• 19 November 2017

Jeffrey Lee is originally from Korea, carries a US passport, lived in Kigali (Rwanda) for almost 8 years and currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After retiring from 37 years of banking, Jeffrey and his wife Kristin are currently involved in a ministry that equips and empowers businesses with a mission in Asia and Africa.

Jeffrey’s first travel experience overseas was in 1982/1983, when he traveled the world for 5 months.


We have been actively traveling since 2009, and every year we have major travel plans.

Why was Italy on the list?

Kristin and I have travelled to most of Europe and wanted to go deeper into a country that is rich with culture, foods, art and history. So last year we toured to Tuscany as well as Southern Italy and Sicily.

After seeing what Italy has to offer, Sorrento is my favourite city. Its panoramic view of the bay from the town’s cliff was fascinating, and the view of the cliffs from the sea was equally amazing. Its chewable size of the city, full of charms and beauty, was quite attractive. Of course, the access to Capri Isle and Amalfi coast add more value to its attractiveness.

After seeing what Italy has to offer, Sorrento is my favourite city. Its panoramic view of the bay from the town’s cliff was fascinating, and the view of the cliffs from the sea was equally amazing

Love for different countries and cultures

When exploring a place for the first time, I start with the historical significance or natural landscape of a destination. Having lived in an African nation and having been to 75 sovereign countries to date, I feel I can go almost anywhere on earth to be able to get by and also to live, if needed. I enjoy people wherever we go. All human beings are uniquely equal, I have come to respect the cultural differences and uniqueness of each culture.

“Traveling is not reward for working, but education for living. Thus, I travel. You should too. Life is short and the world is too big not to travel.”

What keeps you travelling?

I love exploring different cultures and meeting new people. I was born to be adventurous and re-discovered this attribute when we moved to Rwanda in 2009. I love the feeling of being anonymous in a new place. I wish to have this sense in at least 100 countries out of 196 sovereign countries in the world before I leave the earth. So far, I have been to 75 countries and the number keeps increasing every year.

So far, I have been to 75 countries and the number keeps increasing every year.

We have already scheduled for a travel to Greece in October 2018 with Expat Explore, (one of a few European countries we have not been to yet). We also want to take advantage of the fact that we’re living in Thailand, so we’ve booked another tour to Vietnam in March 2018, we will also celebrate our 35th anniversary in Down Under Australia and New Zealand.

“We will keep on traveling for as long as we can! We pick tough destinations first, while we are still young. In other words, we are not rushing to visit countries which we can visit even on wheelchair.”

Places that have left their mark

My top countries to visit include: Switzerland for the mountain views, Tanzania for the essence of Africa including Serengeti, Zanzibar and Mt. Kilimanjaro (I climbed it in 2011), Ecuador for its diverse climates, rich culture and affordability, Egypt for the wondrous ancient sites, Ireland for the green, Spain for food and passion, Italy for the combination of history, culture, foods, and nature…

Advice for future travelers?

Start small and through a guided tour like Expat Explore, to mitigate any risk of major fiasco. For people that are nervous to enter a place that is completely out of their comfort zone:  The first advice is the premise that each country is different in language, culture, customs, foods, clothing, housing etc. Then, focus on similarities rather than differences. Change in attitudes on these points alone would make you feel a lot more comfortable.

Egypt for the wondrous ancient sites, Ireland for the green, Spain for food and passion…

Guided bus tour is perfect for a few types of travellers:
1. People who are too busy to plan
2. People who are afraid of adventures on their own
3. People who desire to get the most out of limited travel time they have
4. People who desire to taste the city and country for the first time visit.

Top packing tip: Vitals to pack sufficient sun screen, comfortable shoes, day-pack. Nothing fancy.

Jeffrey Lee became part of the Expat Explore family in 2012, when he joined the Eastern Highlights tour. Since then, he has joined Expat Explore’s best-valued coach travel with Northern Explorer, London to Rome, Rome to London, Spain and Portugal, and UK and Ireland. And next up is Greece in October 2018!

Questions & Comments