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Itchy-footed Briton visits every nation without flying

Published on Nov 27, 2012 6:10 AM
 
Graham Hughes from Liverpool in the United Kingdom, who claims to be the first person to have visited every sovereign nation on the globe without flying, poses with his belongings for a photograph, in Juba, South Sudan, on Nov 26, 2012. A Briton celebrated Monday claiming to be the first person to have visited every sovereign nation on the globe without flying, after he crossed into the world's youngest country, South Sudan. -- PHOTO: AFP

JUBA (AFP) - A Briton celebrated Monday claiming to be the first person to have visited every sovereign nation on the globe without flying, after he crossed into the world's youngest country, South Sudan.

Mr Graham Hughes, 33, took almost four years to tick 201 countries off his list, including all 193 members of the United Nations, as well as destinations including Kosovo, Palestine, Taiwan, Vatican City and Western Sahara. "I've been travelling now for 1,426 days, that's 203 weeks, almost four years," said the cowboy-hat wearing globetrotter as he quaffed warm fizzy wine in the tropical heat, soon after crossing the border from Uganda.

"I started in Uruguay on January 1, 2009, and I've been travelling pretty much non-stop since then to try and be the first person to visit every country in the world without flying, and today, I just have." Mr Hughes based his journey on four key rules: he could not fly, must not drive his own transport, must take "scheduled ground transport" and to qualify as a visit to a country he "must step foot on dry land."

"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," he said.

 
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