Unique Ways to See the World
And Examples of People Who Are Doing Them
Since the beginning of time people have traversed this beautiful earth we live on. They’ve found new places, discovered the great unknowns, and met interesting people with motivations ranging from religion to riches to exploration for the sake of exploration.
We’ve all heard of the great explorers who sailed the seven seas. Columbus who sailed the ocean Blue. Magellan who braved the Straits of, well Magellan. Sacagawea who navigated for the expedition of Lewis and Clark, and heaps of others who we have learned from over the years. Even Genghis Khan, whose army maintained one of the largest empires that the world has ever known. In modern times, we typically hear of jet-setters and backpackers exploring the world for personal adventure and growth. There are tons of different ways to travel the world, but in this article I’d like to draw attention to the stories of a few who are getting to explore the world a bit differently than we are accustomed to in the 21st Century.
Starting with the most basic of ways to travel. Walking is my favorite way to discover the world. Some people just are motivated to walk. Likely walkers have been around forever, mainly because that was the only option available in the beginning of civilization. Recently though, I’d like to call your attention to one man who is doing it with a purpose. His name, George Thropp. Motivated by the unfortunate loss of his mother to cancer, George has been on a mission walking from the Pacific to the Atlantic,which he recently completed. His mission is to encourage people to live healthier lifestyles by walking 20 miles a day. Read about his story here.
Only recently did I learn that there was a category of running called ultra distance running. I thought 26.2 miles was enough. However, there is actually a following for a sporting event where people run hundreds of miles. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Robert Garside from England, was the first man to run the globe. That’s right, he ran 39,920 miles. Competition to Forest Gump? Check out his interesting tale here.
Tom Denniss, an Aussie, is currently trekking the globe averaging about 50 kilometers a day. He is doing this run in order to raise money for Oxfam, an organization dedicated to the eradication of poverty and injustice.
Long before automobiles came about, the bicycle became the next step in getting around. A bicycle is a great way to see the countryside because you are given more liberty and can cover more distance in a smaller time frame. Motivations for bikers range considerably. There are those motivated to explore the world such as the Wandering Vines; those like Tom Bruce, who cycled 23,000 kilometers to raise awareness and funds for a non-profit which specializes in children’s orphanages and nurturing abandoned children. Lastly, there are those who travel for solutions.
Particularly one Korean man named Okhwan Yoon. I first learned about Okhwan from the Life in a Day documentary. Since then, his story has really touched me. Mr. Yoon, took 10 years cycling through 192 countries in search of solutions for the current tensions between north and south Korea. To him, there is no north or south, they are one people and he seeks a return to unity. He was jailed, mugged, hit by cars, hospitalized, but he managed to persist and complete his world tour. See his story here.
Now a few other people who are seeing the world through non-traditional methods.
Everyone has heard of hitchhiking. An action that those hippies started way back in the 60s and some backpackers such as myself still indulge in from time to time. Who has heard of hitchhiking by airplane though? There is one girl who has made it a mission to jet-hike to all 50 of the United States. Currently up to 28, Amber is well on he way to making it to all 50. She documents her journey here at the Jethiking Gypsy.
We all know that the early European and Asian explorers generally set off by boat. The Vikings, Romans, Spanish, and other European powers explored ‘new’ territories by roaming the seas. Surely, this is a thing of the past right? Wrong. Arielle, of Little Mermaid at Sea, has secured the job of a lifetime. She sails the world’s seas and oceans on a 43 meter private yacht. Her position: an on-board nanny, and she’s exploring the world one port at a time.
Instead of walking, running, or cycling, why not skate for peace? That’s what Mats Frankl and his family did a few years back. Rollerblading through different parts of the world, Frankl and his family skated with the message of peace. Rollerskating the world was first pioneered by Frenchmen Fabrice Gropaiz, who broke the Guinness Record for furthest distance skated.
Do you know any others who are uniquely traveling the world? I’d like to hear about them.