Don't be afraid and just go, says Filipino-American woman who visited every country in the world

Don't be afraid and just go, says Filipino-American woman who visited every country in the world
Filipino-American woman Luisa Yu, 79, has visited all 193 countries in the world.
PHOTO: Instagram/Luisa Yu

There are 193 countries recognised by the United Nations, and one woman has visited all of them.

Luisa Yu, a 79-year-old resident of Miami, Florida, spent over 50 years travelling the world, NBC6 reported on Nov 20.

Born in the Philippines, Yu went to St. Louis as an exchange student before deciding to move to Miami for the warm weather. In her 20s, she travelled to "almost 45 states" in the US before setting her eyes on international travel.

Her first trip outside the country was to Japan in 1970.

The friends Yu made along the way call her "Mama" as a sign of respect and convinced her to make Serbia the last stop on her trip.

When she arrived at the airport on Nov 9, there was a crowd waiting for her outside.

Yu said: "There were people clapping and cheering and I said, 'Oh my god, I did not expect this, what happened here?' 

"They said, 'We were giving you a big surprise, Mama'."

The moment was shared on Instagram by Serbian influencer Vanna Bojovic, showing people with party hats blowing party horns.

Yu also posed in front of balloons with the numbers 193, holding a sign that read: "Congratulations Luisa Yu for visiting all the countries in the world (193) as of Nov 9, 2023. Last country is Serbia!"

Bojovic also shared highlights from Yu's trips, showing her dancing at various places around the world and even skydiving in Dubai.


Yu also shared her journey on her Instagram page, showing her standing next to an active volcano in Vanatu, hiking in Angola, camping with the Mundari tribe in South Sudan and much more.

The elderly woman's travels also won her two awards in 2022.

"I won the Nomad Mania Award last year as the most positive traveller," she said. "And the other award I won is from the Philippines, the Global Explorer, the Most Adventure Explorer Award."

Her advice to those who wanted to travel like her was to not be afraid and "just go".

"Don't wait for anybody, because if you wait, it will never happen," she said.


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