In late 2012, Graham Hughes of Liverpool, England, became the first person to travel to all 201 countries without using an airplane.
He traveled about 160,000 miles in 1,462 days on a budget of $100 per week. Some highlights of his journey:
- He spent 4 days in a leaky boat to reach Cape Verde.
- He was arrested and jailed in Congo for being a “spy”.
- He was captured by Muslim fundamentalists, and rescued.
- He said that the countries you’d think would be most difficult to get into (North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan) were actually easy, and it was some of the outlying islands (Nauru, the Maldives, the Seychelles) that were the mot difficult because of the threat of pirates.
- Hughes filmed the journey for a National Geographic documentary, the 8-episode Lonely Planet: The Odyssey.
- Hughes raised money on the journey for WaterAid, an international charity that helps secure access to clean, safe water, hygiene and sanitation.
This video compilation of Mr. Hughes in every sovereign country on Earth is oddly engaging. It must be his accent.
You can find the trip’s website here, and Graham Hughes has an excellent Youtube channel documenting his journey and even offering tips for cheap travel. A few days ago, he even did a TED Talk. He also set a Guinness World Record for the most countries traveled in one year by scheduled ground transport.
So…ready to start your international adventure?