Meet The Stamp Collectors: Mel B Travel

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.

Mel B Travel is a full-time blogger from Australia who calls the UK home when she's not out exploring the globe. She's keen on big adventures, loves to ski, and learn history. Her curiosity about the world's cultures has taken her to 62 countries so far. She's been traveling for 20 years, the first country she visited was Malaysia back in 1998 when she went to visit Penang.

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

Puss puss, which means kiss kiss in Swedish! 

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

I do often read and highlight 1,000 Places to See Before You Die.

Which country cemented your love for travel? 

My first country Malaysia, it made me realize that there was so much more out there to see and do. I love Australia but it made me decided that I wanted to travel and that was 22 years ago.

Which was your favorite country for nature? 

I loved the Himalayas in Nepal when I trekked to Everest Base Camp. I was blown away by the sheer size and how peaceful and beautiful it was. It's a place I would love to go back again and hike in Annapurna and see another side of the Himalayas. Nepal s one of the reasons why I took up hiking. It is a place that you can go back to time and time again.

Which was your favorite country for architecture? 

Spain, especially Santiago de Compostela. The whole city makes you feel like you've stepped back in time. It is a holy place and you can really get lost wandering the city and exploring the old architecture.

Which country left a lasting impression on you? 

Nepal. I love everything about the place especially the people. Even with all the hardships they've gone through they're still warm and kind people who are always smiling and saying hi to you and not wanting anything in return.

Is there a country that changed the way you travel? 

Staying with the Maasai in Tanzania made me appreciate what I have in life even more. I stayed in a Massai village in a hut. It was an eye-opening experience and one that I'll never forget. The children didn't need expensive games to keep them happy, they were grateful for just having simple toys to play with which was refreshing.

Which country exceeded your expectations?

Vietnam definitely exceeded my expectations in many ways and I would go back in a heartbeat. I was blown away by the food, culture, and the people in general. Then you have the beaches and Sapa up in the mountains to explore.

Which country disappointed you?

Countries haven't disappointed me but cities have. I was disappointed about visiting Gibraltar. I pictured this beautiful place with lots of things to see and do but it wasn't. It only has the Rock to explore and some caves. It's a tax-free haven so there were shops everywhere that sold duty-free alcohol and sunglasses but that was not something I was looking for.

What is your all-time favorite country? 

France. It has everything that I love, wine, cheese, champagne, history, and mountains for skiing and hiking. I also love that the country is so divisive. I would move to Paris in a heartbeat. I also like their way of life and that they don't take things too seriously. 

What keeps you motivated to continue traveling?

That I'm continuously learning and meeting new people. There's never been a point that I haven't dreamt about traveling. When I get unmotivated I just think about the next exciting trip that I'm taking.

What is your top travel tip? 

Always try to learn hello and thank you in the national language and smile often. It's amazing how far these things will get you.

What is your favorite travel quote? 

Don't look back, you're not going that way!

What countries are on your bucket list?

Both Greenland and Antarctica. I'm a huge fan of places that are covered in snow and glaciers that aren't too over spoilt with tourists.

Where are you headed next? 

I'm skiing in St.Moritz and Davos Switzerland on a press trip skiing and then La Clusaz France on a press trip skiing

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