Be random happenstance, I found myself meeting up with Graham Hughes in India this week. Graham is also a no-fly traveler, but he’s taken on a challenge much bigger than mine: Become the first person to visit every country in the world without flying.
From his website, The Odyssey Expedition:
I travel alone, without any back-up and on a shoestring budget of less than $100 a week. I keep costs down by CouchSurfing and hitching rides on cargo ships whenever possible. It doesn’t get any more real than this.
It has been an adventure of epic proportions. I spent four days crossing open ocean in a leaky wooden boat to reach Cape Verde, I was imprisoned for a week in Congo and was arrested whilst attempting to sneak into Russia.
I ran the blockade into Cuba, blagged my way into Eritrea, ran around Iraq with an AK-47, spent seven days in Tibet and warned schoolchildren in Afghanistan about the dangers of men with beards.
I met the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, rode on top of a 18-wheeler through the northern badlands of Kenya, hitched a ride on a cruise ship to The Dominican Republic, joined a Bwiti tribe in Gabon, screamed at the ocean in El Salvador and watched a space shuttle blast off in the USA.
I’ve fed the crocs in Australia, hunted the dragons of Komodo, befriended the orangutans in Borneo, played with the lemurs in Madagascar, washed the elephants in India and eaten live octopus in South Korea.
I tip-toed into North Korea, took the slow boat to Nauru, danced with the Highlanders of Papua New Guinea and was rescued from Muslim fundamentalists in The Philippines by a ladyboy called Jenn.
I met up with Graham in Kochi this week, right before he hopped aboard a cruise ship to take him to the Maldives and on to the Seychelles. Those stops will be countries #199 and #200. All he’ll have left to visit after is South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.
If you’re interested in big travel adventures, battling resistance, or facing fears, check out the 15-minute interview with Graham above. Tis good stuff.
Highlights from the video:
[1:22] Did Graham get much resistance from friends and family when he decided to do this trip?
[2:23] Silencing the critics.
[4:18] Is the world a terrible, dangerous place?
[5:15] Advocating stupidity 😉
[6:32] How many times has Graham been mugged while traveling?
[7:23] Why is it so difficult to travel to/from India by sea?
[8:37] Handling uncertainty.
[10:14] “A gang of fellas getting on board your ship with AK-47’s and rocket launchers.”
[11:51] The challenge of traveling solo.
[13:03] Graham’s travel inspiration
[13:18] Taking on the impossible.