When I was younger and just beginning to travel, I firmly believed that I should begin with my own country (the USA). I was not interested in going elsewhere until I had seen what my country has to offer. Thus, I did not take my first trip to Europe until I was 51 years old. When I did, I began to realize what I had missed. Here was an area, especially rich in history and culture, which I had never experienced. Lee and I began making trips to Europe on an almost annual basis, a practice which continues today.
The issue here has to do with timing. As we have gotten older, we both have come to the following realization — travel to exotic and challenging locations when you are young and save the easy and familiar until you are older. The reason for this concerns health. Now that we are older, we do not have the stamina or the physical ability to do the things we did when we were younger. We want to do them but our bodies rebel. Plus, we are both on a number of medications and the thought of having to seek medical help in a foreign country is scary.
Thus, my advice to younger readers, now matter what your country of origin, is to save the nearby travel destinations for a time when you can’t or don’t want to handle the others. Even though I made my long range plan for all the right reasons, I find now that it was probably a mistake. Lee, at this time in her life, dislikes air travel. Now would be the time for our cross USA trip because all we have to do is get in the car and drive.
Best of luck with all your travels!