"We all dream about travelling the world. But some dreams are bigger than others."
My name is Graham Hughes. I'm an adventurer, film-maker, travel blogger and TV presenter from Liverpool, England. On January 1 2009 I crossed the River Plate into Uruguay and began The Odyssey Expedition: The first official Guinness World Record attempt to visit every sovereign state on Planet Earth without flying.
Along the way I self-filmed and presented the TV show Graham's World for the National Geographic Adventure channel and raised funds for the registered charity WaterAid.
I travelled alone, without any back-up and on a shoestring budget of less than $100 a week. I kept costs down by CouchSurfing with locals and hitching rides on cargo ships whenever possible.
It was 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 set the Guinness World Record for 'The Most Countries Visited in One Year by Scheduled Ground Transport' and, on Monday November 26 2012, became the first person to visit all 201 soveriegn nations of the world without flying.
Having completed the First Surface Journey To Every Country in the world by crossing the border into South Sudan (which didn't even exist when I began the adventure), I raced back home to Liverpool, England. And, in the spirit of the adventure, I did it without flying. I arrived on the Ferry Cross The Mersey on Saturday 22 December 2012.
The rules of The Odyssey Expedition, as set by me and the nice chaps at Guinness World Records
- I cannot fly
- I may not drive
- I must use scheduled ground transport
- I must step foot on dry land
The Journey, and this Blog, are now complete. You can read the adventure from the start by clicking here and you can watch my videos on YouTube. Look out for my TV show, 'GRAHAM'S WORLD' on the National Geographic Adventure channel - it covers the first twelve months of the journey. A Hollywood adaptation of my four-year odyssey is in the pipeline (seriously!) and I'm currently working on the upcoming book of my adventures, tentatively titled 'MAN OF THE WORLD'.
Now that it's all over, I'd like to thank everybody who helped me along the way. If you'd like to have a crack at breaking my world records, feel free to contact me and I'll give you all the support you'll need.
I hope you enjoyed the trip, and if you'd like to find out what happens next, head on over to my brand new blog, Development Hell, which will chart my next four-year journey: from Obcurity to Oscar on the mean streets of Liverpool, London, New York and Los Angeles. Fasten your seatbelts, this could be a bumpy ride!!!
I'm raising money for the charity WaterAid, a UK-based registered charity fighting to alleviate the disease, misery and death caused by open sewers, contaminated drinking water and lousy sanitation in developing countries around the world. If you enjoy these blogs, then please give give give.
It's shocking that today, in 2013, children are still dying from diarrhoea - one of the most preventable and cheaply treated diseases in the world. A donation of just one dollar would pay for a simple sugar-salt solution which could genuinely save a child's life.
The Odyssey Expedition's JustGiving account ensures that 100 percent of the money you donate goes directly to WaterAid.