The Most Underrated Country In The World, According To Someone Who’s Been To All Of Them

Rachel Davey is the first Australian woman to travel to every country in the world.
first woman to travel to every country in the world

Rachel Davey is the first Australian woman to travel to every single country in the world.

It’s something that most people wouldn’t dare to dream of doing, let alone actually achieve.

In fact, of the 300 other people who have made it to every country in the world, less than ten percent of these people are women.

For Rachel and her partner Martina, who has also travelled to every 195 countries, this discrepancy was a big part of their motivation.

“In 2016, a conversation about travel came up about how many countries were there and how many people had visited them all,” Rachel tells marie claire Australia.

“We could find just a couple of hundred people worldwide who had done it and we struggled to find any women on the list.

“This didn’t make sense to us, so we decided then and there that we’d like to diversify that list.”

First australian woman to travel to every country in the world
Rachel and Martina in Chenini, Tunisia in 2022. (Credit: Supplied )

At the time of their research, Rachel and Martina had already made it to 100 countriesan achievement aided by their careers in travel.

“My first full-time job after high school was as a travel consultant,” Rachel explains. “Then at 21, I applied for and received a one-year working holiday visa for Canada”

While most people would have come back home to settle down after a year abroad, Rachel chose to apply for another working holiday visathis time for the UK, where she scored a job working as an on-road chef for a coach tour company.

“This job required me to work six months of the yearduring European summerthen have six months off to do whatever I chose,” Rachel says. “I always chose to travel.”

first australian woman to travel to every country in the world
Rachel and Martina hiking to Zelene Pleso in Slovakia. (Credit: Supplied )

Rachel and Martina met while working for the same tour company in Europe. Not long after getting together, they decided to go travelling through Asia and ‘The Stans’, where they both made it to their 100th country.

However, it was on return to Australia that the couple began noticing a common reaction from their friends and family.

“We were pretty surprised by people telling us we were’ so brave’ as women to go to those countries alone and travel them without a male, even after they had seen our photographs and heard our positive stories from our adventures,” Rachel explained.

Rachel and Martina’s experience proves that it’s not that women aren’t just as avid travellers as men but there are simply so many places society tells women they mustn’t go.

This expectation doesn’t sit well with either Rachel or Martina, who don’t believe gender should prevent anyone from experiencing the world.

“Nowadays, we should be given more credit for having the intelligence, strength, street smarts, sense of adventure and persistence to do anything we set our minds to,” Rachel says.

“If there’s one thing that we learned from visiting every country, it’s that people from all over the world want to help you rather than harm you. There is so much good in the world, and no matter what country you are born, this trip taught us that we are fundamentally all the same. We all have the same hopes, desires and dreams in life, it’s that simple.”

With her wealth of knowledge about travel, we asked Rachel for her top travel tips, favourite countries and of course, where the couple are heading next now that they have, quite literally, achieved the world.

rachel davey every country in the world
Rachel shares her top tips. (Credit: Supplied )

The Best Country In The World, According To Rachel

For Rachel, it’s hard to choose a favourite but the country she feels most at home in is Thailand.

“I’ve visited many times, and spent months at a time just exploring the ‘land of smiles’. I love the warm climate, the people, the affordability, the culture, the diversity (cities, mountains, islands and beaches), and I adore the cuisine,” Rachel says.

“I particularly love returning to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, I always feel calm and zen there.”

The Most Underrated Country In The World

When it comes to the country Rachel believes more people should visit, it’s Colombia.

“We recently returned home from my second trip to Colombia, and this country has so much to offer—energetic cities, remarkable wildlife, stunning countryside, excellent coffee, thriving cafes and restaurant scene, dancing, and Colombians have so much energy; it’s infectious,” Rachel explains.

Rachel’s Top Tips For Travellers Embarking On A Similar Adventure

  1. Pack light: Carry-on luggage is highly recommended for ease of travel and to skip paying airline baggage fees (which are pricey these days)
  2. Be willing to adapt to anything and everything. 
  3. Patience and persistence is the key to making it the whole way
  4. Research at all times. Logistics, visa updates, safety
  5. Move like a local to keep costs down – Use public transport & shared taxi. 
  6. Join Facebook groups of travellers who have done it; they will happily share insider tips, advice and knowledge.

Where’s Next?

For the next month, Rachel and Martina are spending time right here at home in Australia, and then Rachel says, “your guess is as good as ours – and that’s how we like it!”

However, if you would like to keep up with Rachel and Martina’s adventures (and read more of their travel tips) you can follow along on their website, Very Hungry Nomads, Instagram and Facebook.

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