On Monday a British man claimed to be the first person to have visited every sovereign nation without flying after arriving in South Sudan, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Graham Hughes, 33, began his epic journey on January 1, 2009 in Uruguay and proceeded to visit 201 countries. His destinations included all 193 members of the United Nations as well as the territories of Kosovo, Palestine, Taiwan, Vatican City and Western Sahara.
“The main highlight … has been the reaffirmation of my faith in humanity and the fact that people I’ve met on the road have been so friendly,” Hughes said, according to the Herald.
Hughes based the journey on four rules: no flying, no driving his own transport, only taking “scheduled ground transport” and stepping foot on dry land to qualify as a visiting a country.
He said conflict-wracked countries were easy to enter — although he was “imprisoned for a week in Congo and was arrested whilst attempting to sneak into Russia” — but tiny island nations were difficult given than sometimes only one supply ship visits each month.
Hughes’ website shows him in every nation in addition to images of his array of visas filling four passports. In 2009 he set the Guinness World Record for the most nations visited in one year by scheduled ground transport by visiting 133 nations.
Here’s Hughes arriving in South Sudan:
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