Day 1,425: The Impossible Dream

Sun 25.11.12:

The coach arrived at 9am in an strangely subdued Kampala. Where the hell was everyone? Then I realised it was Sunday and it all kinda made sense – they be at church being told how homosexuals make Baby Jesus cry and therefore should be put to death. The bus office next to the buses back to Dar was advertising overnighters to Juba, South Sudan, leaving at 9pm. I bought a ticket with a strange sense of calm elation. I’ve learnt time and time again not to get too excited about ANYTHING on this journey, just in case something goes horribly wrong.

I set off to find myself a cash machine, a SIM card, some camcorder tapes and Internet access. Only the ATM was forthcoming, everywhere was shut. After wandering around Kampala for a bit too long, I was pointed at the direction of the decidedly down-at-heel Equatorial Hotel, which apparently had wi-fi. They wanted US$10, which was extortionate but I was kinda of desperate to get these YouTube videos online. What I didn’t realise was that the connection would be so agonisingly slow. It took over two hours to just upload one vid, I had another four ready to go. Anna, a journo from Al-Jazeera who I was supposed to be meeting today had she not been ill, texted to say I should use connection at the swanky Serena Hotel on the other side of town. So I went for a walk with all my bags, arriving there at 6pm. Meanwhile, Casey was busy firing out press releases to all and sundry. Thank you Case!!

I managed to get the remaining few vids up online. Okay, everything is set. All I need now is for my bus to the border not to crash/break down/explode and I’ll have done it. I’d be the first person to visit every country in the world without flying. This was really IT.

Take it easy. Keep your head on Graham. I took an over-priced taxi to the bus station. I took my seat, strapped myself in and set off towards The Final Frontier, the culmination of 1,425 days of highs, lows, buses, trains, ships, sunsets, beers, joy, disappointment, hilarity, friendship, frustration, adventure, illumination, stubbornness, self-belief and dogged determination. The End of The Odyssey Expedition.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. GrahamStalker

    You got this.
    The only question: What next?

  2. Ihsan

    Good luck and CONGRATZ !!!

  3. Noz

    Congratulations! Well done and all the best!

  4. Cody

    Woo! It’s been a long time coming. Congrats!!!

    Does this equal two world records?: “First person to visit every country with out flying” and “Fastest time to visit every country with out flying”

    I may attempt to break the latter. 😉

  5. Broseff

    Congrats Graham, what an amazing achievement!

    Its been a daily ritual of mine for the past 4 years to check up on your blog. I am thrilled for you but… maybe a lil disappointment that its finally over.

    Cant wait to see your next project!

    Congrats again.

  6. Sharpe's Rifle

    … the moment when the monkey goes crazy 🙂

  7. Ken Richards

    Congratulations Graham!

    I have been following the Odyssey since the beginning, so am pleased to see it reach its climax. A triumph of will, persistence and general sticktoitiveness. You are a legend!

    Now go out and replace Michael Palin on the Beeb. I have been watching him make Brazil seem boring! Bring on a new generation of travelers before they attain their dotage PLEASE!

    Go to it Gingerman

  8. HB

    I “joined” your journey two years ago, and it has been an amazing ride. Thanks.

    As someone said so well earlier: A triumph of will, persistence and general sticktoitiveness. You are a legend!

  9. Chelsie

    You did it!!!! Sincere congrats to you and all those who helped along the way. Look forward to reading the book…

  10. Chrismic


    Can be believe Graham Hughes has visited all countries in the world without flying ?
    (Is this a photoshop hoax ?)
    Has USA landed on the moon ??
    Was 9/11 a inside job ??

    I still can not really believe he make this dream come true.
    So many times, looked it like it was a dead end.
    Like get to countries in the pacific ocean or Seychelles ( pirates) .
    Every time I come back to Dominican republic after stayed two months in Cuba with no internet connection. I visited The Odyssey Expedition website, and believed the headlines would be ( I GAVE UP )..If I could bet money on if he would visit all the countries in the world, I would bet a lot of money on that he would not make it.

    Only a millionaire with his own yacht and crew can copy this mission. But I believe even he could not do it, since I believe it will be so many conflict in the world, so it will impossible to enter all countries in the world in the future.

    This has been a amazing ride, not only for you, but also for us that has followed you in all this years.
    But what will happen now ?
    No no more travel stories from The Odyssey expedition ??
    I will really miss it..

    And I wonder how many pages your book about this 4 year trip will be ?? 2000 pages ??. To cover all you have experienced .

    Thanks for all this exciting reading in nearly 4 years.

  11. FrankW


    Congratulations from this 71 year-old. Your story has inspired, entertained, educated, and amused me for the last three years, ever since I heard about your quest (you can’t often use that word with any accuracy these days) from Mandy on the flight from Melbourne to Dubai at the end of December 2009. We happened to be sitting next to each other.

    I don’t know what you will feel as you cross the final border – almost certainly nothing you expected – but know that many of us out here will be with you in spirit.

    I’ll be celebrating with a Water Aid gift. Not a huge amount, but 5% or so of my annual income.

    Love to you and yours.


  12. Nomadic Translator


    Cannot WAIT for the TV show on youtube! *dances*

  13. Amy & Steve

    Just awesome what an adventure my friend we are so happy for you. Have a safe trip home and happy holidays.

  14. Tracey

    Its been an awe inspiring trip, seriously amazing. You’ve been an inspiration (no, really!) If you’re ever in Tipperary (the song is false advertising, it really isn’t a long way) drinks are on me. Its the home of Bulmers (Magners) cider 🙂 Hope to got you bring out a great, big, fancy hardcover coffee-table book of your trip. Well done man!

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