Graham Hughes does all 201 countries without flying

An Unexpected Journey: Graham Hughes Visits All 201 Countries Without Flying [Video]

British man Graham Hughes became the first person to ever travel the world and set foot in all 201 countries without boarding a single airplane.

The 33-year-old used buses, taxis, trains and good old-fashioned trudging to travel 160,000 miles in exactly 1,426 days on a budget of roughly $100 each week, reports The Daily Mail. The adventurer’s epic journey from his hometown of Liverpool began on New Year’s Day in 2009, and he has seen plenty of adventure along the way.

He recalled spending four days “crossing open ocean in a leaky boat” in order to reach Cape Verde, being arrested and imprisoned as a “spy” for a week in the Congo, arrested for trying to “sneak into” Russia, and a particularly surreal episode where he was “rescued from Muslim fundamentalists by a Filipino ladyboy called Jenn.”

In an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, Hughes explained his reasons for the epic journey.

“I love travel, and I guess my reason for doing it was I wanted to see if this could be done, by one person traveling on a shoestring,” he said. “I think I also wanted to show that the world is not some big, scary place, but in fact is full of people who want to help you even if you are a stranger.”

He accomplished this historic feat without ever setting foot on an airplane.

Guinness (the record people) confirmed that Hughes achieved the word record for such travel. He also filmed his journey for a documentary and raised money for charity WaterAid.

“The main feeling today is just one of intense gratitude to every person around the world who helped me get here, by giving me a lift, letting me stay on their couch, or pointing me in the right direction,” Hughes added.

Here’s a chart of Hughes’ journey:

And here’s a video of his arrival in South Sudan (his final stop). More can be found on his YouTube page: