The Odyssey Expedition (2009-2013)


THE ODYSSEY EXPEDITION is the story of my record‐breaking attempt to step foot in EVERY COUNTRY in the WORLD… solo, on a shoestring budget and without flying.

Nobody had ever attempted this before, probably because the concept alone is quite simply insane. As well as the 193 member states of the UN, I had to visit Vatican City, Western Sahara, Taiwan, Kosovo, Palestine, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland… 201 nations by land and sea.

It was an adventure of epic proportions. I slept on the floors of buses, trains and banana boats, hitched free rides on cruise ships, squeezed into bush-taxis designed for 7 passengers but that carried 16.

I watched one of the last space shuttles blast off into space, I had to sneak into Cuba from Key West without the American authorities realising, I was arrested on the Russian border for wading across a river and I was forced to backtrack over 2,000 miles through the Sahara Desert to get a visa.

I took a wooden fishing canoe over 400 miles of open ocean from Senegal to the Cape Verde and was thrown in jail for a week upon arrival on suspicion of people smuggling.

I braved the hair-raising highways of Nigeria, joined a tribe of hallucinogenic tree-bark worshippers in Gabon and found myself imprisoned again, this time in Congo.

I met the Nuns of Gabarone, grabbed a beer in the highest pub in Africa in Lesotho, I won on the horses in Mauritius and reached Egypt at 6 minutes past midnight on New Year at the end of Year 1.

In the second year, I got into a snowball fight in Iraq, was mobbed by schoolchildren in Afghanistan and enjoyed the Breakfast of Champions in Iran.

I watched Ghana beat the US while drinking Asmara beer in Eritrea, I sailed around The World in Dubai and met Frankincense farmers in Oman.

I crossed the rooftop of the world into Tibet, tucked into a dish of dancing octopus in South Korea and met the President of East Timor.

I danced with the bare-breasted highlanders of Papua New Guinea, shared kava across Polynesia and swam with the legendary stingless jellyfish of Palau.

I found myself knocked for six at a cricket match in Sri Lanka, welcomed into South Sudan – a country that didn’t exist when my expedition began – with sandwiches and a bottle of champagne, and for my last hurrah I scaled the Great Pyramid of Giza under cover of darkness with three guys called Mo(hammed).

During the entire journey I was not mugged, robbed or even fell ill. It gave me a new-found appreciation for this beautiful planet of ours and positively restored my faith in humanity.

You can read all about my exploits over at my website

What follows is a playlist of my own videos from the first 6 months of the adventure. To watch the entire first year, head over to The Odyssey TV Show page.

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