Early this month, he embarked on a journey to another country, aiming to become the first Vietnamese to set foot in all 195 countries and territories recognized by the United Nations.

He revealed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that his first stop for the year is a South American nation.

Upon reaching the milestone of 195 countries, he intends to revisit countries he holds dear and explore destinations that beckon him for further discovery.

Lai Ngua Chan has gained a significant following among travel enthusiasts on YouTube, with his channel boasting almost 400 videos and amassing over 670,000 subscribers.

Expounding on the origin of his moniker, Lai Ngua Chan, he explained that his academic background in linguistics and philosophy in Germany played a role.

“Ngua Chan” derives from the English phrase “itchy feet,” a metaphorical expression for an ardent traveler. “Lai”, meaning “again,” signifies his repeated travels.

Lai Ngua Chan immerses himself in the local culture of the countries he visits. Photo: Supplied

Curiously, Lai Ngua Chan confessed to a lack of enthusiasm for travel in his younger years.

“Following my initial trip abroad to China in 2006 with friends, I still had not considered globetrotting. It was during my studies in Europe that I realized the possibility of world travel with persistent saving,” he elaborated.

After nearly two decades of extensive travel, Lai Ngua Chan acknowledges his addiction to the pursuit.

Travel, he believes, expands one’s horizons, enriches real-life experiences, broadens knowledge, and fosters personal growth and transformation.

“I resonate with Danish writer Christian Hans Andersen’s assertion – At rejse er at leve, which translates to ‘to travel is to live.’ Embarking on a journey is akin to embracing life itself,” he remarked.

During his time in Germany, Lai Ngua Chan effortlessly visited most European countries. His travels subsequently extended to various regions, including areas marred by danger, political instability, and even conflicts and wars.

His intrepid spirit has led him to destinations such as Haiti, Somalia, and Yemen.

He credits his success in navigating these challenging regions to the guidance of local tour guides, the wisdom gleaned from seasoned travelers, and his innate ability to adapt and respond to unforeseen circumstances.

He attributes his greatest strength to his insatiable sense of adventure.

Lai Ngua Chan interacts with children in Angola. Photo: Supplied

In 2023 alone, he ventured to 32 countries and territories.

“The experiences that deeply moved me include witnessing the resilience of the Cuban people, being awestruck by the unique customs of near-primitive tribes in South Sudan and Angola, and being both frightened and saddened by the realities of war zones in Ukraine,” he recounted.

Travel, he acknowledges, can be an expensive endeavor. While many aspire to travel, not all can afford to do so.

Lai Ngua Chan revealed that he worked part-time jobs as a student to finance his travels.

Upon graduating, he was fortunate to secure a well-paying job that enabled him to pursue his passion for travel.

Since launching his YouTube channel and sharing videos of his travels in 2021, his earnings from the platform have covered approximately half of his travel expenses.

“My greatest joy lies in providing Vietnamese audiences with visuals of remote and unfamiliar lands. I am not a professional filmmaker, so I strive to capture authentic and immersive footage,” Lai Ngua Chan shared.

He further emphasized that the most valuable lesson he has learned from his travels to 178 countries and territories is the importance of patience and maintaining a positive outlook. Each journey he undertakes is a tapestry of enriching experiences. 

“I tend to be introverted and cherish preserving memories for future reflection. This desire serves as a constant motivator for my ‘itchy feet’ and perpetual travels,” he concluded.