Featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Since its publication in 1873, Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days has inspired countless knock-off journeys. Phileas Fogg’s original trip covered 40,675 miles and was inspired by a £20,000 bet. A lot has changed since Verne published his work, especially when it comes to transportation technology. Clearly, Verne could not foresee how inventions like the automobile and the airplane would transform how we journey the globe.
Of course, this begs the question. How has technology changed our ability to complete such a trip today? Estimates vary, but a traveler could tackle an around-the-world trip in about 80 hours by plane. (Assuming no flight delays, massive layovers, or dealings with commercial airlines.)
What are some other ways people have chosen to traverse the globe in recent years? Keep reading to learn more about some of the most extensive travels in recent years.
Ben Page’s Spontaneous Global Travels
Ben Page didn’t put a lot of travel planning into his around-the-world experience, which began in December 2014. Instead, the 22-year-old cyclist launched his globetrotting adventure with no planned route and little in the way of luggage. Packing $13,000, he spent three years voyaging across five continents.
The man who cycled across the frozen Arctic: In 2014, 22-year-old Ben Page set off to cycle the world. Fifteen months and 10,000 miles later, he was in the Arctic, filming an award-winning documentary. https://t.co/kLeFRIgOK8 pic.twitter.com/iXk0uFyCx0
— Maryland Recruiter (@Maryland_IT) May 28, 2018
But he never gave up, returning home in September 2017. Along the way, he lived on little more than $5 per day, bicycling every mile. He later reflected, “I realized that if you can cycle across a country, you can cycle across a continent. And if you can cycle across a continent, you can cycle across the world.” Clearly, Page not only talked the talk but walked the walk.
Jim Kitchen’s Excellent Adventure
Jim Kitchen may not have relied on a bike and a shoestring budget to get around the planet, but he’s one of the most well-traveled people EVER. The 57-year-old entrepreneur has journeyed to 193 countries, logging between seven million and ten million miles.
Three million have come from American Airlines, although his favorite airline carrier remains Emirates. (Apparently, he’s a fan of the wood paneling, giant video screens, and luxurious beds included in the business class suite.) Kitchen has even traveled to space as a Blue Origin rocket civilian crew member. Move over, Jules Verne!
Jessica Nabongo Has Visited Every Country Worldwide
On October 6, 2019, Jessica Nabongo completed her one-of-a-kind ambition of visiting every nation. All told, she’s set foot in 195 destinations, including all 193 UN-recognized countries as well as the Holy See and Palestinian territories, two non-member states. These journeys proved transformational, sparking multiple new passions: photography, writing, advocacy, and ethical tourism.
In her book The Catch Me If You Can, she showcases 100 of her favorite countries and shares her experiences extensively on Instagram and her blog. What has she learned through her varied adventures? She observes, “What I’ve learned throughout my travels is that most people are good, and because of that, there’s no reason to have an innate fear of a stranger … A lot of the time, people are just really happy that you’re in their country.”
Lexie Alford Becomes the Youngest Woman to Visit Every Nation
On May 31, 2019, Lexie Alford officially became the youngest woman to visit every nation in the world. That’s when the 21-year-old crossed the border into North Korea, breaking the record previously held by James Asquith, 24, and visiting 196 nations and territories.
At just 21-years-old, Lexie Alford is the youngest person to visit all 195 sovereign countries in the world! She holds not one, but two @GWR! pic.twitter.com/nObyT61JaH
— 3rd Hour of TODAY (@3rdHourTODAY) November 20, 2019
The process proved highly natural for Alford, who grew up in a family with a travel business. She explains, “Travel has been a part of my life since before I can remember.” She got a taste for wanderlust at an early age because her parents regularly took her out of school, providing her with the head start to become a record breaker.
Anderson Dias Is the World’s Fastest Traveler
There’s a big difference between circumnavigating the globe by railway and steamer and stopping in every country in the world. The fastest traveler to ever do the latter is Anderson Dias. He completed the task in 543 days, beating the previous record holder, Taylor Demonbreu, by 11 days.
Interestingly, Dias shared something in common with cyclist Ben Page, departing on his itinerary without any particular plans. Describing his excursion, he explains, “I would buy flights on the spot, arrive in one country, spend some time there, then buy a ticket to the next country.” Despite lacking upfront planning, Dias achieved a feat reserved for only the bravest and most nomadic of souls. No trains or steamers needed!
By Engrid Barnett, contributor for Ripleys.com
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