Meet The Stamp Collectors: Jazmin of Travel to Blank

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.

Jazmin is one half of Travel to Blank, a travel blog she shares with her boyfriend Steve. She was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador and has studied in the United States and Spain. Today she lives half of the year in her native Ecuador and the other half in the U.S. all while making time to explore the world. 

What was the 50th country you visited? 

Iceland, it was amazing as it had been a dream of mine since I was little and I never thought I was going to go there. When I told my parents I was going to Iceland they were super worried as it seems so far from home.

What is your favorite travel quote?

“Traveling–it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Which country cemented your love for travel? 

Russia, I went there with my mom when I was 13-years-old and it changed my perception of the world and life itself. To learn the history of Russia and what they went through not that long ago at that time was surprising and inspired me to keep learning more about other cultures, politics, and way of living.

Which was your favorite country for food? 

My favorite country for food is Poland. I love pierogi! My cousin is from Poland and she always brags about how good their food is. When I went to Warsaw the first thing I did was trying this delicious dish!

Which was your favorite country for architecture? 

My favorite country for architecture was France. I was impressed with the amazing buildings in Paris. In my country, Ecuador, we have a lot of Spanish influence architecture so when I visited Paris I was stunned by how different it is even though those countries are next to each other.

Which was your favorite country for nature? 

My favorite country for nature is Ecuador all the way. Before I started exploring my own country I had visited over 30 countries, so when I visited the Ecuadorian rainforest and the Galapagos Islands I was impress of the beauty I had in my backyard.

Which was your favorite country for street art?

My favorite country for street art has been the United States. I am surprised with the number of murals and beautiful art expressions around the whole country.

Which country left a lasting impression on you? 

The country that has impacted me the most has been Nepal. I was amazed by how nice and honest the people are. We visited Nepal after the earthquake that almost destroyed Kathmandu and the people were nice and trying to get past this awful incident. It was a boost of hope and perseverance.

Which country exceeded your expectations?

The country that has exceed my expectations the most has been Croatia. I never thought about visiting this country until I saw an Instagram post years ago of the Plitivice Lakes. After, that I started doing my research and found out that Croatia is not only rich in history but also in nature.

Which country disappointed you, and why?

The country that has disappointed me the most has been Thailand as the places I visited where too touristy and did not feel authentic as Laos, Vietnam, or Myanmar would feel in my opinion.

Which country was completely different than what you expected? 

China was completely different than I expected as it is such a big country with so much diversity. Each place I visited on my road trip around China was totally different and unique.

What country are you eager to get back to? 

I would love to go back to Iceland to chase the northern lights as when I visited last year I went when it was the midnight sun. I would go back to all the places I have been as they are all special in their own way.

What is your all-time favorite country? 

Ecuador, maybe because I am Ecuadorian or just because it is such a small country with so much diversity in food, people, architecture, nature, and languages. Ecuador is truly a gem of the world.

What keeps you motivated to continue traveling?

What keeps me motivated to continue traveling is my eagerness to see more of the world. There are unique places that need to be discovered that I cannot keep my mind away from.

What is your top travel tip? 

Be safe, no matter where you go. Be aware of your surroundings and please take good care of wherever you go. We would love to have the same nature for our grandchildren to enjoy.

What countries are on your bucket list?

My bucket list goes like this: South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Myanmar, Maldives, Greenland, Costa Rica.

Where are you headed next? 

We are taking our labrador with us on an epic road trip around the US. He was diagnosed arthritis so we want for him to enjoy has much of the US as possible before he gets more sick.

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