What if...You Could Only Visit 3 Countries for the Rest of Your Life?

Before we begin the first installment of "What If...," shout out to YouTuber & world traveler Drew Binsky for today's idea. A while back, Drew posted this very same question on his Instagram and of course I took a long, hard look into this hypothetical situation. 

What if I could only visit three countries for the rest of my life...

I actually decided to go with 1 country I've already spent some time in and 2 that I have not yet been to. 

I could've played it safe and chose my 3 favorite countries that I've already had some experiences in, but honestly where is the fun in that?
I could have chosen 3 brand new countries that I've never been to, but that's a bit too risky when we're talking about only have these three for the rest of my life. Going with two brand new countries to me seems like the best choice because a) if one is just unbearable for me, I've got another, b) what are the odds both of my choices would turn out to be disappointments, and c) in the event that I never want to visit either of the two new countries, I've got the one I've already experienced in my back pocket (kind of my safety net country). I've been to Australia before, but only around the Melbourne area, so as far as I'm concerned, I haven't even scratched the surface of that country. The other two I believe just have so much to offer that I wouldn't be disappointed and would never explore to the point of finding boredom.

I broke down my decision making into five areas that I thought would maximize the opportunities you could get from just three countries for the rest of your life.
  • Size
  • Geography
  • Diversity
  • Access
  • X-Factor
Size - Don't let them fool you, size matters...at least when it comes to this scenario. If I'm only able to visit 3 countries for the rest of my life, I want to have three massive countries that I'd never be able to successfully explore all the space they cover. Sorry, but Vatican City, Monaco, and Tuvalu, you didn't make this list. 

Geography - I'm a sucker for mountains, lakes, forrests, beaches, really anything other than flat, treeless plains. My three countries need to be able to deliver on some pretty Instagram-worthy nature shots. I've got to make sure that there will be different types of climates, landscapes, vegetation, the whole nine yards. The three countries I chose have some of the craziest physical features on earth. While many countries definitely have incredible geography, I'm needing some variety here.

Diversity - Obviously this is a huge factor to take into account if I'm only going to visit three countries for the rest of forever. Diversity encompasses a lot: geography, people, culture, food, etc. This, to me, is the quintessential reason that people travel. They want to experience something different. They want to see new things, try new foods, meet new people. For the countries I picked, I hope you'll see "diversity" reflected from them.

Access - I strategically chose my three countries so that I could theoretically traverse from one to the next via the United States. These countries have multiple major airports so deal shopping should still be advantageous. 

X-Factor - Each of these countries have unique reasons as to why I chose them. We'll get into these once we dive into my choices. 

The countries I would choose if I could only visit 3 for the rest of my life:

1. Australia
    Size: 6th largest in the world
    Geography: It's not just kangaroos & the Great Barrier Reef here. Australia is home to the Outback obviously, but also snow-capped mountains, and even jungle rainforests.
    Diversity: over 20,000 species of organisms unique to Australia
    Access: it's a heck of a flight across the Pacific Ocean, but major metropolitan cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth make for adequate access to the country
    X-Factor: Come on, it's Australia! There is no place on earth quite like it. Plus, the people are amazing, friendly,  and hospitable.

2. Brazil
    Size: 5th largest in the world
    Geography: coastlines, jungles
    Diversity: Amazon Rainforest. The end.
    Access: Rio, São Paulo
    X-Factor: For me, it's all the extreme sports (hang gliding, paragliding, parasailing, bungee jumping -- sign me up). Hey, if I'm going to die doing something dangerous, I'd prefer it be with an incredible view.

3. Russia
    Size: largest in the world
    Geography: west to east or north to south, this geographic phenom has a lot to offer
    Diversity: over 5,500 miles wide and ~2,000 miles long, the climate, the people, the languages, stretch across such a huge geographic area that diversity should be synonymous with Russia -- to the west, European-like, to the east, more Asian-influenced
    Access: can be accessed by both east and west from the United States. Also, hello Alaska.
    X-Factor: I enjoy a little "risk" in my life. Russia offers that in a variety of ways. From their notorious Russian "toughness" to the fear-nothing persona, this country is a beast. Not to mention the relationship with the United States, that always adds a bit of suspense for anyone with a geopolitical understanding of the world.

When making this make-believe decision, I considered many things.
First, I wanted to spread my global reach as far as I could. This meant I could not pick any countries that were located on the same continent. The United States obviously eliminated any North American countries. By choosing Australia, I tackled an entire continent right there. Brazil being the largest country in South America I figured was a good choice for obvious reasons, and Russia spans two continents, so come on.
The next thing I thought about was climate and overall geography. Brazil and Australia both being in the southern hemisphere allow for season-changing travel whenever I'd want. Our summers here are their winters and vice versa, so that was a nice little option to have. 
Language was a factor in this decision as well. I don't speak Russian or Portuguese, but I can speak "Australian" and it is nice to have a foreign country where you are capable understanding the language.

Overall, I feel good about this decision. As horrible as it would be to be limited to only three countries for the rest of my life, I feel like each of these are so huge, extremely different from one another, and are so geographically spread out that even after a lifetime of visiting them, each trip would still be an adventure unlike the last! 

* China
* Peru
* Sweden
I'm curious to know which 3 countries you would choose...comment down below & share with us!