Greetings. After four years and 160,000 miles, British traveler Graham Hughes has become the first person to visit all 201 sovereign states in the world–without ever getting on an airplane and spending an average of less than $100 a week as he sought to raise awareness and money for Water Aid, an organization working to bring clean water to people throughout the developing world. It is an amazing accomplishment profiled yesterday in the Christian Science Monitor.
And it demonstrates the simple power of travel as a way to help us to stretch our thinking, understand and appreciate people and places that are very different than what we are familiar with, and challenge our own abilities to get by and thrive in difficult situations.
The article highlights some of the most remarkable experiences that Hughes had on his journey including traveling on the ocean for four days in an open fishing boat, being jailed as a suspected spy, swimming in a lake filled with jellyfish, and dancing with jungle tribes. Unusual things that just seems to happen when we are open to a world of possibilities. And it defies the notion that many of us have about strangers and how dangerous the world is. As Hughes put it himself: “If you take everything that you know of the world from the news, it’s all the bad stuff and you get very paranoid that everyone is out to get you. But the most amazing thing to me is that everyone I met looked after me and I didn’t even know them.”
Which begs the question: What are your travel plans? Though I’m assuming that it might be tricky to get four years off from work.
We win in business and in life when we set sail in search of adventure. And when we discover the kindness and unique gifts of most people on the way.