We often hear the saying that “there’s no price for passion,” and the world is full of examples where people have pushed the boundaries of dedication to fulfill their passions. One such extraordinary story belongs to Thorbjorn Jorn Pedersen, a 44-year-old from Denmark who embarked on an incredible journey to visit every country on Earth without taking a single flight in just a decade.
The astonishing fact is that he accomplished this feat without boarding a single airplane to explore the 203 countries of the world.
A Remarkable Journey Begins
On October 10, 2013, Thorbjorn Pedersen left his job, bid farewell to his girlfriend, and family in Denmark, and set off on his remarkable journey. His aim was simple: to see every country in the world.
For this extensive voyage, Pedersen set certain conditions for himself. He committed to spending at least 24 hours in every country, limiting his daily expenses to no more than $20, and, most notably, avoiding air travel altogether. His journey involved traveling across the world’s 203 nations by land and sea.
Challenges and Delays
Thorbjorn Pedersen believed he would complete his journey within four years, but various visa delays in multiple countries posed challenges. However, the longest delay in his journey was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In early 2020, Pedersen reached Hong Kong after traveling through 194 countries, but he was stranded there for two years due to pandemic-related restrictions.
During his two-year stay in Hong Kong, Pedersen even had a virtual wedding with his girlfriend and found employment at a company.
An Extraordinary Odyssey
Thorbjorn Pedersen shared several interesting statistics from his journey. From the start to the finish, he traveled for a total of 3,576 days, changing modes of transportation quite frequently. During his travels, he took 37 different vessels, journeyed on 158 trains, rode 351 buses, and had 219 taxi rides, among other modes of transportation.
Throughout his remarkable journey around the world, Thorbjorn Pedersen forged numerous close friendships and was warmly welcomed by people from various countries. His journey will forever remain an unforgettable experience for him.
The Cost of Adventure
So, what was the cost of this extraordinary journey spanning ten years, all without air travel? When asked, Thorbjorn hesitated to provide an exact figure. However, he revealed that his daily expenses averaged around $20. Considering this average over the ten-year period, it amounted to approximately $70,000 to $75,000.
It’s worth noting that his journey began in 2013 and concluded in May 2023.
Thorbjorn explained that daily expenses fluctuated depending on the country he was in. In some nations, such as Singapore, he had to spend more than $20 a day, while in others like Bolivia, he spent less.
He also shared that when he wasn’t using trains or sea vessels for transportation, he often stayed with various host families. He added that during his ten-year journey, he received numerous offers from people to stay with them, sometimes even having to decline offers.
The Last Ship
Finally, on May 24, 2023, Pedersen reached the Maldives, marking the 203rd country on his incredible journey, fulfilling his dream. He spent a few days in the Maldives, celebrating the completion of his worldwide exploration.
During his incredible journey across 203 countries, he was offered accommodation in five-star hotels several times. Furthermore, during one extended adventure, he received $600 every month from a company called Ross Energy. He explained that the company wanted to support him as he undertook this extraordinary journey to become part of world history, and they wanted to be a part of it as well.
Over the course of ten years, Thor Pedersen traveled to all 203 countries without taking a single flight. When he arrived back in his home country, Denmark, on July 26, he was greeted by over 150 well-wishers at the port.
Thor Pedersen’s journey is an extraordinary and unique adventure, one that was not without its challenges but has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the traveler himself.
Close Calls and Survival
He recounted that during this journey, He encountered several frightening incidents, one of which unfolded at the border between Cameroon and Congo. According to him, after traveling for hours on treacherous, broken roads, he reached the vicinity of the border, where he was intercepted by soldiers in worn uniforms who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.
He further elaborated, ‘As I stepped out of the vehicle, one of the individuals in uniform fixed his gaze upon me, and I could see a fiery determination in his eyes. He seemed furious and perceived me as a representative of Western imperialism. ‘He continued, ‘All three of them had their fingers on the triggers. I thought I was going to die, and it seemed like the end of my journey. ‘However, after 45 minutes, the soldiers surprisingly permitted them to continue their journey.
Thor Pedersen shared that he returned to the taxi and drove three kilometers away. There, He asked the driver to stop, and he sat by the roadside, trembling, for ten minutes
Thor Pedersen’s incredible journey is a testament to human dedication, a living example of how passion can drive someone to achieve the extraordinary. While it may not be an endeavor for everyone, it is a tale of adventure, resilience, and incredible experiences that can be garnered through exploring the world without the conveniences of air travel.