1. The travel bug

The travel bug

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S touchdown in Saudi Arabia after his India visit made it his 84th trip to a foreign country...

Published: February 1, 2015 2:08 AM

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S touchdown in Saudi Arabia after his India visit made it his 84th trip to a foreign country since becoming President, including repeat visits (like India and Saudi Arabia). The latest issue of Time has calculated that he has accumulated over 447,000 frequent flyer miles in international travel since January 2009, making him the most travelled US President in recent history. As a contestant for the most travelled leader title, however, he loses out to Pope John Paul II, who was one of the most travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries during his pontificat. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also ahead of Obama, having visited 93 countries during his time in office as prime minister from 2003 to 2014. World leaders getting the travel bug is more to do with diplomatic imperatives and crisis situations than love of travel and visiting new places. For that, the title goes to an Indian: Kashi Samaddar, recognised by the Guiness Book of World Records as being the first person to visit all sovereign states of the world. Samaddar, a businessman based in Dubai, took 12 years, eight months and 13 days to complete his epic journey to all 194 countries in the world starting with a visit to Holland in July 2002 and finishing in Kosovo in May 2008. He formulated his plan to visit every country when, in 2003, he was stranded at Johannesburg airport after being refused a visa on his arrival there. He also has the Guinness Record for being the fastest person to travel to all sovereign countries.

His record has now been broken by Graham Hughes, a British adventurer and filmmaker, who has also travelled to all sovereign countries in the world, but unlike Samaddar, he did it without taking a single flight. His journey took him four years and he eclisped the record on 9 July, 2011, when South Sudan gained independence, setting a new World Record as the first person to travel to all 195 countries of the world as recognised by the United Nations. Samaddar still holds the record for having visited all countries, states, important territories and atolls. Hughes had the advantage of being sponsored by National Geographic for visiting every recognised country in the world without flying, and his journey was broadcast as a weekly television show. His trip involved no flying and no private transport. The next on the most travelled list are two New Zealanders, John Bougen and James Irving, who recently completed a trip that took them through all but two of the world’s sovereign nations in 169 days. Bougen and Irving only missed Afghanistan and Sao Tome—a tiny country in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea—on their 191-nation trip. They covered 151,125 miles—the equivalent of circling the globe six times. The pair used 104 airlines, boarded 242 flights, spent 417 hours flying and passed through 190 airports. They crossed the equator nine times and checked into 114 different hotels. Their trip, aimed at raising money for Save the Children, cost £128,000, which they met themselves and through sponsorship.

Tags: Barack Obama
  1. M
    Myat
    Aug 13, 2017 at 10:06 am
    Kashi Samaddar became the longest reigning World Champion of India on 09/09/16 out of all Indians Sports persons- most courageous achievement for India.
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    1. S
      stephen
      Jan 3, 2017 at 4:45 am
      Good article. Kashi Samaddar, India got his fifth World record as the, Longest reigning World Champion of Adventure by 3028 days on 09th Nov 2016.Wish him more success.
      Reply
      1. K
        Kashi Samaddar
        Oct 7, 2016 at 10:49 pm
        Olympic Diamond for beloved Indians & NRIs with my 05th World record, the “Longest reigning World Champion- Adventure” by 3028 days, result of hard works for 21 yrs. Better than Gold is Diamond that you know but again this is much better. How? For reference only, China got 19 Gold medals compared to zero by India at Rio Olympic but they do not have a single World record as mine. Like many other Countries serious Sport Adventure, is under Indian Ministry of Sports. It also became the longest reigning World Champion of Indian Sports by 08 yrs on 09th Sept 2016.Sponsors sought for proposed Tokyo- Istanbul 20557 KM road trip & further to Lubeck, Germany (North Sea) for awareness to improve World Tourism, clean air for cities & reduction of road deaths.
        Reply
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          ACA
          Feb 17, 2015 at 9:40 am
          Nice article covering American President Mr Barack Obama and Pope with Indias Kashi Samaddar on Travel as the First person visited all Countries.
          Reply
          1. D
            Daniel
            Jun 9, 2015 at 10:17 am
            Four times World records holder in Adventure Sports, Kashi Samaddar is also the First person visited all Countries, on 27th May 2008 at Kosovo & 09th July 2011 at South Sudan. He continue to hold this important World record in spite of error reports by British Media Daily Mail, BBC etc who must apologise to the world for wrong reporting with all 201 Countries for Graham who has to wait till a new Country after South Sudan is born. Kashi Samaddar has travelled all Countries, States, Territories & Atolls and also voted as most travelled person of the World, out of all Travellers/ Adventurers since 350 BC. What a great achievement.
            Reply
            1. J
              John
              Feb 21, 2015 at 9:27 am
              Pope John Paul II and US President Obama are two most powerful persons. Kashi Samaddar is a small person but his contributions for Indians and Developing World Travellers for equal visa is noteworthy. 4KGSjcx0m0 ans-of-Kashi-Samaddar/378097505435
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              1. J
                Jays
                Mar 19, 2015 at 7:03 pm
                Narendra Modi would be most travelled Prime Minister. To China, he spoke of Huen Sung. To India, did he meet Kashi Samaddar?
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                1. J
                  John
                  Feb 22, 2015 at 8:36 am
                  Pope John Paul II and US President Obama are two most powerful persons. Kashi Samaddar is a small person but his contributions for Indians and Developing World Travellers for equal visa is noteworthy.
                  Reply
                  1. C
                    CK Mohanty
                    Mar 7, 2015 at 11:32 am
                    Nice story but Kashi is not Businessman but a Business executive under Hong Kong Multinational and lives at China. Mr Obama doing great.
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      Shalini
                      Mar 20, 2015 at 11:23 am
                      Mr Obama got Nobel Peace award within 10 days of Presidency. Kashi worked hard for many years to help International Travellers from India & Developing World with appx 5.6 Billion people by equal visa. Tourism can uplift poor of Developing countries for sure. Visa discrimination should go to help people better
                      Reply
                      1. T
                        ttpglobal
                        Feb 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm
                        Good cover. Adventurer Kashi Samaddar, India is certified by World bodies as the first person to travel all Countries (Kosovo on 27th May 2008/ South Sudan on 09th July 2011). He has visited all Countries, States, most territories, Atolls over 5000 locations and voted on 23rd Dec 2013 as the Most traveled person of the World, out of all Adventurers since BC.
                        Reply
                        1. V
                          vikas kumar
                          Feb 11, 2015 at 8:40 pm
                          India is proud that Kashi samaddar is discussed with the American president and pop for most valuable world record.
                          Reply
                          1. V
                            vikas kumar
                            Feb 11, 2015 at 8:44 pm
                            India is proud that Kashi samaddar is discussed with the american president and pop for most valuable world records for India.
                            Reply
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