Comments: 934 • Responses: 102  • Date: 

EveryCountry281 karma

Hi Torbjørn, I'm Graham Hughes, the first person to go to every country in the world without flying and - funnily enough - I'm currently living (on my private island) in Panama!! Where in the country are you?

onceuponasaga140 karma

Hi Graham! In some ways you are my inspiration for this. We have previously been in contact a few moths ago. It's awesome what you did!! And winning that island is perhaps more awesome. I guess that makes you awesome :)

I'm in Santiago. Drop me an email. How awesome would a picture of the two of us be? [email protected]

EveryCountry78 karma

That would be sweeeeeet! I'm getting the midnight bus from Panama City to David tonight, so I don't know if it'll be possible to see you in Santiago, but if you'd like to head back up to Bocas Del Toro - I'll take you on my boat to the Great Nation of Jinja Island in the Most Excellent Empire of Gingiro... your 51st country ;-)

onceuponasaga82 karma

My friend!! I would be honored to visit your kingdom. Let's make it happen!! I will find my way to Bocas Del Toro.

Drop me an email and let's make this happen!! :)

_shitlord25 karma

Didn't you say you would be the first man to do this?

onceuponasaga29 karma

Yes, the first to "travel to every country in a SINGLE JOURNEY, without flight". The single journey part is important ;)

Like a marathon. You wouldn't break it up would you? ;)

OhAnotherSquirrel37 karma

Wait aren't we all on a single journey?

onceuponasaga22 karma

Very philosophical...I'd answer yes! Do I win a price :)

stevosaurous222 karma

So which is your favourite country and why is it Ireland?

onceuponasaga140 karma

Hahaha!!! Ireland was great!! And I will come back to Ireland for more. There is still so much to see and do and drink :)

My favorite country? Don't know. That would mean that I would prefer a country to another and if I had to do that then I would need to get specific. Like my favorite country for food, music, nature, history? Tricky - hey? ;)

The BEST country is a lot easier to answer. The best country is always the country you are in. There are no bad countries and if you do not feel like you are inside the best country then you are not trying hard enough :)

erkokite226 karma

It's America. You can say it.

onceuponasaga101 karma

The United States of 'Murica!! :) I love that country!!

More than 300 million people from every cultural background living in a country of maximum diversity. Wow,

gray_wurm92 karma

Such diversity. So cultural. Wow.

onceuponasaga29 karma


TLDR_Meta_comment22 karma

You gloriously positive bastard

onceuponasaga13 karma

I love that movie!

Northern-Canadian7 karma

Best Korea

onceuponasaga23 karma

The one that ends in A

ryewheats5 karma

People asked me this same question when I traveled to virtually every state in the US and you just can't answer it. Apples and Oranges... every state has its own appeal.

onceuponasaga3 karma

I love it!! That is my kind of thing :)

natulus104 karma

What country are you most afraid of visiting, if any?

onceuponasaga152 karma

Hi, I used to be concerned with Somalia due to the terrible stories you read and hear about. But lately I have been assured that there are safe areas so I am starting to look wayward to it.

JethroTheRetroMetro61 karma

What about Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, parts of South Africa? Your name seems Nordic, and I can imagine that your physical appearance might be slightly troublesome if you meet the wrong people in those countries.

onceuponasaga170 karma

First of all, I love Iran!! I was there on a motorcycle back in 2010 and it was just brilliant! People were SO FRIENDLY and well educated and curious that it threw me over. I haven't been to the other countries yet but I find that if you stay away from topics like religion and politics and stick to everyday stuff like children, food, humor, weather, smiling, laughing, sports etc...then you have nothing to worry about. I do believe that a stranger is a friend that you've never met before. By now I have a lot of proof too ;)

JethroTheRetroMetro21 karma

You know what they say: "Optimism killed the cat." Just kidding, I really hope things turn out beautifully on your trip. :)

onceuponasaga37 karma

Haha :) Optimism? Wasn't it curiosity? ;) Cheers. I will either make or break. Let's see which.

kairisika55 karma

Stupidity killed the cat.
Curiosity was framed.

onceuponasaga8 karma

I see. Justice shall serve! ;)

monkey_man_8 karma

I think the elephant in the room is Iraq. You really gonna go visit Iraq? And if it becomes a different country in the mean time are you going to visit that one too?

onceuponasaga10 karma

I am absolutely visiting Iraq!! But I'll need to be cautious do to the many conflict zones.

If it became a new country after I visited? If we are talking new leadership then no. It's still Iraq. But if it parted into 2 countries I would go back.

6aff54 karma


onceuponasaga32 karma

I'll listen to the Somalian ;)

samatar949 karma

If u are going to Somalia stay in the north I'm from up there and it's gotten better I've seen foreigners all over the place there.

onceuponasaga2 karma

I'm looking forward to it! :)

beer_demon54 karma

Are you using your own savings or family's support besides the sponsorship?
What are your plans for after all this?
Let me know if you need a beer in Chile, or a free meal if it helps! (PM)

onceuponasaga53 karma

My plans after this? I guess the first thing is to give my girlfriend a huge hug!! See friends and families...rest :)

But long term I don't know? Maybe a book maybe not. I would like to do talks at schools and tell people about the amazing people I have met. I am a logistics coordinator by trade and will probably go back to working.

washout7760 karma

If your girlfriend is willing to wait 4 years for you to get back, she's a keeper

onceuponasaga38 karma

She is! ;)

XdannyX42 karma

Wait.. You have a girlfriend waiting at home for you for 4 years? How old are you if you don't mind me asking?

onceuponasaga56 karma

Yes I do. Unbelievable woman!! :) Very patient ;)

I'm 35...she is 30. We do not know if our relationship will go the distance but we are still doing well and growing strong. 4 years is a long time and only time will tell. She has visited me 3 times in the last 9 months and we will meet again in South America.

OttawaNLer110 karma

So there's a secondary country tally being kept here...

onceuponasaga11 karma

There are a lot!! :) Countries I've visited prior to this, countries I'm coming to, countries where the Red Cross is present, countries I have behind me, countries I have to reach...it's a numbers game :)

drkgodess22 karma

I think she/he meant the number of countries you've had sex in. ;)

onceuponasaga9 karma

Aahhhhh...well, my girlfriend has visited me in 2 countries. And we'll soon cover a few South American countries too ;)

onceuponasaga34 karma

I ALWAYS NEED A BEER IN CHILE! That is almost a rule :)

I am actually almost on budget but whatever I have gone over budget is from my own pocket. I stay in dorm rooms, eat cheap food from street cafés, travel with the "chicken buses" and bargain whenever possible. You do not need to be a millionaire to travel :)

jmanley9451 karma

How do you fight off all the poon you get by having a name that means Thor bear?

onceuponasaga66 karma

I have grown a huge bad ass beard and that puts off most women. Even my girlfriend hates it :)

sowhatchusayin62 karma

I don't think you understand how much power you possess.

onceuponasaga21 karma

"With great power comes great responsibility" (Spider-Man) ;)

No, I have no idea. But I try to stay humble and true to the nature of the project.

CookieApproved2 karma

wit grit pawurs cams grit responcibiliti

onceuponasaga3 karma

Hahaha. Yis, yor wrightt abooot thaht :)

moar_distractions45 karma

How many phone chargers did you have to bring with you? Haha I bet that was annoying to figure out. On that note, what types of tech gadgets are you bringing? Four years is plenty long enough for your phone and laptop to be borderline obsolete at the end.

onceuponasaga54 karma

I've never had that question before?! Well done! :)

I have 3 small battery packs that I can recharge and use on the road. 1 of them has solar panels ;) I travel with an iPad which is good for something's and CRAP for other things...but I make it work. I also have an iPhone so that the 2 devises correspond. The iPhone takes care of most of my pictures and both devises can be charged through the USB cable. Today you'll find a computer anywhere so that works. I also have a GoPro camera which I can also charge with the USB. I travel with a GPS transmitter which takes batteries. Now, I hope you won't hunt me down and rob me now? :)

dikkencider14 karma

I was thinking of traveling cross country US and I thought a battery pack using AA batteries would be the best for traveling but I don't think it has the oomph to charge an iPad. The reason I thought these would be better is because I felt that I can get AA batteries from anywhere and while I'm on the road I can be charging in case. I'm not sure if you've considered it. Below are the links.

Battery Pack #1

Battery Pack #2

Have you had experiences where you ran out of power on all of your devices?

onceuponasaga3 karma

Hey, thanks for the advise. And yes, I think you are on to a good solution.

I have not run out of battery so far. My small battery packs can recharge the iPad once or the iPhone three times (each). It works for me :)

ScratchMyBumhole31 karma

How much will it cost in all?

onceuponasaga54 karma

I am on a $20/day budget which still looks to hold. I'm not living like royalty but I'm not struggling either. The $20/day is set as an average so I am slightly above now but I have most expensive countries covered. Over 4 years it should amount to $29,200

Bullz-Eye19 karma


onceuponasaga17 karma

Yes: 4 years = 1460 days

1465 x $20 = 29,200

(Around $144/country including food, lodging, travel and visas)

Bullz-Eye24 karma

no, 29,220!

4years=1461 days

onceuponasaga7 karma

Leap year...I read ya ;)

FinallyAFreeMind9 karma


onceuponasaga11 karma

I bought an Interrail pass and made good use of it. I slept on trains and busses. I have been couch surfing and I lived really cheap for a long while. But it's an average of $20/day. I was over the budget in Europe and now I'm under :)

ScratchMyBumhole3 karma

Wow, good luck on your journey!

onceuponasaga7 karma

Thank you!! ;)

TheMisterAce30 karma

Are you worried about how to get into North-Korea?

onceuponasaga53 karma

No, not really. You can always buy your way in with a tourist visa and prearranged itinerary. But I want to see "the real" North Korea. I am traveling as goodwill ambassador for the Danish Red Cross and since the Red Cross is present within North Korea I hope to receive an invitation through them. But first I need to make my way through all of South America, the Carabbean, Africa and most of Asia :)

TheMisterAce9 karma

Thank you for answering my question :)

Good luck!

onceuponasaga11 karma

Anytime. Thank you! :)

yyedditt25 karma

How do you plan to navigate Southeast Asia? I can imagine it's easy to go around Europe via train, but travelling on a ship around SE Asia will take off too much time from your journey, would it not?

I'm so jealous of your E. Europe travels.

onceuponasaga23 karma

Well noted! ;) Yes, it is a tough cookie to crack but we spent around 10 months planing this baby and we placed that region towards the end for a few reasons: 1) to have much more media attention which helps. 2) to have the option to offer cruise vessels entertainment through stories and pictures which might offer a lift.

Thee is always a solution and with all the help I get from people following the project we will certainly find a way! ;)

MuffinMagnet24 karma

Why are you not using aircraft?

onceuponasaga67 karma

Well, for a number of reasons :)

1) to easy 2) to expensive 3) not as adventurous 4) I meet more people when I do not fly 5) it allows my "soul" to catch up with where I am 6) in this form, the journey I have embarked on has never before been completed. Can you believe that? Something that still has not been been done by man in this day and age.

The list continues but those are the most prominent reasons.

onesecondatatime16 karma

5) it allows my "soul" to catch up with where I am>

"Pattern Recognition"... That book always seemed like it was right on the cusp of being really good, but never quite made it. It did have a couple gems like the concept of "soul delay" though...

onceuponasaga7 karma

Interesting, I'll look it up. I am always on the look for a good read :)

rckchlkjhwk23 karma

How long do you stay in each country? And on a related note, do you feel as though that is enough time to really get a feel for the culture of each country?

onceuponasaga18 karma

Very good question!! Points for you!! :) No, I cannot possibly have any real idea about a country based on a week or a month. I am not sure I get Denmark which is a really small country and I grew up there.

I have pledged to stay no less than 24 hours in any country. That is important to me. If you only step foot in a country and leave again then you know absolutely nothing. 24hrs gives me a chance to talk to people, eat a local dish and see something. But what is 24hrs in Mexico, Russia, Brazil, China and other enormous countries? The thing is, that if you travel to every country in the World, let's say 200 countries, and you spend a week in each country, then you will be traveling for 4 years. If you spend a month in every country then you are traveling for 16 years!

I spend minimum 24hrs in every country and often more. Like in Greenland I spent 2 months (not easy leaving when you are not flying).

I respect the history and culture of every country I visit and by the end of all of this I will hopefully have some idea about where I want to go back. The problem at this point is that I want to go back and revisit the last 50 countries :)

Schemes01116 karma

Hey! First off, I want to say how jealous I am! Which gives me my first question:

How did you become a Goodwill Ambassador for the Red Cross?

and my second question: What's the regulations during this trip regarding currently at-war countries such as Syria & also countries like North Korea? (not that I can think of anything similar to north korea in the world) are you still going to visit them? is what I think I'm asking here.

onceuponasaga21 karma

Good questions. I built this project from scratch with a few friends and we call us self "the project group". After having everything in place with the budget, logistics, sponsors etc we introduced the project to the Red Cross asking if they would like to take part. The Danish Red Cross happily accepted and award me the honor of traveling as goodwill ambassador.

I will visit all countries. Conflict zones too. But naturally I will take my precautions and study the regions well before I enter. Even in conflicted countries there are safe spots and more or less normal lives being lived.

dikkencider14 karma

What languages can you speak? Also, how do you plan communicating with people who do not speak your language?

onceuponasaga27 karma

I speak Danish, German and English. I also know some Spanish, a little Arabic and a small amount of French. Body language or improvised sign language hoes a really long way!! Smiling and laughing does too. Besides, someone always shows up who knows a little English and people are generally willing to help :)

evolveleven10 karma

Body language or improvised sign language hoes a really long way!!

You dog---you.

onceuponasaga13 karma

Woof :)

bobaa14 karma

Thor! You're doing an incredible thing. I love your saying about how strangers are friends you haven't met yet. Hope you rock out the rest of your journey!

I would love to hear about what moments stuck out to you in your journey so far? Or anything you experienced that you would recommend for many of us?

onceuponasaga14 karma

Thank you :) My best stories are about people. The stories that in love people are the ones that stick around for the longest time. I love telling about Maria in Poland!! Check it out. It at the very bottom of this blog marked "important" www.onceuponasaga.dk/blog/37-slovakia-czech-republic-poland-heading-east-into-the-snow

Patriotwalrus11513 karma

What country are you most excited to visit?

onceuponasaga19 karma

I am exited about a lot of regions and different countries. I am quite interested in visiting North Korea as I have heard so many stories that I don't know what to believe. A friend of mine traveled Japan and said it was amazing. Africa holds 54 countries so that will be interesting. I worked in Libya prior to the revolution and I am curios to see how things are now...oh oh oh...I could go on all day. Oh yes! And many Asian countries...oh...I better stop now! ;)

destroythenimprove13 karma


onceuponasaga51 karma

NO! :) I would never take money from the Red Cross!! :) Ross Offshore, a Norwegian company, is sponsoring $20/day. The Red Cross is in the project as a partner and gets it all for free. Exactly as it should be I think.

agentbigman12 karma

When you come to India, what are you looking forward to seeing the most?

And how do you decide where to go in a particular Country?

Which cities are you planning to visit in India?

onceuponasaga8 karma

One of the project members of Once Upon a Saga is actually from India and I think that he will definitely set me up!! I spent more than a month in India riding a motorcycle from south to the north back in 2010. I have seen some of the "common" sites like the Taj Mahal and I may try to see some of the less ordinary things this time. But India is a huge country and I am most likely spending most my time just getting across.

agentbigman9 karma

If you are ever in Mumbai, i can sponsor an entire days' meals and travel for you. Do let me know :)

onceuponasaga10 karma

Actually Mumbai is at the top of my list!! I have never been there! Thank you :)

stuckinthejob6 karma

Would be glad to help out with the Delhi part in India!

onceuponasaga6 karma

Thank you. The Red Cross headquarters in India are most likely in India so I might be coming that way.

xsailerx17 karma


onceuponasaga7 karma

Hahaha!! Sorry, I meant Delhi :) Hilarious! :)

incorruptiblelady6 karma

Hi there! If you're visiting Bangalore (in South India) and we're around (we tend to travel a lot too!) we'd looooove to have you put up at our home for as long as you need. Free home-cooked meals included :-) .... and whatever arrangements you require for travel. Have a fantastic trip!! :-D

onceuponasaga2 karma

So awesome!! Thank you. Let's see how it all works out :)

angrypanda3311 karma

how are you funding this journey? and how much have you spent so far?

onceuponasaga11 karma

Hi, it's a sponsored project so Ross Offshore (a Norwegian company) is sponsoring $20/day which should suffice. I'm slightly above that average now but I have covered most expensive countries so we still believe that the budget will stick :)

SmartassComment10 karma

What was traveling on a container ship like? I've heard (via Michael Palin from "Around the world in 80 days") that it's the easiest (non airplane) way to get across the ocean on short notice, and it can be very peaceful. Can you say what the cost was?

onceuponasaga18 karma

Well, Michael Palin is right I think. It was a very interesting experience. I traveled on 7 differ ships to get across the North Atlantic; fishing boats, shrimp trawlers etc. the last leg was on the "Westerkade" in order to get to Canada. In most cases I was charged nothing due to the nature of the project. In some cases I only had to cover the costs for food. I wrote a day by day account of traveling the last leg. Check it out here: http://www.onceuponasaga.dk/blog/44-westerkade-voyage-419-passenger-1

Agelastos9 karma

How to you board a container ship? Do you just go up to one and ask for the captain to board or is there an office in every shipyard or how does it work?

onceuponasaga19 karma

I bring a gun!!

No, just kidding! :) There are different ways but you will mainly need to go through the owners of the ship. If you have the ships name you can google yourself to the owner and find the fleet manager or someone like that. They may help, or not. It works well for me with this big scale project. Sometimes you can buy yourself onboard. But forget about going straight to the captain. They hate it :)

chaserjames7 karma

Which country has the best looking women? I've got a lot of vacation days saved up.

onceuponasaga12 karma

Hahaha :) Head to one of the Baltic countries. You won't be disappointed ;)

HohD2W4 karma

Since you will fullfill (probably) all the pages of your passport (with stamps/visas etc) what will you do if you run out of space in your passport? You can't get back to home (you won't fullfill your task), but you can't travel more.

onceuponasaga8 karma

I like that question :) My passport is already filling up. I arranged for a new one in Mexico City and it is already waiting for me in Ecuador. So the t is 2 countries away ;)

I expect to use up around 4-5 passports on this adventure :)

StokeleyCarmichael4 karma

So you will visit tiny countries like Andorra, Bhutan, San Marino, Tuvalu, Pitcairn Islands?!

onceuponasaga2 karma

All of those except the Pitcairn Islands. Unless I get lucky and the boat I'm on goes that way. I might get to them someday though...but not this project. They are not consider a sovereign nation.

But I have a full life of traveling ahead of me :)

BAMitUp4 karma

I think this is an incredibly cool project! Why is there not a subreddit for this??

onceuponasaga6 karma

No idea - but thank you.

Just received a message from Reddit that the submission has been gilded?! I need to check out what that means :)

Utah_Jazzy_Jeff4 karma

Do you think this is a journey that a woman could successfully complete on her own? Or do you think that in certain regions she would face adversity that you, as a male, would not?

onceuponasaga10 karma

I have lived long enough to realize that there is NOTHING a woman could not do if she puts her mind to it!!

But the way this planet has been set up there are definitely a lot of regions where it helps to be a man, be with a man or look like a man.

A woman could definitely do this. And I hope she will!!

ikahjalmr4 karma

Hey, people like you are one of my biggest inspirations! I'm on break from uni for summer and have been thinking the whole time of how much I'd love to travel if I had the money, now that I have nothing but time.

So seeing as you're living on 20/day, my question is how do you actually travel? Carpool? Boat? I would travel anywhere, but I don't have a clue how I would get to another country without buying a plane/expensive boat ticket, let alone $20/ day

onceuponasaga9 karma

Having said that I guess that it doesn't hurt that I am traveling on a massive scale project like this. It does open a few extra doors. But even a $40/day budget is not to bad and totally doable.

onceuponasaga9 karma

Hi, busses are great when you want to travel on a low budget. Some regions in the world are a lot easier to travel cheap from. If you live in Australia then your only option is to fly I guess? But if you are in the US A then there are a lot of cheap options. I couchsurf, sleep on busses and trains, stay in very cheap dorm rooms (very cheap), I try to save on food and do a lot of free walking tours. All the major cities have them.

Just get out there!! :)

EyeAmAhEr3 karma

How are you going to get to all of those tiny little South Pacific and Caribbean countries? Just kind of hitch a ride on one boat at a time and hope for the best, or do you have it all planned out?

I thought of doing this in a Cessna, well, except for the trans-oceanic parts.

IIRC there is an Indian businessman who has the record for visiting all countries, took him several years and was mostly flying commercial.

What you're doing is pretty awesome, but I expect no less from a Dane.

onceuponasaga3 karma

Hahah - thank you for the compliment :) I have some things planed out. But I have left a lot for chance and opportunity. Or else it wouldn't be an adventure ;)

The pacific is towards the end and hopefully the project will have enough "fame" to hitch rides with the few options that exists. There is always a way and together with the many awesome followers we will find it!! :)

Your project sounds very cool!! Do it!! By the way, I read about the Indian business man. Funny guy :)

mack50003 karma

How do you enjoy these places if you travel through them so quickly?

onceuponasaga14 karma

Hmm, I try to answer that. I enjoy meeting people and talking to them. And I meet thousands of people. I enjoy going for a walk and seeing how people live, looking at old architecture, looking at people at marked places...

I enjoy looking out the window of busses and trains as the landscape changes from mountains to desert, to forest, to coastlines to cities to grassy landscapes and so much more.

I enjoy seeing how the biodiversity changes as I move across regions, countries, continents...

I love visiting the Red Cross in every country or discovering how they operate and how they are present in so many more ways than most people commonly think. I love having a meal at a local place, I love laughing with strangers on a bus, I love going to rest in the evening knowing that it will all start over tomorrow.

I'm from Europe. And in Europe many people go on a weekend trip to a European capital. And 2-3 days is sometimes enough to have a good time and make new impressions. On average I have 7 days in every country. But yes, I am on a schedule and most often need to leave long before I please. It's the nature of this project and it sometimes becomes more like a game than traveling.

I hope this answered you question.

ROFLadin3 karma


onceuponasaga6 karma

I had whale skin in Greenland. That was the first that came to mind. It tasted a lot like ocean and felt like chewing rubber. But it was strangely good and I would have it again.

DonnieDarko03 karma

Have you been to Scotland and if so, what did you think of it?

onceuponasaga9 karma

Yes I have. Twice!

The first time was after visiting Northern Ireland which made Scotland country #11. The second time was after Norway (country #37) as I sailed out from Scrabster to the Faroe Islands onboard the Silver Fjord.

Scotland is beautiful and adventurous. I love haggis and would not hesitate to go back :)

Pastafarian693 karma

How do you plan on getting to North Korea or are you avoiding it completely?

onceuponasaga7 karma

Avoiding it? North Korea will be a great adventure!!! :)

Funny how North Korea keeps popping up. Why is no one asking how I will spend 24hrs in the Vatican ;) On that note I will need to write a letter to the Pope asking for permission. How hard is that?

Sorry, back to your question :) I'm planing on contacting the Red Cross prior to my visit. The Red Cross is present in 189 countries including North Korea and I am traveling as Goodwill Ambassador for the Danish Red Cross. If that fails I can buy a tourist visa and enter the country on a very scheduled itinerary :)

TheYoloSaurus3 karma

Erm, i have a lot of questions, i'm gonna ask only few of them and sorry for the bad english. How big is your travel luggage? When you go to a colder country you need winterjackets and mittens n stuff, but when you go to warmer country, you don't need so many clothes anymore, so, do you run around all countries with a huge suitcase or what's your solution? When did you start your journey? How do you meet new people in new countries? What's you real profession, like what do you plan to do after this journey? Thanks for making this AMA!

onceuponasaga11 karma

Cool questions! I'm a logistics coordinator by trade. I hold a bachelor in shipping and transportation ;) I have a duffel bag which I can easily bring with me and a day bag for small excursions. That's it. I have been lucky enough to have a number of sponsorships. Berghaus Norway provides me with clothes and sends it to me. So when I arrived to Iceland in the wintertime I received a package from them. DB Schenker, a transportation company, is sponsoring a few shipments a year. So I recently sent off everything I do not need right now to my girlfriend in Denmark.

Sometimes I have visitors and they bring me stuff or bring stuff back home for me. It is no problem meeting people. It's actually hard not to meet people. But if you are desperate to meet people then it always helps to look confused. Then someone will certainly come to you :)

I will most likely go back to work when I go home. A journey like this does not make you famous. Even though it in some ways is history being made. I may be able to write a book but who knows if anyone will read it? I would like to do some talks at different schools and libraries about what I have learned and experienced. But most likely I will go back to working with logistics :)

Neklarigebla3 karma

This journey has never been attempted before

What about Graham Hughes?

What did you think about France and Slovakia?

What is the worse country you visited?

onceuponasaga6 karma

Hi, Graham Hughes did something else. But I already replied to that. Do you think you can find it? I made a fill description and I think you will like it.

It's tough to beat France when it comes to culture and history. It's an absolute pearl and it is very diverse from east to south.

Slovakia promised me good food and I had GREAT food! I only managed to visit Bratislava on this trip but that left me with an urge to return some day.

I don't believe in worst countries. Every country is the best and we hold the responsibility to make it true. Besides, I only spend a few days, weeks or months in each country. I would be ignorant to name a worst country as I would not possibly have had the chance to assess it all.

Thanks for asking :)

joebob8012 karma

How are you getting from Central America to South America? Crossing the Darien Gap may be adventurous, but it is probably a really bad idea.

onceuponasaga3 karma

:) Yes, I won't be swimming :) You can buy your way onboard various boats. But being one of the most busy bottlenecks for modern day container carriers I also have a few options there. I expect media attention when I arrive to Panama City and the media may be able to help. They have before ;)

Frajer2 karma

What inspired you to do this?

onceuponasaga11 karma

Sorry for the arrogance, but mainly "because it is there!". That is an old quote from mountaineer George Mallory who set out to summit Mt. Everest long before Sir Edmund Hillary. But that's kind of why. I guess I always wanted to do it but did not realize that I could be possible. When I discovered that I might be able to then I was sold!

While some of this project is driven by ego I must point out that I am madly in love with the world and want to dance a silly dance, eat a local dish, see a color in a sunset which a have never seen before, meet people, discover cultures...

It is very important for me to prove to people that the world is much more friendly and helpful than often portrayed. Look at me! I have traveled to 50 countries now and have not encountered anything bad! Amazing!! Also it is very important to show people that you do not need to be a millionaire in order to travel, meet new cultures and cross borders.

I hope this answers your question. I have so many reasons that it requires a lot more time :)

thelordofcheese2 karma

Are you going to Sealand? Jamtland? Just the CIA World Book nations recognized by the UN?

onceuponasaga3 karma

According to "most traveled people" members, the world is made up of 873 countries, territories, autonomous regions, enclaves, geographically separated island groups, and major states and provinces. To visit all 873 would be to go everywhere.

I'm focusing on countries. Now what is a country? It is a politically and sometimes religiously loaded question. UN and NATO both agree on 195 countries. We took a look at the map and found that they forgot a few so I am going to 203 countries. Check out the list here: http://www.onceuponasaga.dk/journey

tPSoLC2 karma

How many vaccines did you have to get?

onceuponasaga4 karma

Hmmm...I don't remember. I had a lot already and got a few extra. Probably around 3-5 extra vaccines. I guess if I didn't have any vaccines at all then a journey like this would require around 14-15 vaccines.

Spacelumps2 karma

How will you be granted access to places like Saudi Arabia? I've been told if you are not muslim you must be there on valid business, like for employment. Would this count?

onceuponasaga3 karma

Well, I guess I could apply for a business visa. My business would in this case be visiting the Red Crescent as a goodwill ambassador for the Danish Red Cross.

But when we did the planing it did not come up as an issue. I hold a Danish passport and the world is luckily very open to that :)

AlwaysSayHi2 karma

Do you end up with any time to read, and, if so, what are you reading? BTW, fantastic project and thank you so much for the AMA!

onceuponasaga3 karma

Thank you! You make it worth it! ;) I'm catching up on a few books I have always wanted to read. I recently read Ken Follett's "fall of the giants" which was amazing. Now I am reading a somewhat realistic spy novel about Hamilton by a Swedish author.

I do have time to read. But I often get distracted :)

MooneySuzuki362 karma

When you come to the United States do you have a specific place you are going to go since the US is so big and geographically diverse? Also, will you be able to handle the freedom?

onceuponasaga8 karma

Hi, I'm in Panama now which is country #50. The USA was country #42.

I visited friends in New York and New Jersey, went to meet the American Red Cross in Washington DC, had a short visit in Chicago, met with so many great people onboard the California Zephyr (train) traveling southwest to San Francisco, met with Mythbusters host Adam Savage in SF and exited going through LA.

I have so much more to see when I return some day. The USA is one of many amazing countries and it possesses so much beauty and so many great personalities that it is impossible to discover and meet with all of it. But you can spend a lifetime trying ;)

Thopterthallid2 karma

Is mayonaise a country?

onceuponasaga3 karma

YES!! Right next to Ketchup and Guacamole.

Zevyz2 karma

How difficult do language barriers make the trip?

onceuponasaga3 karma

It's not difficult in regards to the logistics. I can easily find transportation and keep moving. It does complicate conversations. Often the people I would really like to speak to or understand are the ones I can't speak to because of language barriers. But that's my problem. I should learn more languages!! :)

hops_and_barley2 karma

What about the legistics of getting in / out of Eritrea regarding visas? You will have to take a roundabout route in and out no?

onceuponasaga3 karma

Funny that you should ask. I served as a peacekeeper in Eritrea many years ago :) I should be able to enter Eritrea from the south? No?

lolcrimae2 karma

Hi Thorbjørn! Was fun bumping into you in Iceland and explaining the geekiness of the EVE monument! :)

Question: Has the beard been allowed to grow wild again until you see your girlfriend next time? And if she's to meet up with you again, which country would you prefer to experience with her?

onceuponasaga3 karma

Hi there, I love that monument!! Does that make me a geek? ;)

The beard is still growing and my girlfriend still hates it. She is coming to see me in South America (shhh...don't tell anyone) and we are planing to meet in Bolivia. I guess I will do another FB vote to see if the beard comes off ;)

NameisExtraneous2 karma

Hello there.

First of all, congratulations on taking such a brave decision in doing the journey. I have always dreamt of such adventure, but the commitment to family, career, and stable life seems to be such a hindrance. My question is, how do you face that? How do you push yourself to take the leap? What make you think the journey is worth the time lost on your family & career?

I havent given up on this dream yet. Having my own family, stable job seems to be the priority. Yet I believe i might still be able to enjoy such opportunities in the future, although in a much more different ways than yours. Thank you though for keeping me inspired and keeping my dream burning.

Once you are getting closer to Malaysia, do contact me! I may not be able to give much experience, but I'm looking forward to learn from yours.

onceuponasaga7 karma

That is such a nice greeting! Thank you :) It was a big decision. I have built myself a career within shipping, logistics, transportation and management throughout the last 15 years. My father didn't understand this decision to begin with and though it might damage my career. But he is a huge fan and supporter now.

I do not think this will damage my career. I am traveling as Goodwill Ambassador for the Danish Red Cross and will be able to note that in my CV. But more than that I am traveling to every single country in a single journey, without flying! That is very ambitious and if I complete it then I think it will be respected. Also I am developing very good people skills as I travel through different cultures and it seams very valuable to me.

I'm 35 years old. All my friends have a home, children, a car, a piano, a cat and a lot of debt to the bank. When I started talking about this many friends looked at me like if I was crazy and I started to doubt. I began thinking that maybe I should have done this when I was 25 and have it behind me. But then I started thinking that I would probably say the same when I am 45: "I should have done this when I was 35 and have it behind me". And I am 35 so know I am on my way :)

I have no children. I have an apartment which I rented out. I have a lovely girlfriend who travels to see me whenever possible and I have a lot of friends and family that are supporting me every day. I think I can do this.

shadowbannedguy12 karma

Will you be going to the DPRK via train or sea? Does it worry you that minders will be watching your every step and make sure you see only what they want you to see? Will you venture outside Pyongyang?

onceuponasaga3 karma

Hi, I still need to get the details for that in place. It will be a few years before I get there. Much can change. I will go through South America, the Carabbean, all of Africa, the Middle East and a lot of Asia before I get there. But no, it does not worry me to be observed. I worked 2 years in Libya before the revolution and I am pretty sure that I was observed and that the phones where tapped. Hopefully I can visit with an invitation from the Red Cross who are present there. There and in 188 other countries! :)

DoctorBitchSlap2 karma

What made you want to do this?

onceuponasaga2 karma

Sorry for the arrogance, but mainly "because it is there!". That is an old quote from mountaineer George Mallory who set out to summit Mt. Everest long before Sir Edmund Hillary. But that's kind of why. I guess I always wanted to do it but did not realize that I could be possible. When I discovered that I might be able to then I was sold!

While some of this project is driven by ego I must point out that I am madly in love with the world and want to dance a silly dance, eat a local dish, see a color in a sunset which a have never seen before, meet people, discover cultures...

It is very important for me to prove to people that the world is much more friendly and helpful than often portrayed. Look at me! I have traveled to 50 countries now and have not encountered anything bad! Amazing!! Also it is very important to show people that you do not need to be a millionaire in order to travel, meet new cultures and cross borders.

I hope this answers your question. I have so many reasons that it requires a lot more time :)

Paton982 karma

Have you been to Australia yet?

onceuponasaga5 karma

In my life: yes! Several times and love it!! On this journey: no. It is set to be country #201 out of 203 so it is right at the end. Check it out here: http://www.onceuponasaga.dk/journey

DrivingMeBackwards2 karma


onceuponasaga3 karma

I have worked in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan years ago. Other than that, no. I will keep it in mind. Although being discovered with a fake id may put you in more trouble then you were in already.

I am very much looking forward to traveling there. The old silk route and all!! :)

TheStonedTrex2 karma

Did you ever hear the saying "quality over quantity"?

onceuponasaga7 karma

Yes, and I agree. But check out what I wrote earlier:

This is not traveling. Well, it is...but it isn't. This is more like a challenge, a game, a marathon. It doesn't count if it isn't every country. So why? Well, the challenge is interesting. What can you think of that hasn't been done before? It has to hold some value. I can't think of a lot. But no one has actually completed this journey before. How amazing is that in 2014?

I think I would gain a lot more from your suggestion of taking it slow. I find that traveling is about taking it slow. Anything else is a misconception. But this is a project and it has several aims:

1) to complete the journey of traveling to every country in a single journey, without flight. 2) to enlighten people about the Red Cross activities around the world (189 countries). 3) to show people that the world is a much friendlier place than perceived by many. 4) to prove that you do not need to be a millionaire to cross borders and meet cultures.

Sure, every country in the world is extreme. I don't recommend it although I am having a blast. I recommend picking a few destinations and diving into them. But I will have this behind me before I turn 40 and I will have plenty of time for this.

Sir Edmund Hillary did not climb mt. Everest for the view back in 1953. Amundsen and Scott did not compete for reaching the South Pole for a breath of fresh air back in 1911. This is in modern times a world first. I cannot possibly become famous from this and it is also not the point. But a journey like this and any world first does help to push the line of humanity as a whole.

My loss in cultural learning is my loss. Completing the above stated is my prize. It does not hold value to everyone...but it does to some and that is equally important. I will silently take my place in history but if the Red Cross will be remembered for something good or a traveller is born then it is well worth it.

malloryhope1 karma

Hi Thor! You've already answered one of my questions (via Facebook) regarding your passport so thanks! What country are you most excited to visit? Also, as a Dane, do you have any tips for those seeking to visit Denmark? Thanks and good luck! Can't wait to see the rest of your journey!

onceuponasaga3 karma

Thank you :) Check the weather before you travel to Denmark. Never say no to coffee or a beer. Actually offer to buy beer and you will be just alright :)

Danes are a little strange in a good way. Often very reserved and introvert (until they get beer). Denmark has many old cities and old architecture and Copenhagen is a very vibrant and cool place to dive into. But be warned: it is a very expensive country.


Redtable551 karma

I don't know if someone else has asked this question yet, but how many vaccinations did you have to get to go to all of the exotic countries?

onceuponasaga2 karma

It been asked but no worries. I think I got 4-6 only. But that because I already had a lot. I think that you probably need around 14-16 for the entire world :)

captainzaak1 karma

Will you be visiting Trinidad and Tobago? If so PM me I'll be more than happy to take you around and give you a tour of my beautiful country when you're here.

onceuponasaga3 karma

Yes I will! And that sounds awesome! Thank you :)

Mithrandir871 karma

I have few questions for you. I hope you answer them!

  1. What is the best and worst food you have eaten?
  2. How did it change your perspective?
  3. What is the best place you visited and what made it so special?
  4. What is the most ridiculous cultural experience you had?
  5. Do you plan to visit India?

onceuponasaga3 karma

Sure: 1) best and worst food was haggis. I do not like to think about what is in it. But it tastes great! 2) it changed my perspective by showing me that perception is not always reality. 3) I really loved San Marino because of its beauty, friendliness and history. But if we get started on the best place I have visited then we better open up another bottle of wine ;) I have visited so many spectacular places and the list is endless. Just inside some countries I have visited several great places. But I have no favorite country if that is what you are fishing for ;) 4) the most ridiculous experience must be when I sent an email to the Red Cross of El Salvador informing me that I was coming. They never replied to my email. But when I arrived they had printed and stamped my email and requested me to sign it :) But trust me, the Red Cross in Salvador are doing AMAZING WORK!! They are absolutely present. 5) sure I'm coming to India. Every country remember ;) India is country #166 ;)

Luigiatl0 karma

How in the world are you going to visit North Korea? Do you have a Korean friend who can take you there under his supervision?

onceuponasaga1 karma

Hi, the Red Cross is present in 189 countries around the World, including North Korea. They might be able to help me.

If not then I can buy a tourist visa and travel on a very well planed itinerary which is better than nothing.