We all want to see entire world, but only few of them completes. Well we have one person from India, Kashi Samaddar who actually holds Guinness Book of World Records by travelling to all 194 countries of the world in the shortest recorded time of six years, 10 months and seven days between July 2002 and May 2009.
Kashi Samaddar said story of his journey –
I was a good student and my favourite subject was history. Alexander the Great was my hero because he had overrun so many countries unknown to his countrymen.
“We had to go to finish our studies before dusk and go to bed early lest the kerosene lamp burnt more oil that we could afford.
I studied in a village school and college but rose to become vice-president of a top multinational based in the capital city of Delhi by 1994. My first foreign visit was to the US in 1995 and in 1997, I shifted to Dubai as Regional Director of the Middle East and Africa with the global giant Tonic Electronics Limited.
“Before taking on the world tour, I had travelled throughout India and trekked to the mouth of the Holy Ganges in remote Himalayas, by any token, an achievement.
“I am not an adventurer by nature. But when I was stranded in Johannesburg airport for two days in 2003 while my Korean engineer went easily past immigration, I realised it was a curse to hold a passport of a citizen of a developing nation. Since then, equal visas have become a mission for me.
“Of the 6.6 billion people in this world, five billion people suffer this problem of visa on arrival which is invariably denied to them. A total of 160 nations of the 194 in the world face this problem. This visa discrimination has to go.
“I have had to wait for more than three years to get visas from countries like Solomon islands, Tonga, Algeria, Central African Republic, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea and Moldova. I would have finished the global tour much faster otherwise.
“Countries like US and UK are prompt in issuing visas. Some countries change visa rules on the spot if they see you have a passport that is not welcome. It is a curse.
“I started in Amsterdam and finished in Kosovo. In the meantime, my life was at risk in war-torn Afghanistan, Surinam and Somalia. The hotel where I stayed in Kabul was blown apart an hour after I left my room. I have travelled through regions with bullets flying thick and fast all around. It’s a miracle I didn’t get killed.
“In East Timor, I stayed without food for three days and had to pay a local lad a few hundred dollars for some bananas. In Nauru, my flight was cancelled eight times and I had to overstay for one and a half months.
“People in China compared me with Marco Polo.
“My other mission is to spread the word of caution against global warming. I have visited a small Polynesian island, Tuvalu, which will go off the map in 35 years if steps are not taken now.
“I was struck by the sight of igloos in Eskimo land. In my mind’s eye, I compared those with the pictures I had seen in textbooks. Their dress has changed but I did have some liquor inside an igloo. I did not come across a single TV set. Some houses have been built with imported bricks.
“I got a huge culture shock in Tibet when I saw the ritual of cutting dead bodies to pieces and leaving those for the birds to eat.
“I must have travelled two million miles in six years. I spent about 350,000 pounds in all. Plus I was without salaries for around four years.
“I have location wise good travel stories with local history…blended properly, they can be blockbusters based on true stories. I am planning to sell my stories and videos of each and every nook and corner of this world.
“My mission now is to push all tourism departments of the world to allow equal visas for all countries and I have set up the Travel, Tourism and Peace initiative. The initiative comprises people who have travelled to more than 100 countries and are in a position to give free advice.”
Follow us to get great stuff always 🙂