Guy travels to 201 nations! No plane!

The really tough ones were places like Nauru, and the Maldives and the Seychelles, island countries where there were also sometimes pirate threats.”


A British guy, Graham Hughes, has become the first person to travel to all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying. He set out from Liverpool on New Year’s Day 2009. In the subsequent 1,426 days he travelled 160,000 miles by bus, foot, taxi and train but not by plane.

Mr Hughes visited all 193 United Nations member states plus Kosovo, Palestine, Taiwan, Vatican City, Western Sahara, and the four home nations of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales). His last country was the South Sudan which is the world’s newest nation.

The Guinness World Records were advised that Hughes is the first person to achieve this feat without flying.

Mr Hughes told the Christian Science Monitor that he wanted to see if this could be done, by one person traveling on a shoestring. Over the time, he spent an average of less than 100 dollars a week. He said: “I flove travel…I think I also wanted to show that the world is not some big, scary place, but in fact is full of people who want to help you even if you are a stranger.” He couch surfed and hitched for most of his epic journey.

His Highlights:

  • Swimming in a lake of jellyfish in the Pacific archipelago of Palau
  • Four days in an open fishing canoe from Senegal to Cape Verde
  • Watching one of NASA’s last Space Shuttle launches
  • Dancing with a jungle tribe in Papua New Guinea
  • Meeting the President of East Timor and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu
  • Hitching a ride on a cruise ship to The Dominican Republic

He was arrested in Cape Verde, on the Russian Russian border and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The purpose of his adventure called the Odyssey Project was to raise funds for the charity Water Aid which works to bring clean water to people in the developing world.

What’s your next travel goal?

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