Torbjorn Pedersen, a Danish traveler, claims to be the first person in history to have visited every country on earth without ever flying.
He said it took 10 years for the feat to be completed, with an average cost of $20 per day.
In some countries, like Singapore I need to spend more than 20 dollars a day. In Bolivia and other countries, $20 is enough.
He said that when he wasn't sleeping in hostels, trains, hammocks, or on ships, he would stay with host families.
Pedersen says that hundreds of people have opened their doors to him over the course of the year after he gained popularity on social media.
Pedersen stated that he had often been forced to say "no" to people due to the fact that he had received too many offers, or it was just inconvenient.
He said he was invited to stay in five-star hotels several times.
Ross Energy, which generates geothermal electricity, funded Pedersen’s decade-long journey. They sent him $600 a month.
"They felt that [my plan] is crazy and wanted to support it." Pedersen stated that "what I did was part of history and they wanted be a piece of it."
Pedersen traveled 382,000 km (237,363 mi) to visit 203 countries, using 20 modes of transport, including:
1 high performance yacht
Pedersen lived in Hong Kong for the longest time (772 days) during the pandemic. He spent the least time (just 24 hours) in Vatican City.
The Best and Worst Times
Pedersen planned to spend a week in Hong Kong when he arrived there in January 2020. His plans changed dramatically when the pandemic began.
He said that he was only nine countries away from achieving his goal at the time.
He said, "I have been working on this goal for so long." "I didn't know if I would be stuck for 5 months or 5 years."
Pedersen once said that being stuck in Hong Kong had been the "worst" time of his life. But now, he says he considers the city to be his second home.
He said, "I feel more comfortable in Hong Kong than in Copenhagen." "On the one hand, it was the most wonderful time of my entire life. On the other hand, it was a nightmare."
Pedersen shared that one of his most terrifying experiences occurred on a border crossing between Cameroon, and the Congo.
He said that after driving for hours along a dirt track with "a wall on both sides" of trees, three men "out of their mind" stopped his taxi.
Pedersen stated that "you could see the fire in the eyes of one of the uniformed officers the moment he saw me when I stepped from the vehicle." "There was so many rages and emotions." "It was as if the entire history Western colonialism had been my fault."
Follow his example and inspire others to do the same
Pedersen was a soldier and United Nations peacekeeper for Eritrea and Ethiopia. But he claimed that this was the very first time he had been held aggressively at gunpoint on his travels.
He said, "I knew that they had their finger on the trigger. I knew that that was my end."
He said that after 45 minutes the soldiers let them go.
"We hurried back to the taxi, and drove three kilometers until I told the driver that we had to stop. I got out, sat down on the roadside and began shaking for 10 minutes.
Pedersen shared other memories that he will never forget. These included a trip to the Solomon Islands, where he shared a laptop with villagers without electricity or running waters.
"About 80 people watched a war movie 'The Thin Red Line,' around my laptop while I leant back and looked up at the palm trees and stars that formed a roof above us."
He said, "I have never looked at my computer the same again."
Pedersen's advice to those who wish to follow his path is: "Don’t do it."
It has cost me a lot of money and taken up a large part of my time. I invested a lot to get there. "It's just too much work and too difficult," he said.
Do something more sensible. Pedersen was candid when he said, "Do something fun and enjoyable."
He also discussed how to make the most of each travel experience.
Listen and look. Smell, taste and take in the environment. "Use all of your senses to soak up everything like a sponge," said he. But, "leave only your footprints behind."