The PLAN!!!

So here we are, 180 countries down and just 20 to go – it’s mad to think that I only left Shanghai just over two weeks ago, and in that time I’ve managed to visit Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia – and with any luck I’ll be in Brunei (181) before close of play tomorrow and the Philippines (182) by the end of this week (typhoons permitting).  But if you think I’m “nearly there”, think again.  Every single remaining state is an island nation and none of them have anything approaching an international ferry service.  This could take a looooooooong time. A loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. Here’s a draft of a sketch of a inkling of The Plan from here to the end of The Odyssey Expedition.  But as always, everything is open to change. 183: East Timor There is a Pelni (Indonesia’s…

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What (Not) To Take Backpacking!

Planning a trip to every country in the world? Worried about what you should and shouldn’t pack? My advice? TRAVEL LIGHT! It's best to have too little and purchase stuff on the way than to have too much stuff and have to carry things that you never use for the best part of a year. Here's A Bunch of Stuff You Can Leave At Home: 1. A Towel Don't do it. PLEASE! DON'T TAKE A TOWEL. Despite what The Hitch-Hiker's Guide tells you, you DON'T need it. You'll dry yourself with it in the morning then stuff it in your bag (soaking wet) and get on the bus/train/whatever and it will STINK. It will also double the weight of your bag. FORGET IT. Ask at the hostel you are staying at, they'll give you a nice clean dry one for like 5p. Failing that, use your bedsheets.…

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New Twitter Feed: “EveryCountry”

If you want to follow The Odyssey Expedition and Graham's World on Twitter, you can follow me using my shiny new account name - EveryCountry - by clicking on this link: http://www.twitter.com/EveryCountry EveryCountry was available and I've been trying to change the name on my old Twitter account for ages, but Twitter has some nutso thing going on that has been stopping me from changing anything, so I've had to start from scratch. We apologise for the inconvenience ;-)

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“Graham’s World”: My Very Own TV Show Starts Tuesday!

Okay, Odyssey fans... this is it, the television show documenting my travels is being shown every TUESDAY at on the Nat Geo Adventure Channel, which is available in 40 countries across Asia and South America.  If you can get it, great.  If you can't, you're stuck with my YouTube videos until it gets broadcast on the BBC (fingers crossed) early next year!! The eight episodes of season one cover the first 133 countries of The Odyssey Expedition - my journey from Uruguay to Egypt, starting on 1st January 2009 and finishing on 31st December 2009. EPISODES: 1. From Argentina to Guyana 2. Caribbean Castaway 3. From Cuba to Tunisia 4. Arrested In Africa 5. African Rough Road 6. Congo Chaos 7. Africa Island Hop 8. Pyramids Or Bust As for the final 67 countries... (including Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and North Korea) Lonely Planet TV have just bagged first refusal on the second series... WATCH…

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Where Do We Go From Here?

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in the Omani town of Salalah trying to find a way to catch a lift on a container ship to The Seychelles.  Three ships, the MV DAL Mauritius, the MV San Cristobal and the MV Maersk Wiesbaden have all come and gone (to The Seychelles) in this time and none could take me on board. On Sunday I visited the captain of the MV San Cristobal onboard his ship.  The coils of razorwire encircling the deck were just a hint of what was to come… in fact, if you really want to see what I’m up against, have a gander on Wikipedia… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ships_attacked_by_Somali_pirates. The problem is this: The boats plying the shipping lines around here have special anti-piracy insurance.  Part of the policy demands that the ship run with the minimum number of crew possible.  As the captain of…

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The Final Forty

Only forty more countries to go!!  But as you can no doubt see, I wasn’t joking when I said that the leaps were going to get harder!  This time last year I had been to a whopping 89 countries.  So far this year I’ve been to just 27... and there is no sign that things are going to speed up any time soon. With the impenetrable African fortress of Eritrea still to visit, not to mention The Seychelles, Maldives, Bhutan, North Korea (if it still exists by the time I get there) and – heaven forefend – the dozen nations of Oceania, I still got a looooooong way to go before I’m safe and warm back in the arms of the woman I love. But that’s no reason to get despondent.  It took Odysseus ten years to get back to Penelope and it took the current…

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Record Breakers United!

Last Sunday I had the great pleasure of meeting the legend that is Mr. Kashi Samaddar – the current Guinness World Record™ holder for visiting every country of planet Earth in the least amount of time. Top bloke!! What makes Kashi’s record even more impressive is that he did it all on an Indian passport – meaning that for some countries he would be faced with the nightmare of having his visa rejected for some lame reason and then having to wait SIX MONTHS before being allowed to even apply for a visa again! Kashi treated me to an amazing seafood feast at the Far East Restaurant in Dubai and we chatted for a good few hours about our various adventures… you think I’m mad – he’s gone places where angels would fear to tread. I asked him the questions I always get asked – favourite…

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The Balance of Power…

Well, I don’t know if my predictions for Lost are going to be as spot-on as my predictions for the election result, but if Nick Clegg gets his way with PR, let me hereby predict not just the outcome of this election, but the outcome of the next 100 years worth of elections: The Liberals will win. They won’t necessary win a majority, but the wonderful thing (for them!) is that they won’t need to - in fact, it would be better if they didn't.  They will always win because the a Tory/Labour pact is about as likely as the pope doing a breakdance on the bonnet of Hugh Hefner’s pink Cadillac.  So once we set up a system that by it’s very nature will hardly ever foster a 51% majority for any given party, the Libs will have that all-important power of veto… and they…

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Trapped In Kuwait!

Our favourite ginger man is trapped in Kuwait! Graham is stuck and he needs YOUR help. My next country is (hopefully) going to be Bahrain, but there is a problem. The predicament/dilemma I'm in is that I came here thinking that 1. There was a ferry from Kuwait to Bahrain 2. Failing that, uou could get a Saudi transit visa here Both of these things are sadly not true!! The boats stopped 2 years ago and you can only get a transit visa if you're a resident here. The only ways to get to Bahrain are: on a boat down the Gulf, transiting through Saudi or transiting back through Iran. Iran and Saudi - the two hardest visas to get in the world!! So I've applied for a Saudi visa in London (which could take WEEKS to come through!) and while I'm waiting for that I'm…

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IT’S A NEW WORLD RECORD!!!!

GREAT GREAT NEWS!!!! Even though he is only three-quarters of the way through his quest, the good folks at Guinness World Records have just come through with the wonderful news that Graham has already achieved a NEW GUINNESS WORLD RECORD™!! It's an incredible feat and an amazing journey, and it's not over yet! To celebrate his feat, please please donate to WaterAid...and tell your friends to donate - WaterAid need it. You can do so via any of the WaterAid donation links on this website or by clicking on this link. Congratulations again to Graham...we salute you, sir. TM

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