This Danish man visited every country without using air travel

Aug 09, 2023 01:25 PM IST

The man embarked on his journey with the goal of spending only $20/day. He faced numerous challenges but persevered to accomplish the seemingly impossible feat.

Torbjorn Pedersen from Denmark has achieved a feat that most people only dream of. He managed to travel to all 195 countries across the globe - without ever taking a single flight.

Torbjorn Pedersen from Denmark who has travelled across several countries. (Instagram/@onceuponasaga)
Torbjorn Pedersen from Denmark who has travelled across several countries. (Instagram/@onceuponasaga)

Torbjorn began his journey in 2013, fully equipped with travel essentials, such as shirts, jackets, shoes, and a first-aid kit, to return home to Copenhagen four years later and break a record. However, fate had different plans for him. Having completed his objective six years later than anticipated, Pedersen stepped off a boat in Denmark, reported The Washington Post.

Pedersen’s incredible journey took him across 260,000 miles of terrain via cars, trains, buses, taxis, boats, shipping containers, and his feet. Along the way, he faced numerous challenges, from visa issues to near-death experiences. Despite the odds, Pedersen persevered and accomplished the seemingly impossible.

His inspiration came from reading about tourists who had visited every country, and he began his adventure by taking a train from Denmark to Germany in October 2013.

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Pedersen embarked on this remarkable journey to spend only $20 per day. He rented a bed in a dormitory or a hostel, found a host on an app, and spent at least 24 hours in every country.

While travelling through Europe was relatively easy, Pedersen faced his first significant challenge in December 2013 when he wanted to go by sea from Norway to Faroe Island but couldn’t find a boat to take him. He was stuck for three days until a shipping company allowed him on board. Despite this setback, Pedersen continued on his journey.

“That kind of stuff seemed hard at the time. But, that’s child’s play compared to what I had coming,” Pedersen told The Washington Post.

In May 2014, he took a boat ride from Iceland, through treacherous conditions and past formidable icebergs, all during a raging storm. Pedersen was gripped by fear as the boat journeyed towards Canada, convinced that it was doomed to crash and sink.

In 2015, he was diagnosed with cerebral malaria at a Ghana clinic, leading to hallucinations and difficulties in performing even simple tasks. During this challenging time, he battled thoughts of quitting due to exhaustion and loneliness.

A brush with death occurred in 2016 during his travels through an African jungle. While encountering a group of dancing and drinking men, three of them menacingly aimed guns at him, questioning his presence. Miraculously, they eventually allowed him to leave unharmed.

Despite his longing to return home, the kindness of strangers fueled his determination. When his visa applications were repeatedly denied, he sought the help of taxi drivers and mutual friends residing in those countries, who assisted him in reaching his destinations.

Also Read: US man lives underwater for over 74 days, creates record. Watch

In 2016, he proposed to his visiting girlfriend, Le, atop Mount Kenya, which became one of his life’s best memories.

March 2019 saw him embark on a journey to North Korea from Beijing alongside fellow travellers. They were briefed not to take pictures or dance in front of government buildings.

Upon arriving in Hong Kong in 2020, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to international travel restrictions. He found temporary refuge by working at a church, which provided housing, allowing him to call the country home for nearly two years.

In 2022, he tied the knot with his fiancée in Vanuatu. That same year, he arrived in the final country - Maldives and later began his two-month sail across multiple oceans to Denmark. His homecoming was met with a heartwarming welcome from around 150 people.


    Arfa Javaid is a journalist working with the Hindustan Times' Delhi team. She covers trending topics, human interest stories, and viral content online.

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