A woman has completed a life-long mission to visit every country in the world and has walked with penguins and met members of the Taliban along the way.

Sue Rogers, from Brighton, first got the travelling bug when she went on a school trip to Dieppe aged 11 and has since ventured to the Pacific islands and war-torn nations, been hospitalised in South Asia and even been robbed several times.

Definitions of how many countries there are in the world vary but Sue has visited the 193 United Nations member states plus Taiwan, Kosovo and The Vatican.

The 69-year-old ticked off the final one when she went to Afghanistan in October.

The Argus: Sue Rogers on her trip to AfghanistanSue Rogers on her trip to Afghanistan (Image: SWNS)

Sue, who has documented each trip on her blog Sue Travels, believes she is the first British-born woman to achieve the feat.

Her journeys across the world have been made up of holidays, short breaks, occasional work and longer trips.

She said she has probably spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on her adventures and has sold three properties, downsizing each time, to fund her mission.

The Argus: Sue with a dog sled in Alaska in 2011Sue with a dog sled in Alaska in 2011 (Image: SWNS)

She has also battled with a chronic fatigue condition for 23 years.

“My friends all think I’m mad or brave,” she said. “The brave worries me, as I start to wonder if I am being stupid.

"But for me, life is all about experience and understanding the world. I’d rather have the memories than materialistic things.

“It is an amazing world, such an incredible world, so go out and see it.”

The Argus: Sue riding a camel in Morocco Sue riding a camel in Morocco (Image: SWNS)

People like Sue are sometimes referred to as extreme travellers and there are online platforms which both rank and support them.

Sue, who worked in education, says her claim to have been the first British born woman to visit every country in the world has been “verified” on the two most popular of these.

These online platforms check claims by looking at passport details and other documents and photographs.

The Argus: Sue in Somaliland in 2019Sue in Somaliland in 2019 (Image: SWNS)


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Sue says another British woman has visited every country but she was born in Germany and now lives in Japan.

The Argus: Sue meeting Princess Anne in Nepal in 2000Sue meeting Princess Anne in Nepal in 2000 (Image: SWNS)

“I didn’t realise how difficult this was until I had done it,” said Sue.

She got the travel bug from a young age despite her parents being “very stay-in-England holiday people”.

“I always wanted to go abroad to see other places and different lives and cultures,” she said.

Sue took her first solo trip at just 15 when she travelled to Germany on an exchange visit.

She was supposed to be accompanied by a school friend but when they pulled out due to illness Sue refused to let that stop her.

The Argus: Sue in south Georgia with a baby penguin in December 2018Sue in south Georgia with a baby penguin in December 2018 (Image: SWNS)

“I remember a German guy buying me beer on the ferry,” she said.

“I just remember thinking I didn't like the taste. I was too naïve to understand the dangers.

“I remember being so nervous and not even knowing which trains to get - that was my first real big travel experience.”

The Argus: Sue in Pakistan's Hunza Valley in 2016Sue in Pakistan's Hunza Valley in 2016 (Image: SWNS)

Sue’s favourite places include Patagonia, Bolivia and the Caribbean but says it is “quite often the last country” she has ventured to.

“I love the mountains and the ocean,” she said.

The Argus: Sue in the Western Sahara in November 2019Sue in the Western Sahara in November 2019 (Image: SWNS)

"One of my favourite ways to spend my time is relaxing on tropical beaches and the Solomon Islands and French Polynesia are wonderful for swimming and snorkelling.

“The scenery in Bolivia, the poorest country in South America, is also breathtaking. The mountains look as though they have been painted."

Sue said her ventures have not been without struggle.

The Argus: Sue in Sudan in 2019Sue in Sudan in 2019 (Image: SWNS)

She worries about travelling on her own at times and is terrified of turbulence.

“You always have to try and be aware and ask around,” she said.

"I don’t go out on my own at night a lot but it depends where I am.

“When there is somewhere coloured red on the foreign and commonwealth office map I still go if travel agents tell me that the risk level is acceptable.

The Argus: Scuba diving in Bonaire, January 2019Scuba diving in Bonaire, January 2019 (Image: SWNS)

"But quite often I go with a company tour for safety. I was robbed in Cuba and this guy put his hands around my neck and ripped a chain off me.

“I was relieved it was just the necklace, I thought he was trying to kill me.

“I had a horrid time in Nepal. The first time I ended up with appendicitis in Kathmandu, we went overland to Tibet and I ended up in a Chinese hospital in Lhasa where they put me on lots of potions, which eventually ended up working.

The Argus: Sue in Indonesia in 2001Sue in Indonesia in 2001 (Image: SWNS)

“When I was going home with the group tour, I said thank you to all of them for getting me to a hospital.

“They replied that actually they were more worried about themselves as a German traveller had developed what I had just a couple of weeks ago and had apparently died.

“All the people on the tour had to watch the German woman’s sky burial, exposing the body to the vultures on the mountainside in Tibet, for insurance purposes so they said they sent me to the hospital because they didn’t want to watch this happen to me.”