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Filipino American fulfills dream of visiting all 193 countries at age 79

79-year-old Luisa Yu, a Filipino American, fulfilled her lifelong dream of visiting all 193 U.N.-member countries with her recent arrival in Serbia on November 9.

Yu, a former nurse from Miami, left her job to pursue her passion for global travel, financing her journey through property investments. Originally from the Philippines, she started exploring the U.S. at 23 as an exchange student in St. Louis. After touring over 40 states, she decided to venture beyond the U.S. borders.

During her travels, Yu received encouragement from friends she met along the way, ultimately choosing Serbia as her final destination. Supporters welcomed her with applause and cheers upon her arrival at the Serbian airport.


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A post shared by Luisa Yu (@luisa_yu14)

Croatian traveler and influencer Vanna Bojovic, who refers to Yu as Mama, celebrated her achievement in an Instagram post on November 9, praising Yu as the “biggest inspiration.”

In an encouraging message to others, Yu urged people not to hesitate but to embark on their travel dreams. She emphasized, “Don’t be afraid, just go. Don’t wait for anybody, because if you wait, it will never happen,” according to NBC6.


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A post shared by @vannabojovic

In recognition of her remarkable journey, Yu received two travel awards in 2022, including the Most Adventurous Explorer Award from Philippine Global Explorers and the Most Positive Traveler 2022 from Nomad Mania. She joins Odette Aquitania Ricasa as one of the only two Filipinos to have visited every country in the world; Ricasa completed her journey on August 25, 2022, residing in Los Angeles.

Justin Aguilar

Justin is an assistant editor at The Filipino Times. She was a TV News Reporter for ABS-CBN News where she covered news stories and reports for TV and radio programs such as ANC, TV Patrol World, Umagang Kay Ganda, Bandila, and DZMM Teleradyo. She enjoys capturing people’s hearts by highlighting the excellence of Filipinos in her stories and bringing the latest updates to both OFWs and global readers of The Filipino Times. Want to share your story? Reach Justin on Facebook: or send your story at: [email protected]

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