203 Countries, 10 Years. Without Flying? Meet Thor!

203 Countries 10 Years without flying meet Thor

Meet Torbjørn ‘Thor’ Pedersen, a Danish man who travelled to all the countries of the world. This wanderlust traveler did something different. He visited all of these countries without boarding a single flight. He spent 24 hours in each country and spent $20 on his living expenses. He vowed on 10th October 2013 that he will not return home until he has completed his goal. He blogged his way through.

He ended his journey 10 years later in Maldives which was his 203rd country. After which he hopped onto a 30-day voyage on a ship back home.

There’s a historical sense of returning home by ship – people can see it on the horizon and stand and wave as I come down the gangway,” said Pedersen, “And that seems like an appropriate way to complete the project.”

Pedersen’s journey resulted in some astounding figures that he totaled from beginning to end: 3,576 days, 43 rickshaws, 33 boats, 37 cargo ships, 158 trains, 351 buses and 219 taxis.

The “How” of the Journey

Pedersen had a rough plan mapped out for him before he left. All of which included travelling by road and ships. He endured a lot of obstacles in order to travel to every country on earth. For instance, obtaining a visa for Equatorial Guinea. It took him four months and numerous unsuccessful efforts. He ran into lengthy visa wait times in various nations, including Syria, Iran, Nauru, and Angola. His original plan was to take four years to reach 203 countries. But the world had other ideas and he was way off in his predictions.

Fundings And Help

Pedersen had made a profession out of transportation and building supplies. He had also just recently begun dating. However, his plan and aspiration to travel the globe without a flight began  because he wanted to break a travel record.

Pedersen claimed to have taken out loans and taken money out of his savings account. In addition, he received funds from a Danish geothermal energy company that was interested in his project.

The Purpose

It swiftly transitioned from being a “country-project” to a “people-project,”. With the promotion of people, culture, and beauty in all of its manifestations taking centre stage. Further, he showed that the world is far bigger than what we see in the media. Pedersen’s project also evolved into a “motivation-project”. The goal was inspiring others to pursue their passions, whatever they may be, rather than giving up on their aspirations. And that fits in perfectly with Pedersen’s overall worldview.

Visas and Residency

Pedersen suffered lengthy visa delays throughout his years travelling, including in Syria, Iran, Nauru, and Angola. Additionally, he overcame a serious case of cerebral malaria in Ghana, made it through a powerful four-day storm while sailing from Iceland to Canada, He also endured setbacks and delays, in some cases for months. The COVID-19 epidemic caused the biggest delay. The adventurous traveller had only nine countries remaining when he unexpectedly found himself stranded in Hong Kong for two years in early 2020. During this time, Pedersen chose to cook, hike city trails and give motivational speeches while working with the Red Cross.

What’s Next?

His last voyage on the MV Milan Maersk took him from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. Further into the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, through the English Channel. Going past Germany, and ultimately to Denmark. Pedersen intends to give up his life of constant travel. He wants to find  other ways after taking some time to recuperate and find his bearings.

Moreover, he is eager to establish a family with his wife and spend more time with her.

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