How to travel the world without using one plane
A MAN has packed his bags to travel to every country in the world without using a single plane.
And if you think that’s ambitious just wait until you see his itinerary.
Danish-born Torbjorn C Pedersen, who is already 65 countries into his land and sea journey, plans to visit another 138.
In a Reddit thread, the former shipping and logistics worker, said he plans to spend at least 24 hours in each country and won’t be heading home until he has completed his dream.
“My motto for this journey is ‘a stranger is a friend you’ve never met before’, and so far, I haven’t been disappointed,” he said.
“This trip is mainly about people, cultures, life, breaking barriers, and adventure.”
Torbjorn, whose name translates into Thor and Bear, also said he is travelling as a goodwill ambassador for the Danish Red Cross and felt he was doing exactly what he was meant to doing in life.
Mr Pedersen, said while “his name was a terrible traveller’s name”, that hasn’t stopped him from seeing the globe.
The intrepid traveller had already visited a quarter of the world’s countries before this project even began.
On his blog, Once Upon a Saga, he also reveals the reason for avoiding plane travel and how his project all began.
The 35-year-old said his one-man journey to visit every country in a single journey, without the use of flight aimed to “bring some attention toward the well meaning people of the planet of which there are most”.
“If I were a rich man, flight would be the easy choice to visit many countries,” he writes.
“But what is the fun in easy? This will be a surface journey by scheduled ground transportation; that is primarily trains, buses and boats of different sorts. I will not buy, borrow or rent a vehicle in order get from A to B and I definitely do not have a chauffeur. This way I will ensure a lot of time spent with locals and travellers alike — an amazing way to see the World.”
Mr Pedersen told news.com.au both his Facebook and Twitter followers had doubled in size since posting the thread and it had been a “crazy day”.
He said his most notable experiences so far was his North-Atlantic crossover and his time in Reykjavik.
But when asked what was his favourite country, Mr Pedersen told news.com.au it depended on what exactly favourite meant.
“Generally I can say that the countries that made the biggest impression on me have been countries where I stayed for a long time or where I got surprised because I expected something else,” he said.
“That list is kind of long too. But I’ll mention San Marino, Andorra, Serbia, Latvia, Iceland, Greenland, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago. It’s kind of an unfair question.”
He also said he was a little scared heading into Venzeula with all the stories he had heard but that it “turned out to be one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to.”
And he admitted he was a little nervous about heading to Somalia.
“Mainly because it is well known that bandits run the country since there has been no effective government for more than 20 years,” he said.
“But many people have told me that I should be alright if I enter from the north. I would however love to see Mogadishu so I’ll need to keep a close eye on how the security situation develops as I approach.”
So can he really manage the no plane thing?
“No one has ever gone to every country in the world without setting foot in an aeroplane,” he said.
“However Graham Hughes claims to be the first person to go to every country without flying.
“When I reached Panama I met Graham who confirmed that he actually flew on 5-6 occasions although he came back to the same location in order to continue his journey. To this I say that you wouldn’t break a marathon into pieces by running 5km today, 3 tomorrow, 6 the next day and so on.
“We also talked about how he visited 7 countries in 1 day and why he only spent 30 seconds in North Korea but still claims it counts as a visit. This is the “completion element” of the journey. “While I respect Graham Hughes as an outstanding adventurer I cannot back his claim as being the first person to visit every country without flying.”
Still, some on Reddit remained curious as to how he would manage it but one user asking how he would visit countries such as Syria and North Korea.
“Carefully! :),” he replied.
“The Red Cross Red Crescent may be able to supply me with some assistance regarding paperwork and safe travel routes for Syria. Regarding North Korea you can easily obtain a tourist visa although I prefer to get a more “authentic” view of the country.”
Questions also range from how bad his feet smell to who is paying for his trip.
“I’m on a $20 a day budget which is sponsored by Ross Offshore and Ross Engineering,” he writes.
Others asked how long he was planning to spend in each city.
“With 203 countries on my list I try to average 7 days/country which amounts to about 4 years away from home. If I average 1 month/country then it would take more than 16 years,” he writes.
Mr Pedersen, who began his trip in his native Denmark on October 10th 2013 at exactly 10:10am, estimates the trip will finish up in the Seychelles.
And he also answers the not so serious questions such as which country has the best pie.
Sadly, Aussies, it isn’t ours but the USA.
And if another country does declare independence, he reckons he will go there too.
Mr Pedersen’s plan has gained wide support on Twitter with most wishing him luck, and some even wanting to catch up when he visits their country.