Finally on top of the world:British women rejoices as she travels to countries

Sue Rogers, 69, first got the travel bug when she went on a school trip to Dieppe aged 11.

She has visited all 196 nations, ticking off the last one when she went to Afghanistan last month. Sue believes she is the first British-born woman to achieve the feat despite suffering a chronic fatigue condition for 23 years.

Her journeys have been made up of holidays, short breaks, occasional work and longer treks. Sue has documented each trip on her blog with stunning images and personal stories from the good, bad and the wild.

Sue, from Brighton, has ventured to Pacific islands, war torn nations, been hospitalised in South Asia, walked with penguins and met members of the Taliban.

She has travelled to 193 members of the United Nations, plus Taiwan which is considered part of China by the UN, Kosovo whose independence is recognised by some states and The Vatican.

Sue said: “My friends all think I’m mad or brave. The brave worries me, as I start to wonder if I am being stupid. But life is all about experience and understanding the world.

“I’d rather have the memories than materialistic things.” There are online platforms which both rank and support people such as Sue, who are known as “extreme travellers”.

Sue says her claim to have visited every country has been ‘verified’ on the two most popular of these. These online platforms check claims by looking at passport details and other documents and photographs.

Sue says the another British woman has visited all the countries – but she born in Germany and lives in Japan now. She said: “I didn’t realise how difficult this was until I had done it! I had not realised how few people had visited every country.”

Sue said she got the travel bug despite her parents being “very stay-in-England holiday people”. She added: “The concept of going abroad was always a bit daunting to my family but I got the curiosity gene.

Anytime anyone mentioned travelling I wanted to do it.

“I always wanted to go abroad to see other places and different lives and cultures.”

The days of travelling began for Sue when she took her first solo trip at just 15, whilst travelling to Germany on an exchange visit. She was supposed to have been accompanied with a friend, but when they pulled out due to illness, Sue refused to let that stop her.

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Sue said: “I remember a German guy buying me beer on the ferry! I just remember thinking I didn’t like the taste. I remember being so nervous and not even knowing which trains to get – that was my first real big travel experience.”

Since then, Sue has developed a plethora of travelling experiences. Her favourite places include the Pacific Islands, Patagonia, Bolivia and the Caribbean. Sue explains: “I love the mountains and the ocean.

“One of my favourite ways to spend my time is relaxing on tropical beaches – and the Solomon Islands and French Polynesia are wonderful for swimming and snorkeling.

“The scenery in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, is also breathtaking.”

She has also been robbed a few times along the way and has even had to pay a “tip” to get into some countries. She added: “I had a horrid time in Nepal – the first time I ended up with appendicitis in Kathmandu.”

The former education consultant has mostly travelled on her own. She said: “You get under the skin of the country much better if you are not distracted by other people.

“It is an amazing world, such an incredible world, so go out and see it!”

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