who seek out unique experiences and develop their own perspective through immersive travel experiences.

I hope their stories and sage advice will inspire you to push your boundaries and continue to travel near and far. This is not a contest about who's been to the most countries but a reflection on what it's been like to visit at least a quarter of the world's nations. If you're interested in being featured in the series please fill out this form.

Taryn hails from the Bronx in New York City and proudly visited all 50 states! A feat not many Americans can claim. She's still based in America and started her travel-centric lifestyle in her mid-twenties when she took her first solo trip to Jamaica when she was 23, and a few years later her first solo trip to Europe when she was 26 and visited Italy. Her mission is to see more of the world and she likes to do so alone. She's well on her way and has visited 68 countries so far! She shares her adventures on Her Travel Style, a travel site for stylish women with a wandering and wild heart. Her aim is for women to feel uplifted and obtain information for their next solo journey. Taryn quit her job to travel the world for a year alone and learned to conquer unnecessary mental chatter, take her courage to a new level, and be the best version of herself. She uses the medium of travel to help support and empower women. Taryn has also been featured on @LatinasLoveTravel.

What was the 50th country you visited?

The 50th country on my trip around the world was Laos. It was incredibly special visit and was beyond my expectations. I had only known one other person in my life to have visited Laos. It's not a country often at the top of published travel lists but I was fascinated and couldn't wait to learn more about the country and see it with my own eyes. I found the locals to be extremely laid back, friendly, and helpful. I fell in love with the slow boat ride on the Mekong River, the Buddhist almsgiving, and learning all about the rich history. It was a memorable milestone and I know that I will see Luang Prabang again. Everyone must go to Laos!

What's your favorite phrase in another language you've learned through your travels?

Hygge. It's a word that only exists in Danish and it is defined as "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." It focuses on taking pleasure in simple and cozy things, taking the time for what feels good, and enjoying life in a laid-back way. This is the exact opposite of the general culture of America and until I really learned this word I wasn't really really taking the time to indulge in and enjoy the simple things on my trip. I think after I came across life in Copenhagen, learned hygge and spent more time around Scandinavia did it start to finally settle and sink in that I was living hygge and needed to claim it as part of my own. It is easily one of the most memorable words or phrases I picked up while traveling around the world.

Is there a novel that has greatly influenced you as a traveler?

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. It is the story of searching for the happiest countries in the world. It is an amusing travel memoir that first put the idea of a nation's level of happiness on my radar and made me extremely curious to learn more about what in life makes a people happy. It inspired my travel list and which countries I needed to see and experience. It encouraged me to learn more about the global peace index and what makes countries safe. It also gave me perspective on how to conduct myself in other countries and what to take away from the way other nations live. There were a number of little treasures in The Geography of Bliss and I recommend it for any lover of travel.

Which was your favorite country for architecture?

There is so much splendid architecture around the world. I think my two favorite countries for architecture are France and Thailand. Admittedly, I am a Francophile and I love everything about France, especially Paris. And I'm not just in love with it because it's chic, I love the history, Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe, the grit of the city, the graffiti, and the iconic facades of the 7th Arrondissements. I also love the architecture of the temples and palaces in Thailand. The colors and details are striking, and it's one place where I have too many photos of buildings from my time there.

Which country cemented your love for travel?

The United States of America cemented my love for travel. The summer after the 5th grade my family traveled across America in a motorhome. At first, I was devastated at the thought of leaving all of my friends for an entire summer, but once the adventure began and we were camping, site seeing, journaling, fishing, hiking, picture taking, bbq-ing, shopping, and all that comes with traveling, travel became part of my DNA. There was no other way to live. I had traveled to some states before that but being on that open road, hitting the highway, and seeing things like Mount Rushmore in person and not in a textbook shaped my childhood and the woman I am today.

Which country left a lasting impression on you?

India definitely left a lasting impression on me. The north is different than the south and one city or town is not entirely like the next. What surprised me the most about my time in northern India, specifically New Delhi, was the rape culture there. I was harassed on a train, a man tried to rub his crotch on my backside, and I had men often stare me down. I learned to avoid eye contact, never to speak to someone unless the circumstances were proven to be safe, and to try and wear clothing that covered me fully, even in the intense heat. After Delhi I went on to visit 5 other cities and was absolutely in love with my experience. I plan to travel back and learn more about southern India.

Which was your favorite country for shopping?

My favorite country for shopping was South Korea. From the moment I got off the plane and onto the train in Seoul I couldn't get past the street fashion and the sense of style that everyone had. And I mean everyone. I felt like I was walking through a permanent runway. I was so inspired by the love of personal style and design I actually broke my promise and did some clothing shopping and worked with a photographer at the famous DDS building to do a photoshoot celebrating this fun stylish city. I will do what I can to make it back to their fashion week. If you love style (any bit of it) you will love Seoul.

Which country would you not go back to?

Albania. It might have been that I didn't pick the best parts of the country to visit or the best parts of the city to visit. There wasn't one particular moment or incident that occurred, but there wasn't anything extremely memorable for me either.

Which was your favorite country for nature?

Switzerland. I was awestruck by the snow-capped mountains, lush greenery, gorgeous waterfalls, crisp fresh air, and every so clean environment. Even taking the tram up to Jungfrau during a rainstorm was relaxing and enlivening. The country is taken care of with great detail and the people are so proud of their wonderland.

Which country exceeded your expectations?

Bolivia. This is another country that doesn't get a lot of press. Bolivia has delicious food, warm people, great culture and history, and incredible natural landscape. I could have spent an entire month in Bolivia and I feel extremely grateful for time exploring the country taking in its natural beauty.

Which country disappointed you?

Spain. I have Spanish blood in my veins and a family history that runs deep through the Iberian peninsula. I was sure that it was going to be everything I had hoped for and that I would feel tremendously at home, but I was wrong. The food and restaurant culture let me down. I made the mistake of going to Barcelona in July with thousands of other tourists which was overrated. I learned that traveling someplace where I have to constantly be on guard for pick-pocketing and petty theft isn't for me. I love Catalan modernism, but I didn't need to spend 10 days there. Of all the cities I visited in Spain, Sevilla was my favorite, but I'm not certain that I will return.

What is your all-time favorite country?

I don't have a favorite country, can't do it. But I do have a favorite continent, Antarctica! My time there was unparalleled. Between the unbelievable scenic beauty, the accommodations on our expedition vessel, the nature and wildlife, glacier works of art, spontaneous avalanches, midnight pink skies, and the incredible people that I got to spend time with and experience on the boat made this my favorite place.

What country are you eager to get back to?

Japan! I loved everything about my time in Japan and I only visited Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo. I will definitely go back to Tokyo and explore more of what the city has to offer, and I'll take time to visit more cities throughout the country. The Shinkansen bullet train is one of the most enjoyable trains to travel on. The food is delicious. The history, art, architecture, style, temple, design are all outstanding, curious, and steeped in rich history. I left a bit of my heart in Japan.

Have you had any responsible travel experiences?

I always travel in a sustainable way. I have done tours with companies like Intrepid that pride themselves on responsible travel and I do things like limit trash, bring a collapsible tote so no need to use plastic bags, and donate clothing to those in need. I think people who travel a lot should only travel this way.

What keeps you motivated to continue traveling?

The world and its people are so fascinating! Food is delicious, language is like music, people are innately good wherever you go, art and architecture is a gift that lives in towns, cities, villages, and countries around the world. These treats continue to motivate me to keep going and traveling to learn, see, and grow. The more I see, the more I realize there is so much more to see! After 68 countries, I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface of the treasures and I'm intoxicated by the idea of exploring all of it. I believe we can be global citizens; listen to each other, understand that we are all more alike than different, and share the same basic human needs for love, food, and shelter.

What is your top travel tip?

Pack light. Sometimes I have difficulty taking my own advice and I end up a maximalist instead of a minimalist. Being able to get your bag on any mode of transportation, avoiding overweight fees, and not having a ton of stuff not to wash when you get home helps tremendously.

What is the most prolific lesson you've learned through travel?

Traveling gave me the time and space to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. And most importantly, to not be afraid to truly pursue it. Travel gave me the immense courage to be the most authentic version of myself and not apologize for it. It took away any sense of needing any validation from other people and fear for saying what was truly in my heart and doing what I need to do for my self-respect, safety, and overall well being. I wrote a blog post about the 8 lessons I learned from traveling the world in 8 months and I shared those lessons at that point in time because I thought other people could benefit from hearing them too.

What countries are on your bucket list?

Israel because of my family history there. French Polynesia because it appears to be so sexy. New Zealand because I love the outdoors and adventure. Chile because I love glaciers and the idea of hiking Patagonia. Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya, Seychelles, Algeria, Eygpt–Africa is just amazing.

What is your favorite travel quote?

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train." Oscar Wilde

Where are you headed next?

I am heading to Italia! A longtime friend is getting married so I'm not only excited to celebrate her, but to learn more about where her family is from and experience the little villages that you don't normally read about in travel guides. That is the most special way to see the way locals live.  I'll probably spontaneous pick some more iconic parts of southern Italy to explore since I'll be renting a car to get around the country. You can follow Taryn's adventures on

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