Being a frequent traveler myself, I often get inspired by other travellers, who actually travel with a purpose, be it to get in the Book of World Records, to simply proof something to yourself, or for a good cause.
Below, I introduce you to 5 travellers that inspire me to leave my comfort zone and have a different kind of mission.
Cassie de Pecol
Cassie is only 27 and has already seen the whole world. Not only is she documented as the first female traveler who has visited all 196 countries (193 Sovereign Nations, plus Taiwan, Kosovo and Palestine), but also the fastest. In only 18 months she did it!
Cassie was traveling as an ambassador for peace on behalf of IIPT (International Institute for Peace Through Tourism).
After her trip, she founded Expedition196 to tell her journey, as well as a non profit Organization, Her International, that funds women projects in order to address sustainable development goals.
Torbjørn – Once Upon a Saga
Just like Cassie, Torbjørn, a Danish man, travels to every country in the world, but with the difference that he does it WITHOUT any flight. His goal is to spend at least 24h in each country and visit 203 countries by 2020, which in total would be 7 years of traveling since he started this adventure in 2013.
He is traveling as an ambassador of the Danish Red Cross, as which he gets to represent the Red Cross in 191 countries and learn more about the Organization itself. On his blog Once Upon a Saga he documents every step of his journey.
Why he does it? First of all, because no one else has ever done it before. He also wants to show that traveling doesn’t have to be expensive and can be done on a low-budget.
Finally, he is traveling according to the motto: „A stranger is a friend you never met before“, promoting a different image of today’s world as kind, open-minded and helpful, instead of dangerous and insecure.
Henk van der Klok
Another very inspiring soul is Henk van der Klok, a Dutch man, who walks 6000km from The Netherlands to Israel, in fact WITHOUT any money (no cash, no credit cards) in about 6 months.
He will be passing through 13 countries including Belgium, France, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Greece Turkey, Cyprus etc.
You can follow along his adventures on YouTube as well, where he publishes a series called “The Begpacker Diaries“. Very funny and entertaining.
Why he does it? First of all, Henk raises money for street/abondaned children on the Thai-Burmese border. These children face a daily battle for food and water, and live without money every day, something he is doing voluntarily for six months.
Furthermore, he wants to show how kind and generous our world actually is, as he relies purely on the kindness of strangers to get food and water on a daily basis, as well as maybe a shower/shelter one day or another.
Finally, he also wants to show that if you have no other choice/option, you can do anything and will find a way!
Before his journey, Henk worked at an orphanage on the Thai-Burmese border, walked from England to Rome, cycled from Holland to Istanbul, spent several months leading pack horses across the Canadian wilderness, and paddled the entire Mississippi River in a kayak in less than 4 months.
Watch his TED TALK: The surprising benefit of trying something new.
Ross, a UK man, is on a mission to run 1600km from UK to the South of Italy in order to raise funds for the Youth Cancer Trust. In order to get there, he will need to run between 65-70 marathons in only 100 days.
He relies on the kindness of strangers as well, just like Henk, when it comes to water. He will be carrying all his belongings in a 12kg heavy backpack.
Jonathan Kubben Quiñonez (@momiamfine)
Jonathan, also known as “Mom I’m fine“, decided to go on a world trip on which he makes sure to let his mother know that he is okay. On his Facebook page, he states: “Whatever your age is, if you have a latin mom and a passion for adventure, you will have to find a way to tell her that you are fine. This is my way.”
He takes hilarious and very entertaining photos everywhere he goes, such as when he was jumping outside an airplane, in between Lions and crocodiles in Africa, when he dived to the ground of the ocean, , or while hanging from a cliff. Check out his Instagram account linked above and you will see what I mean.
Since this is such a brilliant idea, he deserves to be in my top 5 list of travellers who inspire me.