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The bucket list: 30 countries before 30

Something that’s fairly unambiguous about the spending habits of millennials is that they generally prefer to spend money doing stuff rather than buying stuff.

Statistics overwhelmingly indicate that the oft-maligned Gen-Y prioritises experiences (holidays, festivals, dining out) over things (cars, clothes, handbags), while recent media scandals less helpfully suggest that the humble avocado is also a major cause for concern.

Whilst we’re not entirely sold on the evils of brunch, it’s clear that passions and experiences are ruling the millennial roost — as well as the purse strings. Our customer service operations lead (and committed nomad) Patrick embodies this adventurous spirit with his wanderlust-triggering 30 before 30 list – which has seen him visit 28 countries since 2012 (with two more in the pipeline just in time for his approaching 30th birthday). Nice work!

If this is a bucket list…we’re going to need a bigger bucket. Take us away, Patrick…

What is it you love about travelling?

I’m a somewhat self-confessed travel addict trying to see as much of the world as possible!

Tasting exotic delicacies, getting a sense of worldly cultures, laying on a beautiful sandy beach, and looking forward to new adventures – it’s why I’m hooked. Oh, and of course the funny travel stories, musings, and flooding Instagram with travel photos.

How did #30CountriesBefore30 come about?

A couple of years ago while living in Melbourne, my girlfriend, Kya, and I were planning to travel through Europe for three months.

Deciding where and how to spend the three months was extremely hard, simply because Kya and I just HAD to go everywhere. What we didn’t want, was to rush through a small number of cities or countries.

Driving home on Christmas eve Kya turned to me and asked, “Do you just want to move to Europe?”

My response, “@£!% it — let’s do it!”

We made a life changing decision in an instant, and five months later had packed up and moved to London – best decision ever! And it’s also how I ended up at Starling.

Favourite country to visit and why?

The one question I can never answer is “What’s your favourite country?”.

New Zealand’s South Island, Mykonos (in the Greek Islands) and Spain are amongst my favourite places to be, all for very different reasons. I love the buzz and excitement in New Zealand, the beaches and weather in Mykonos, and all things food and drinks in Spain!

How are you able to afford to keep travelling so often?

Much of my travel is done on a budget, though my definition of “on a budget” has evolved over the years, and I’m committed to finding maximum value while travelling.

What started off with spreadsheets, multiple travel cards and juggling saving accounts, is now down to just one app: Starling.

Okay, sure, I may be a little biased but seeing my clear balance, my spending insights (yes, the Holidays category is always my highest spend), and no fees on my card makes Starling my absolute favourite app!

Research is key when deciding where to splurge, how to save, and plenty of secrets shared by friends picked up along the way.

Where to next?

I’m 30 in a few months, and next on the list is a few days in Ireland, the Oktoberfest in Germany, and the one I’m most looking forward to: skydiving in Switzerland.

Other apps you’d recommend when you travel?

I must say when travelling, CityMapper and Google Maps have been absolute lifesavers!