We did it! all 195 Samoa beach

This also means that Rach is the first Australian woman to visit every country and Marty is the first Slovakian woman to do so.

There are less than 300 people who have completed this goal and less than 10% are women.

How did it feel?

Honestly, standing at Nadi Airport in Fiji and boarding our relatively short flight to Samoa felt like any other flight.

Once again we flew economy class. Did you know that in all the years of flying we never got upgraded, despite probably being the definition of a frequent flyer?

We made a joke about this as we sat down, only realising that Rach’s window seat was windowless. What a win.

Passports and smiles. Last country let's go

The plane landed and we definitely felt the excitement coming over us. Somehow we imagined us stepping off the plane, walking down a ladder and touching the tarmac to high five.

But, as we shuffled through the plane we found ourselves inside the terminal and well we felt kind of confused if we should celebrate already. LOL!

But at least we snapped this photo with a huge sign ‘Welcome to Samoa’ which seemed to be the perfect backdrop.

Welcome to Samoa

It wasn’t until we drove out of the airport and watched the lush greenery pass us by, much of it covered in the flags of Samoa. It was the weekend when Samoa made it into the Rugby Final and it felt like the whole country was celebrating.

We have been asked a few times what our last country will be. Honestly, when we set off on this journey in 2018 we didn’t really consider the last country. At that stage, we had 88 countries left to visit and we were surprised at just how many were islands.

Initially, most of our travels were overland until we got to the islands and suddenly we had to fly to those. It seemed fitting to leave the Pacific Islands to the end and choose one island nation as the last one.

Samoa seemed to be the ideal choice: a tropical island with its own culture and history, with plenty of things to do and see and great local food. It ticked all the boxes. 

Samoa is so lush and green
Samoa is so lush and green

Samoa delivered in every way. After years of travelling on a budget, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice resort – the Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa.

And it was perfect, with gorgeous bungalows, a swimming pool and a restaurant set around a former coconut tree plantation. And watching the sunset here with a cold local beer in hand was our favourite way to finish the day.

Beer in every country in Samoa

What to see in Samoa? 

Samoa is made of two island, Upolu and Savai’i and we decided to just explore Upolu this time. The capital city of Apia has a few fantastic things to see.

We got some great vegetable samosas from Lucky Supermarket Bakery before we explored the main market. All of the tropical foods are here for sale plus some souvenirs as well.

We caught a special mass in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, which is definitely a must-see. Elaborate ceiling with paintings, it was filled with new graduate students singing with joy. 

Apia Church in Samoa

Right opposite the church is the Cultural Village which hosts a cultural show a few times a week. 

Of course, there is a live performance of traditional Samoan dancing and singing, but before that, you learn about the preparation of the umu (earth oven) and learn more about the traditional tattoos. 

The Cultural Village & Show is offered free of charge, but a donation is appreciated. Once you’ve seen the show, trust me, you will be happy to give a donation to the performers. It’s fantastic!

Cultural Show in Samoa
Cultural Show in Samoa

Snorkelling & Best Beach & Giant clams

We loved the beach activities and Samoa didn’t disappoint. We found some great snorkelling just outside the capital city at the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve.

There’s another spot called the ‘Giant Glam Sanctuary‘, you don’t want to miss it! We were amazed by the giant clams found here – such a highlight! 

These clams were enormous – easily a metre long. Despite a torrential downpour, it was fun snorkelling around here.

Of course, we didn’t miss out on visiting Lalomanu Beach, voted as one of the Top 10 Best Beaches in the World.

A long stretch of white sand, turquoise water and palm trees towering over wooden beach fales (house) along the beachfront; it’s dreamy.

We took the local bus around the island in a big colourful bus and admired how there’s always room for one more person to squeeze on, as younger people would immediately scootch back and sit on the lap of another to make space. 

One of the things we admired the most in Samoa is the sense of community. It’s strong here. People seem to really look out for each other.

Why Samoa is our final country?

Our adventure to visit every country in the world has been a logistical masterpiece! A problem solving puzzle that we had to keep re-working and shifting pieces until it fit just right. The research, pre-planning, re-checking, booking and re-arranging we did along the way seemed endless.

We chose Samoa to be our final country for a number of reasons. Firstly, entry is easy (no tough visa required).

Secondly, there are regular flights in/out from Fiji or New Zealand that connect with Australia, our home country.

Finally, it felt like a place where we could relax and enjoy the final stop of what has been one of the most challenging, yet exhilarating things we’ve ever done.

Overall Samoa was truly the perfect country to finish our journey to visit every country in the world. 

RELATED POST: Samoa vs American Samoa – What Is The Difference?

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Travel Tips for the Pacific

Interested in travelling in the Pacific Islands? You may enjoy reading more about travelling to the Solomon Islands and read our accommodation guide for Solomon Islands for some great options on where to stay.

Don’t miss our post on 10 Awesome Things to Do in Palau, and our list of the Best Things To Do in Tuvalu has you covered if you decide to visit this tiny nation, also one of the least visited countries in the world.

Perhaps our guide on How to Travel to Tonga On a Budget or this Vanuatu Travel Guide has the information you’re searching for if you’re planning to visit these countries.

Our food guide on What to Eat in Vanuatu – 5 Amazing Foods You Need To Try has some great tips.

If you’re keen to visit all of the Pacific nations, check out our Ultimate Guide – How to Visit Every Country in the Pacific.