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Tigard native plans trip around the world

Online travel contest could send Tigard native on eight month trip across Europe.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Tigard's Jessie Landar is traveling to every country on Earth, and is in the running for a travel website that could send her on an eight-month trip across Europe next year.Jessie Landar is on a mission.

She’s hoping to visit every country in the world, and she’s looking for your help to make that happen.

Landar, 23, is in the running for an online competition that could send her on an eight-month trip across Europe, crossing 50 countries off her list.

The contest is run by Global Degree, an online travel channel that encourages people to see the world. The show will pick one lucky winner for an eight-month trip across 50 countries in Europe.

Global Degree covers flights, accommodations and other amenities, Landar said.

“This is an absolute dream trip that I would never be able to do on my own,” she said. “Normally when people do a Europe trip you have to pick and choose which couple of countries you want to visit, but for me I have the hardest time choosing.”

Vote for Jessie

Click here to vote for Jessie's Global Degree application.

The contest allows people to vote once a day until person can vote every day until early December.

Passion for travel

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jessie Landar has visits a 'hobbit hole' in New Zealand. Landar is planning a three-month backpacking trip across Asia, then a roadtrip to all 50 states. Landar graduated from Tigard High School in 2010 and Oregon State University last year. In college, she said, she was bitten by a desire to travel across the globe. She studied aboard in Australia, and never looked back.

“After that I was hooked,” she said. “I did a bunch of traveling in Australia and the whole south island of New Zealand. I decided I was going to come back on a working holiday visa and spend a whole year in Australia before I had even left to go home.”

After graduating, Landar set off.

Landar has been living in Australia since last December. She said that she doesn’t see herself stopping anytime soon.

“The more I heard everyone talk about trips (they had taken) the more I knew I wouldn’t be done traveling for a very, very long time,” she said. “There’s just so many places to see!”

Along with the U.S. and Australia, Landar has also visited New Zealand, Indonesia and six Caribbean nations.

“The world is bigger than just the U.S.,” she said. “I know so many people that will never leave the country and to me that is the biggest shame. There is so much else out there than what we are fortunate to have in the States and I want to experience it all.”

Landar’s list of countries is growing all the time. From Australia, Landar heads to Bangkok, Thailand for a three-month-long backpacking trip across Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia.

“The thing that excites me most about traveling to a new place is seeing the difference in our cultures and meeting new people from there,” she said. “I feel that a lot of times people get stuck in what they know and accidentally make the mistake to think that everyone everywhere does the same things as them, or believes in the same things as them. I’ve learned that even places you think are so similar actually have so many little differences they make them who they are.”

From vacation to vocation?

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jessie Landar is currently living in Sydney, Australia, with plans to return to Tigard in early 2016. Landar said she’d like to turn her love of travel into a job, working in impoverished countries to help improve education and women’s rights.

“I feel that in order for me to fully be able to help others I need to go everywhere and put myself closer to being in their shoes to have a fuller understanding of their struggles and what they need,” she said. “…I want to see firsthand the struggles people face every day. I want to be there to lend a helping hand even if it's just doing something small like buying someone a meal. This is my true purpose in life.”

Landar admits she likely won’t be able to accomplish her goal of visiting every country for some time.

“It’s a life-long goal,” she said. “I’m a bit different than other travelers because my preference is to actually move to somewhere new, not just go and explore it for a couple days or weeks … To me, when you’re in a hurry to see everything you don’t get to fully take it in and appreciate the differences. Plus, if I tried to see all the countries by the time I’m 30 what would I do for the rest of my life?”

As if visiting every country on earth isn’t ambitious enough, Landar said she also plans to visit every U.S. state when she gets back to Tigard.

"I have already started making plans for a road through them all in 2017," she said. "I believe you can’t truly learn ... from the world if you don’t explore where you came from, too."

By Geoff Pursinger
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