Graham’s World aka Lonely Planet’s The Odyssey was the eight part television series covering the first 12 months of my record-breaking adventure. It was broadcast around Asia, Australia and South America on NAT GEO ADVENTURE and across the United States on THE TRAVEL CHANNEL.
The series documents The Odyssey Expedition from the very start up to the end of December 2009, and starred little old me, my camcorder and my backpack with a toilet seat strapped to it, bouncing around planet Earth like a wanton loon.
The show was produced by Lonely Planet Television. It was commissioned by National Geographic Adventure and distributed by BBC Worldwide.
I filmed and presented 150 hours of footage for the programme. It’s completely unscripted and ad-libbed, making it the Apocalypse Now of television!!! Kinda.
Graham’s World Episode 1: From Argentina To Guyana
British filmmaker Graham Hughes is taking his love of traveling to the limit, embarking on a record-breaking epic challenge to set foot in every country on Earth in a single year – without flying. Nearly 200 countries and roughly 90,000 kilometers in 365 days, Graham’s World is a logistical nightmare. The opening episode of this eight-part series tracks Graham’s final days of prep in Liverpool, tearful farewells and journey to the starting line in Buenos Aires. On New Years Day Graham launches into a new life of perpetual motion, punctuated by random acts of kindness, lost luggage and roadside tragedies, as he sets out to travel to every country in South America as quickly as he can.
Graham’s World Episode 2: Caribbean Castaway
We join Graham in episode two of Graham’s World attempting to navigate the Caribbean by cargo ship and yacht. Haphazard connections wreak havoc with Graham’s schedule but the distractions of snorkelling, cricket and ballroom dancing alleviate his frustration. Hitting dry land in Central America, Graham forges ahead once more before facing his biggest challenge so far gaining entry to Cuba from its long-time adversary, the United States.
Graham’s World Episode 3: From Cuba To Tunisia
In episode three of Grahams World things fall apart when Graham loses valuable time in Florida trying to negotiate his way round the U.S. embargo on travel to Cuba. With time ticking and official permission denied, Graham decides to take the law into his own hands and set sail for Cuba illegally.
Graham’s World Episode 4: Arrested In Africa
In episode four, Graham launches into what looks to be the toughest leg of his journey Africa. Red tape forces him to make a 4,000 kilometre detour as he crosses the Sahara Desert, and in Senegal Graham faces his biggest challenge yet: finding passage to the Cape Verde islands 600 kilometers off the African coast. Time is ticking and he bites the bullet, taking to the high seas in a leaky wooden pirogue. The welcoming party awaiting him is not what he expects.
Graham’s World Episode 5: African Rough Road
In episode five, we find Graham under arrest on suspicion of people smuggling on the islands of Cape Verde 600km off the West African coast. Getting out of jail, Grahams resolve and sanity are tested by a month-long search for a boat that can take him back to the African mainland. When hes finally rescued by a European sailor, he hits West Africa in top gear – but can he keep up a punishing schedule when faced with decrepit transport, washed out roads and the rainy season fast approaching?
Graham’s World Episode 6: Congo Chaos
In episode 6 we join Graham as he tackles central Africa in minimum time and minimal comfort. Kidnap threats, nightmare drivers and hellish roads are just the start of his problems as Graham throws himself into drug-fuelled jungle tribal rituals, sets sail into the Atlantic with a man who doesn’t know one end of a spinnaker from the other, and is thrown in jail and left to rot by Congolese cops convinced that he’s a spy.
Graham’s World Episode 7: Africa Island Hop
In episode seven of Graham’s World we join him deep in Central Africa after his release from a Congolese jail. Shaken but not stirred, Graham faces the threat of being thrown in prison again as he races 1300 kilometres across war-ravaged Angola before his five-day visa expires. Graham downs a pint in the continents highest pub, rocks up to an Angolan house party, celebrates a win at the horse track, and gets chatty with a local lemur as he hightails it across southern Africa and sails through pirate-plagued waters to the islands of Comoros, Madagascar and Mauritius where a lack of sea connections threatens to derail his journey.
Graham’s World Episode 8: Pyramids Or Bust
Episode eight of Graham’s World finds a frustrated Graham stuck on Comoros off the east coast of Africa with no means of escape. Desperate to add to his tally of countries before the year is out and spurred on by the chance to meet his long-suffering girlfriend Mandy in Cairo on New Years Eve, Graham vows to get back to the mainland, step foot in every country in eastern Africa and meet his beloved at the pyramids before midnight on the final day of the year.
This Post Has 13 Comments
Hey Graham congratulations on your achievement!
Somehow I’ve only stumbled across your existence this very day! Tragic!
Question for you is, how can I get to see the show from anywhere but the UK?
Not quite reached the achievements of yourself but I’m also a ‘galavanter’ currently in Paraguay on my second lap of the great planet, and I need to see your show. Now. Please. ;o)
PS REAL MEN HAVE GINGER BEARDS
PPS Any likelihood of a book?
You’ll have to use a proxy server that’s based in the UK to trick them into thinking that your computer is in the UK.
I’m writing the book AS WE SPEAK. Nobody was interested in making zillions of dollars by publishing it, so I’m going to self-publish. WATCH THIS SPACE!!!
And yes, REAL MEN HAVE GINGER BEARDS.
I have two.
Hi Graham. I think you are amazing!
I was wondering how you for the money for the trip or did Nat Geo fund it?
Thanks in advance for letting me know and I’m
I saved £10,000 over many years, I got £10,500 for the TV show and the last £6,500 came from friends, family and credit cards!!
Hey Graham,,,, wanna congratulate you for this amazing achievment.
My question is: Are you going to produce new series to cover the rest of your journey?? (Middle east, Asia, Australia),,,, I’m sure many people are waiting to see what happened through the rest of journey.
I would if I could! I’m currently drowning in a legal quagmire concerning ‘the rest of my footage’. When I get the green light I’ll start putting it all on YouTube.
Been watching your adventure online in the last few days. I’m hooked!
Your adventure is amazing. I am stumbled across a problem though, I can’t find episode 7 anywhere!!
Would really love to watch it -any idea where is can be found? Thanks!
Hey Ash, write to the BBC Worldwide and ask them to put it up on YouTube! You’d be doing me a favour (they don’t listen to me!).
you had a real challenge, really impressed me.
Do you have an exact map of your journey published? It will be very interesting to see it
Good luck with your future adventures.
Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement
Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However,
how could we communicate?
U r my hero…!!
So i have this big question from you…i guess m speaking on behalf of quite a lot f girls around the globe,which you just walked upon…!
CAN A GIRL CAN DO THIS…?…..HOW..?…
Plese answer…. am half packed already…. 🙂
Thanks in advance…!
Where did Ep 7 go?
Hey just watching the show just wondering what your doing now. Your travels was very interesting. Did you finish your book or planning another travel