Day 1,461: And So, In Closing…

Mon 31.12.12:

If you’re lucky, very lucky, you might live 30,000 days, about 82 years. You won’t remember much of the first 4,000: you’re just a kid. The following 1,800 you’re not old enough to take on the world. The final 8,000, well, they’re kinda sucky and you won’t look so good. That leaves just 16,200 days for you to really live your life. And that counter is ticking down with every sunset. I’m 33, almost 34. I’ve already used up more than 12,000 of my overall days and 6,200 of my decent ones.

But I spent 1,461 of those days, those precious days, doing something no other human being in history has ever done. I didn’t quit when things got tough, I didn’t accept no for an answer. Some may follow and do it faster, others might scoff and find this whole thing ridiculous, but nobody can ever, *ever* take this achievement away from me.

My name is Graham Hughes and I am and always will be the first person to visit every sovereign state of Planet Earth without flying.

I travelled from Uruguay to New Zealand via Iceland, South Africa, Kazakhstan and Kiribati… and returned home to Liverpool… all on ships, trains and buses. I did it on my own with no professional support. It took four years and cost me everything I own: my long-term girlfriend, my career and possibly my sanity, but I made it.

Thank you for following my adventures over the past four years, I hope I’ve kept you entertained, amused, politicised and enthralled. I hope I improved your geography and possibly inspired you to pick up a backpack and go see the world for yourself. But most of all, I hope I’ve given you sufficient notice that one day, possibly sooner than you think, your days are going to run out. So use what remain of them well. Let your family and friends know how much they mean to you, give your children the best start in life, laugh and dance and drink and sing and love. Leave this world, our world, a better place than how you found it.

All that’s left for me to say is goodbye, good luck, and I’ll leave you with the wise words of Manny Calavera at the end of his rather similar four-year journey of the soul:

This is the story of The Odyssey Expedition. And this is how it ends.

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. Sharpes Rifle

    To my favourite adventuring ranga (admittedly there are not many in this category, but I am sure you get my drift),

    Thanks for allowing me, and us all, to share your adventures and life over the past 4 years of your journey. It has been a hell of a ride just reading and watching it; doing it would have been just extraordinary and something no-one will ever be able to do again with such a sense of uniqueness and freedom. Your inspiration will not end with the journey, I am sure. My only didsappointment is that this adventure will cease popping up in my e-mailbox and twitter feed.

    Well done mate!


    PS – forgive the cheese, but perhaps a little Alan Parsons Project “The Traveller” is the playout theme?

  2. Wylie Goodman

    Graham, I’ve said it before, but you’re my hero. A total inspiration. I know I would never have the fortitude to do what you did. It is an immense, awe-inspiring achievement. That you did it while keeping a hysterically witty and erudite blog going at the same time is nothing short of a miracle. I don’t know if you’re planning on writing a book, but if you are, put me down for an autographed copy. I have no doubt you will have many more adventures in the days remaining in your life. But as Winston Churchill said, this may be your finest hour.

  3. Leo

    It ‘aint over ’til *I* say it’s over! It’s over. When’s TED, and will Jenn be joining you if you need rescuing again! ;-D . All the very best x

  4. James

    Wow, congratulations!

    It seems a long time ago when you visited Nova Scotia. Not so many days overall I guess.

    Thank you.

  5. segacs

    A fitting coda to your adventure. I’ve enjoyed reading every word of it (in between travels, of course). Best of luck with your next chapter.

  6. Rob

    Graham thanks for the adventure! Started my company when you started your journey and it’s been great getting your updates during my own journey. Will miss getting the emails, but I’m sure you’ll dream up something equally awesome and I look forward to getting updates about the next adventure.

  7. cam of colorado

    heres to the wide open world we never knew existed … if it wasn’t for you… thanx…………..

  8. Nomadic Translator

    Thanks for the laughs and interesting facts. I hope you keep us updated of your whereabouts! I want to know when you make it to Hollywood.

    …and perhaps I’ll be the FIRST WOMAN EVER to do what you did. I wonder if it’s possible? Hmmm…

    – Maria Alexandra

    1. Graham

      Hey Maria, if you choose to go for it, I’ll be there to help you every step of the way!!!

  9. Ken

    So stunning. Thanks for having us along, and the inspirational farewell.

  10. danw

    You are a goddam hero and an absolute inspiration. thank you a million time!

  11. gary

    Life is not about just “doing,doing,doing”.

    Travelling so long and still have dumb ideas,what a shame!

    I have been doing pretty much nothing in my 30 years and so what?

  12. Alejandro

    Hi Graham I just want you to give me some advice. I want to do this trip too just like you. And I know one of the reason you did it was for the WaterAid. Well I want to do it for cancer and find a cure. I want to start a charity. But I would need an experts help. I hope you get to see this. Please email me at

    Thank you.


    Hi Graham,
    I’ve been on the road for a year and will be spendin 3 to 6 months in Africa. 3 of those in Morocco and hopeully 3 more in another African country that doesn’t require visas for Americans or vaccinations. Do yiu have recommendations for how to get from Morocco to Malawi or Namibia? I’d prefer to avoid visas. Any tips would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Leave a Reply