Luisa Yu, a vibrant 79-year-old living in Miami, Florida, embodies what it means to live life to the fullest. Over the past five decades, she recently became one of the few people living to have ever visited all 193 countries in the world.
Having worked as a travel specialist for over 25 years, Luisa has become renowned in the traveling community. Fellow adventurers refer to her by one word: “Mama.”
ABC News discussed her incredible journey all over the world.
A 79-year-old woman has achieved her goal of traveling to every country in the world and she told “Good Morning America” it has been a “dream come true.”
Luisa Yu said ever since she was a young girl in the Philippines, she has “always” dreamed of traveling.
“When I [went to] the movies, I [saw] this beautiful backdrop about the scenery, the nature, the rivers, the mountains, and that fascinated me,” Yu recalled. “That’s why I always thought someday I will go to these places and travel.”
Yu said she came to the U.S. as an exchange student when she was 23 and began to travel when she could.
View this post on Instagram
Her last stop was Serbia. She reached Belgrade, the final place to visit in all of the countries recognized by the United Nations, last November.
Many of the friends she has made over her five decades of traveling around the world persuaded her to make Serbia the last country on her list.
“They said, please make your last trip to Serbia, we are going to have some party for you,” said Yu. “When I exited the airport, there were people clapping and cheering.”
Yu says that it’s difficult to choose her favorite country, but some of her favorites are Italy, the Philippines, and Thailand.
When asked what her advice is for people who want to travel, she said, “Don’t be afraid, just go. Don’t wait for anybody, because if you wait, it will never happen.”
In 2022 she won two awards for her remarkable adventures. “I won the Nomad Mania Award last year as the most positive traveler,” she said. “And the other award I won is from the Philippines, the Global Explorer, the Most Adventure Explorer Award.”