Global first: Brit visits all 201 states without flying
Graham Hughes says Iraq and Afghanistan were easy. Islands like Nauru were the real challenges.
A British adventurer has become the first person to travel to all 201 sovereign states in the world without flying, ending his four-year odyssey early Monday when he arrived in South Sudan, the world’s newest nation.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures South Sudan: new nation, new conflict
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Graham Hughes has used buses, boats, taxis, trains, and his own two feet – but never an airplane – to travel 160,000 miles in exactly 1,426 days, spending an average of less than $100 a week.
“I love travel, and I guess my reason for doing it was I wanted to see if this could be done, by one person traveling on a shoestring,” Mr. Hughes tells the Monitor Monday by telephone from Juba, South Sudan’s capital. “I think I also wanted to show that the world is not some big, scary place, but in fact is full of people who want to help you even if you are a stranger.”
Guinness World Records have confirmed that Hughes, who has been filming the trip for a documentary and raising money for a charity called Water Aid, is the first person to achieve this feat without flying.
“The main feeling today is just one of intense gratitude to every person around the world who helped me get here, by giving me a lift, letting me stay on their couch, or pointing me in the right direction,” Hughes said Monday. “There were times, sitting in a bus station in Cambodia at one in the morning, riding some awful truck over bad roads, when I thought, why am I doing this? But there was always a reason to keep going.”