AUSSIE SKIPPER REQ’D: FOR HIGH ADVENTURE

THE ODYSSEY EXPEDITION Hi, my name is Graham Hughes. I’m a British adventurer, TV presenter and a Guinness World Record holder.  You can read more about me on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Hughes I’m currently in the midst of a rather epic challenge – one that I hope you might be interested in joining me in: I’m trying to step foot in every country in the world, and attempting to do so without flying.  I’m doing this to raise funds and awareness for the international charity WaterAid. I work with Lonely Planet, National Geographic and BBC Worldwide. The first series of my self-filmed TV show, Graham's World, is currently showing on the Nat Geo Adventure channel (Foxtel) and I was the star guest on Channel Nine’s Today Show last Saturday.  You can watch the interview here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeaR_RW7Zu4 Over the last two years, I’ve managed to visit an incredible 184 countries around the world, from Uruguay to Iceland, South Africa to Turkmenistan; on my own, on a shoestring and without flying.  With only 17 more…

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What’s In Your Bag, Graham?

I often get asked what's in my bag.  I’ve already done a blog on what (not) to take backpacking, but I didn’t really get into the technical stuff, so here goes: CAMERA: I use an old 2006 Sony HVR-A1(E) HDV camera. It takes mini-DV tapes, which are surprisingly easy to get anywhere on the road. The hand-held successors in this product line were mostly hard-drive cameras, which are fantastic, but in environments where things can go missing, humidity can affect drive heads and stuff is likely to suffer from knocks, tapes are a better idea than hard drives. When I first started I used the top-mounted XLR mic plugged into the hot-shoe on the A1, but after a couple of weeks I ditched it – at arm’s length the A1’s inbuilt mic was just as good and in stereo. I use a cheap Chinese-made 37mm wide-angle lens so…

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The Seven Ages of Facebook

  All the world’s a Facebook page, And all the men and women merely players; They have their laptops and their iPhones, And one user in their time plays many parts, Their acts being seven ages.  At first the newbie, Preening and sulking in the bathroom mirror; And then the student, with his mates, All shiny happy shit-faced, their mugs collide Gurning to be cool. And then the groupie, Pics from the moshpit, of woeful quality Hoping to impress their iPeers. Then a traveller, Full of strange lands, and bearded like a tard, Jealous acquaintances so quick to laurel, Stands before ancient rubble weary, Sullying the Canon’s frame. And then the gegger, Infers the chap from telly won’t mind, With great unwashed posed by their side, Full of guess-who-saws and modern inferences; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the dreary and…

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For Those In Climate Change Denial…

Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a tendency to go off on tangents occasionally, usually something to do with my deep-seated animosity towards politicians or modernist architecture. Well today is no exception and I think I’m going to blow a gasket on this one, so if you’re easily offended, please look at this picture of a nice fluffy bunny instead. Still here? Okay: Climate Change Deniers.  WHAT THE F--- IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE??  I’m quite a verbose chap, but I’m honestly stuck for words when it comes to these pitiful loons. Conspiracy Theorists So I’ll take it slowly and start with Conspiracy Theorists in general.  Conspiracy Theorists used to be mainly confined to their homes – fearful to go outside, jumping at shadows, boring their mum with their crackpot theories about lizards taking over the world (who then, bizarrely, make TV…

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The South Sudanese Timebomb

As many of you worldly-types are no doubt aware, it’s very likely that very soon a new nation will be born.  South Sudan is coming. Back in 2008 when I was planning The Odyssey Expedition, I was aware of Sudan’s potential to split into two nations, but assumed (wrongly!) that I would be finished travelling by now. And while I fully support South Sudan rising up and breaking free of the shackles imposed on them by the brutal dictators of Khartoum, it doesn’t half put my quest to visit every country in the world into quite a bit of turmoil.  I didn’t visit South Sudan when I was in Africa, I just visited the town of Wadi Halfa in the north of the country. If the result of last week’s referendum is in favour of self-determination (as I’m sure it will be), then South Sudan will…

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Top 10 WORST Hotels In The World!

Since I'm the only human being to have visited over 200 countries and territories of the world without flying, I feel (almost) qualified to say that something is the [superlative goes here] 'in the world'. That being the case, here's a list of what I regard as the TEN WORST HOTELS IN THE WORLD: be warned, staying at these places could mean you end up dead, or worse... The Overlook Hotel COLORADO, USA Cold, isolated, eerie – the barstaff seem friendly enough but the lifts are often full of blood, the doors aren't axe-proof and the maze in the back garden is a potential death trap. Grand Hotel BERLIN, GERMANY Although overpriced and glitzy, it would be quite a decent place, if it’s clientele wasn’t so chock full of scoundrels and drama queens. After a few hours with these self-obsessed loonies, you’ll vont to be alone,…

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THE ODYSSEY: Review of 2010

January 2010 I started the year in fine fettle.  Having met Mandy at the pyramids in Egypt for midnight on New Year's Eve we spent a wonderful week together before she flew home and I hit the road once again.  Before the month was out I had made it to Sudan, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.  Iraq was amazingly easy to get into and so I decided to spend a few days there.  I’m glad I did. Countries Visited: 8 Running Total: 141 February 2010 I started February in Cyprus and then headed to Istanbul from where I was expecting to hit Greece, Italy, Tunisia and then (finally!) Libya and Algeria.  But after finding out it would be a couple of weeks before my visas came through, I decided to head back home for a bit, drum up some publicity and set off…

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How To Travel The World On The Cheap!

I've been stuck on the border with Papua New Guinea for the last few days, so not wanting to waste my time I made this here video for ya! It's set up so that EVERY CLICK results in money going to the charity WaterAid: so why not set up an auto-refresh program, such as this one for Internet Explorer or this one for Firefox, leave it running overnight and give give give without spending a penny!! Enjoy! Share! Comment! Here's the link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAbCgr6jJ_0

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THE ODYSSEY WORLD VISA GUIDE

One of the things that holds back many people from travelling is the prospect of wasting time and effort attempting to get into countries that would quite prefer it if you didn't bother.  However, it is a false presumption.  In more than 150 countries worldwide you can turn up without shelling out $$$ for an invitation first. So here’s a comprehensive list of the visa requirements for British Passport Holders for every country in the world, although it may come in useful for other nationalities as well. I’ve split the world into four main categories: No Visa Required, Visa On Arrival, Prior Visa Required and Letter of Invitation (LOI) Required. No Visa Required: You beauties!! Note the (very) high prevalence of prosperous, confident and democratic countries in this list. Visa on Arrival: Not quite as good as no visa at all, but much, much less hassle than: Prior…

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