Destinations

Global traveller’s incredible mission halted due to COVID-19

A Danish man who has travelled to nearly every nation in the world without flying is stuck in Hong Kong due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Intrepid traveller Torbjørn “Thor” Pedersen is on a mission to visit every country in the world in a single journey, without taking a single flight.

After beginning on 10 October 2013, Pedersen is now just nine countries away from finishing his voyage to “a total of 203 countries”, which he expects to be a world first on its completion.

However, while waiting to board a ship to his next stop from Hong Kong, the Republic of Palau, the COVID-19 pandemic began and travel restrictions put his plans on hold, CNN Travel reported.

According to the 41-year-old’s blog of his incredible journey, ‘Once upon a Saga’, he expects to finish in 2021.

But while it is not unheard of for travellers to take on trans-continental journeys, Pedersen’s could be a world first, thanks to a few rules he’s placed on himself.

For starters, he must travel completely without flying, spend more than 24 hours in each country, and observe a budget of $20 per day.

On top of that, he advocates on behalf of the Danish Red Cross, after being made a goodwill ambassador in 2013. As of today, he has paid a visit to the movement in more than 185 countries.

View this post on Instagram

Finally some good news😃👍⁣ ⁣ I’m very impressed with the Hong Kong Immigration Department!! My three month visa will expire on April 27th. To prevent overstaying I headed to the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai for an extension.⁣ ⁣ There was plenty of staff and everyone was really kind and helpful. I headed up to the 5th floor to collect a form and speak with a kind woman behind the counter. She sent me to the 3rd floor to make some copies. Then I had to go to the ground floor to catch the elevator to the 24th floor where I had a brief interview.⁣ ⁣ My case is now being processed and I’m invited back for an extension interview on May 21st. Between now and then I’m permitted to stay so in JUST 20 MINUTES my visa was effectively extended by 30 days.⁣ ⁣ Let’s hope the Saga continues long before. However it’s good to know that Hong Kong is so accommodating❤🇭🇰✨⁣ ⁣ #onceuponasaga #ModernViking #HKG #HongKong #香港

A post shared by Thor 🇩🇰 (@onceuponasaga) on

According to the United Nations, there are 195 sovereign nations in the world, but Pedersen is not stopping there. By the end of his journey, he will have visited 203 countries in total, he said.

Thus far, has has reached 194 countries, with just nine to go: Palau, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Pedersen has described his voyage as a “people project”.

“Fortunately I have so far found, that while the world has much work in store for us, most of everyone we share this planet with are good well-meaning people with good intentions,” he writes on his website.

“Politics and religion are important to some people. But often I find that these 5 things are far more important: Family, food, music, sports and talking about the weather.

“I find that most people just want to carve out a small part of the world for themselves. They ask for little more than to get by in life and to see their loved ones prosper.”

He is also taking aim at the “mainstream media” for just showing “the sensational part of the world”.

“Is it newsworthy? Apparently not really. But it certainly represents the vast majority of everyone on this planet and probably you too,” he said.

But while he may be temporarily stuck in Hong Kong, Pedersen has been making the most of it by hitting the territory’s trails, working with the local Red Cross, giving motivational speeches, including at Hong Kong’s Malvern College, and regularly updating his blog.

You can follow his journey at his blog, hereOr, follow the regular updates on his travels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

View this post on Instagram

The virus panic is out of control!!!😂⁣ ⁣ Joking aside. Things are still calm in Hong Kong which is a great part of the world!! And on a serious note we now know enough about the virus to be aware about who’s vulnerable❤⁣ ⁣ So let’s keep washing our hands and covering ourselves if we cough or sneeze🤧⁣ ⁣ Together we can make a difference for the elderly and those with comorbidity. United this virus doesn’t stand a chance against us. We have survived everything this planet has thrown at us throughout the ages of mankind👊🦠⁣ ⁣ I’ll make a video on my thoughts about the COVID-19 outbreak. Keep in mind I’m not a health professional. I’m just a man who has spent a lot of time getting wiser❤🇭🇰✨⁣ ⁣ #onceuponasaga #ModernViking #HKG #HongKong #香港 #COVID19 #CoronaVirus #CoronaVirusOutbreak

A post shared by Thor 🇩🇰 (@onceuponasaga) on


Featured image: Instagram/@onceuponasaga

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