Travelling the world is something we all dream of doing. Many of us venture across the globe, but few of us get as far is this guy.
Henrik Jeppesen is a man who has travelled and to be precise, he has travelled everywhere. Since beginning his travels in 2006 Henrik has visited every country in the world, what’s more, he did it all before his 28th birthday.
We spoke to Henrik to find out some of his highlights, tips and asked what could possibly be next.
What was your biggest concern before tackling a world tour like this?
Safety. I was afraid to travel as a teenager. It took some time to get comfortable with travel. Many people are afraid to travel. The best tip is to start in your comfort zone.
Henrik’s 7 point plan to become a confident world traveller:
- Visit a nearby city in your country.
- Travel more in your country.
- Visit your neighbouring country.
- Travel with a tour operator or book through a travel agency on your first trip to a country that is significantly different than your own.
- Travel in countries with a lot of tourists and with/or great infrastructure for travellers.
- You should now be ready for the more adventurous, but safe countries. Like an overland trip in a safe part of Africa.
- You are now a world traveller and can travel anywhere.
BONUS TIP: Be creative with visas. Try to get them on the road instead of your home country when you can. In many cases it is a lot cheaper and easier.
What was the first country you visited and why did you start there?
I did not travel much as a child but decided to travel the world despite the lack of experience. I went alone to Egypt and South East Asia when I was 17. I went to Egypt as a travel agency had a special offer and as it was a popular tourist destination I felt it would be a safe choice to start with.
A bit about the least favourite country you’ve been to?
South Sudan is the newest country in the world, but, unfortunately, also one of the most dangerous. I asked my driver to take a photo of me in front of an interesting building in the capital of Juba, but some kind of secret service saw it and asked several times if I was a journalist. I explained I was just a tourist and they demanded to see my camera check my photos. I apologised. They let me go, but the driver had to go to prison. The brother of the driver had arranged the transportation for me in Juba, and he told me about how difficult it was to get him out of prison.
Which country did you find the most interesting?
Besides South Africa which I had no idea would turn out to be such an amazing country, I would say Rwanda. Rwanda is one of my favourite countries in the world. The land of a thousand hills is a beautiful experience. The infrastructure is fantastic by African standards making it very enjoyable. I first travelled from Kigali to Gisenyi and back. Then from Kigali to Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. All trips were spectacular. While the scenery is the highlight, I also liked when people ran after the bus to sell stuff like elsewhere in Africa and interacting with locals.
Henrik’s advice for world-wide travel on a very low BUDGET:
- Couchsurf: Stay with local people for free around the world. I have stayed with many locals around the world and never had an issue, but keep in mind things, of course, can happen. Make sure to check the reviews and don’t stay at a place with no reviews.
- Hitchhike: I have hitchhiked with more than 1,000 cars with no issues. It’s a great way to experience the local culture wherever you go completely free of charge. Check out Hitchwiki as a useful guide
- Transport/other accommodation: Airbnb is a much cheaper alternative to hotels. The best tip for transport is to use low-cost airlines and low-cost buses. Sign up for their newsletters to get notified when they have promotions. Low-Cost Airlines Includes AirAsia, Air Arabia, EasyJet, Fastjet, Jetblue, Jetstar, Ryanair, Spirit Airlines etc. One important rule to take advantage of the low fares is to travel light. No check-in luggage as it can cost you more than the ticket itself.
Henrik says that traveling world-wide has made him a more open minded person. Knowing what’s important in life and what’s not.
“The world is a hospitable place full of amazing people and deciding to travel to every country is perhaps the single best decision I have made in my life.”
So what could possibly be next for Henrik? Trying to visit all territories it seems, and of course setting a cheeky world record would make it extra special. That record? 325 countries, territories and unique destinations in total as defined by the Traveller’s Century Club.
It’s not going to be easy though, Henrik says setting the record will require travel to uninhabited parts or the world. He has 36 more territories to go. Remember to follow Henrik’s travels and get further tips on Facebook, Instagram and his blog.
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