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Thor Visited Every Country Without Flying Once!

By Orgesta Tolaj


18 November 2023

Thor Pedersen Every Country Without Flying World Travel Without Flying

© Once upon a saga

This man was on a real mission! In 2013, Torbjorn Pedersen embarked on a historic journey with a suitcase containing essentials such as shirts, jackets, shoes, a first-aid kit, and a laptop. His only goal? To potentially become the first person to visit all 195 countries without relying on air travel. That is why today, Thor Pedersen claims to have traveled to every country without flying. What was originally planned to be a four-year trip, turned out to be a remarkable world travel journey that lasted way longer!

Once Upon a Saga – The Journey Comes to an End

Torbjørn C. Pedersen, nicknamed Thor, has accomplished a remarkable feat by completing a decade-long journey to become the first person to visit every country in the world without relying on air travel. Thor’s ambitious project, Once Upon A Saga, was initially estimated to last four years. However, it was extended due to various challenges such as visa complications, and political unrest. Additionally, the unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic also affected the journey.

© onceuponasaga / Instagram

Despite these obstacles, Thor persevered, and he is currently en route back to Denmark. This marks the triumphant conclusion of his unprecedented global adventure. Reflecting on the experience, Thor describes Once Upon A Saga as the most incredible adventure of his life. He expressed both ecstasy at its successful completion and exhaustion from the decade-long endeavor.

How Thor Pedersen Traveled to Every Country Without Flying

The Once Upon A Saga project commenced in Denmark in 2013. It guided Thor through an extensive journey across Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific. Utilizing various modes of transportation, including cars, buses, trains, boats, and even walking, Thor successfully traversed every continent. His final destination for the year 2023 was the capital of the Maldives, Male, where he arrived aboard a container ship.

© Thor Pedersen / Instagram

Notably, he plans to return to Denmark without utilizing air travel, maintaining the commitment to his unique mode of exploration. Thor initiated the project with the aspiration of making history and experiencing a grand adventure, estimating a completion time of four years or less based on spending an average of seven days in each country.

Why Did Thor Pedersen Decide to Enroll in World Travel?

In addition to his ambitious travel goal, Thor aimed to use the Once Upon A Saga project as a platform to promote peace, understanding, and cultural exchange between countries while showcasing the beauty and diversity of the world. He actively worked to raise awareness about global issues such as poverty, inequality, and climate change, collaborating with organizations like the International Red Cross.

Emphasizing the shared humanity of people worldwide, Thor highlighted common activities and experiences, fostering an open mindset towards cultural differences. With a background in logistics, he efficiently planned and optimized routes during his journeys, often spending extended periods offline on ships. During these times, Thor established routines to pass the time, engaging in activities like watching movies, listening to podcasts, reading, using the ship’s gym, and enjoying the view from the bridge while interacting with the crew.

Rules He Had Before He Traveled Every Country

Before embarking on his global journey, Thor established three fundamental rules:

1. abstaining from flying under any circumstance,

2. spending a minimum of 24 hours in each country, and

3. refraining from returning home until he had visited the final country. The project’s budget was capped at an average of 20 USD per day, covering transportation, accommodation, meals, and visas.

Thor, born in Odense, Denmark, had a diverse upbringing with periods in Canada and the United States. His mother is Finnish, and around the age of seven, the family returned to Denmark. Thor served in the Danish army and later became a UN Peacekeeper stationed in Eritrea and Ethiopia before transitioning to a career in shipping and logistics. Despite his international experiences, Scandinavian values remain significant to him, and he takes pride in his heritage. As a tribute to Denmark and the Nordic countries, Thor named his project “Once Upon A Saga,” drawing inspiration from the Vikings’ reputation as skillful navigators and great explorers.

Do you think you could embark on a world travel without flying yourself? Or do you prefer to take the plane?

You might also want to read: 10 Hacks That Will Change The Way You Travel Forever

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!