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Torbjorn “Thor” Pedersen concluded his journey after reaching his 203rd country, the Maldives, on May 24, and returned to Denmark.
Many individuals aspire to explore the globe and venture into every corner of the Earth. While this aspiration often remains a distant wish for most, Pedersen, a Danish man, has turned it into reality by accomplishing the remarkable feat of visiting every single country on the planet. What adds an astonishing twist to this accomplishment is the fact that he achieved this monumental journey without ever stepping foot on an aeroplane.
Torbjørn “Thor” Pedersen, over the course of the past ten years, traversed more than 200 countries and even ventured into certain disputed territories. His unique method involved circumnavigating the globe without taking to the skies. Instead, he embarked on his odyssey using various modes of transport, including walking, boats, trains, cars, and even a container ship, to reach his diverse destinations.
The inception of this extraordinary undertaking was sparked by an email from his father in early 2013, which contained a link to a story about individuals who had accomplished the feat of visiting every country on Earth.
“It sat with me as one of the last greats, that I could go and try to conquer that,” Pedersen said.
However, when Pedersen initially abandoned his previous life to chase after his aspirations, he hadn’t anticipated that the journey would span a decade. Initially, he believed, based on his calculations, that he could complete the quest of visiting every country within a mere four years. His plan involved spending seven days in each country until he had covered them all.
Pedersen established certain guidelines for his endeavour, including a minimum stay of 24 hours in each country and a commitment not to return home until he had covered every single nation on Earth. While the United Nations acknowledges 195 countries globally, Pedersen expanded his scope to include partially recognized territories. The ambitious journey encompassed over 3,500 days, spanning 203 countries worldwide.
Aged 44, with a background in shipping and logistics, this intrepid explorer diligently upheld frugality, managing to sustain himself on a daily budget of just USD $20 (equivalent to around Rs 1,656). This sum encompassed not only travel expenses but also meals, lodging, and visa fees.
Pedersen emphasized that much of the world offers affordable living conditions when adopting local culinary and transportation options. His intention was to demonstrate that one need not possess substantial wealth to embark on a worldwide journey, delve into diverse cultures, and forge new friendships. He acknowledged, however, that $20 per day is a luxury for certain individuals.
Throughout his ambitious venture, Pedersen consciously refrained from acquiring, borrowing, or renting vehicles. Instead, he embraced trains, buses, and boats, a choice that enabled him to engage more deeply with local inhabitants and fellow explorers.
He shared that one of the toughest choices he had to make was leaving his now-wife behind and explaining that he would be travelling the world on foot. But he also mentioned that the happiest and most exciting adventure in his life was marrying her.
They got engaged on Mount Kenya, a big mountain in Africa. They expected a nice day, but a snowstorm surprised them when they reached there.
Because of the pandemic, their wedding plans changed. He was stuck in Hong Kong and couldn’t go home. So, they got married online through a company in Utah. What’s interesting is that they got married on two different dates due to the time difference.