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British man visits 201 nations without flying

November 28, 2012, 9:20 amAFP

A British man has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the first person to have visited every sovereign nation on the globe without flying.

British man visits 201 nations without flying
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A British man has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the first person to have visited every sovereign nation on the globe without flying.

Graham Hughes, 33, took almost four years to tick 201 countries off his list, including all 193 members of the United Nations, as well as destinations including Kosovo, Palestine, Taiwan, Vatican City and Western Sahara.

Source: AFP

"I've been travelling now for 1426 days, that's 203 weeks, almost four years," said the cowboy-hat wearing globetrotter as he quaffed warm fizzy wine in the tropical heat, soon after crossing the border from Uganda.

"I started in Uruguay on January 1, 2009, and I've been travelling pretty much non-stop since then to try and be the first person to visit every country in the world without flying, and today, I just have."

Hughes based his journey on four key rules: he could not fly, must not drive his own transport, must take "scheduled ground transport" and to qualify as a visit to a country he "must step foot on dry land."

"The main highlight...has been the reaffirmation of my faith in humanity and the fact that people I've met on the road have been so friendly," he said.

Hughes, who comes originally from Liverpool and who also raised money for WaterAid, a British charity that works to provide clean water, had already visited northern Sudan.

South Sudan, which won independence from Sudan in July 2011, was not a country when he started his travels.

"Most people thought that I was a bit mad, a lot of people thought it was impossible," he said in Juba.

Many were concerned as to how he would visit conflict-wracked nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia, although few border controls meant that "those were the easy countries to get to", he said.

Instead, the real challenge proved to be "those tiny island nations out in the world...the guys that turn up to the Olympics with a flag and two athletes", and where perhaps only one supply ship visits each month.

His journey included "four days crossing open ocean in a leaky wooden boat to reach Cape Verde", but he was also "imprisoned for a week in Congo and was arrested whilst attempting to sneak into Russia."

He also reports to have "tip-toed into North Korea", and in 2009 visited 133 nations, setting the Guinness World Record for the most nations visited in one year by scheduled ground transport.

His website shows photographs of Hughes in every nation, as well as images of his vast array of visas filling four passports.

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12 Comments

  1. john02:01pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    this person truely discredits true travellers. The fact that he has set foot in all these countries, big deal. How many countries can he actually say he has seen anything of? I know just how much time and effort it takes to really travel instead of this grandstanding nonsense

    Reply
  2. Sd2xtreme of Mosgiel01:27pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    You should consider writing a book.

    Reply
  3. Michael B.01:18pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Just try to do that even 1/2 of it, but watching TV with a beer is so much easier (for you anyway)

    Reply
  4. Michael B.01:16pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I have a good idea of what he feels and thinks.I have been in most European countries,parts of Africa and some Asian Countries.But I was not out to break a record and it took me 7 years of hitch hiking. Wish I was younger and could do that again

    Reply
  5. allen12:59pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Whoop de doo!

    Reply
  6. Paul12:50pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Jesus a man for fulfills a dream, has his faith in humanity restored paid for it all himself and all the observers can say is the normal bogan propaganda. Eat your meat pies, watch x-factor, shout at foreigners because Tony Abbot tells you to and live your unfulfilled lives. Enjoy..

    Reply
  7. Adam C12:31pm Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    i wish my passport looked like that. good work..

    Reply
  8. Taiho11:40am Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    He doesnt need a job ,all he needs to do is turn up on the coast in a boat, and claim asylum and he will have Free money, accomadation, etc, like the rest of the boat going freeloading scabs and parasites off the Australian Taxpayer ,

    1 Reply
  9. Glib11:22am Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    So he's in the Guinness Book of Records. So effin what?

    Reply
  10. Graham S11:19am Wednesday 28th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Now he will write a book about his travels says "prophet graham" .... So the tax man will benefit as well !

    Reply