Gunnar Garfors is the world’s youngest hobby traveler who discovered traveling through family holidays and a train ride he took through many countries in Europe when he was just 17. The first country he visited was at age of 1 when he visited Greece. Gunnar has seen all 198 countries!
He set a Guinness World Record in 2012, by traveling to 5 countries on 5 continents in just one day on June 18, 2012. The most interesting thing about Gunnar is he managed to travel around the world without even having to quit his job!
“In Norway we have five weeks of paid holiday plus approximately two weeks of national holidays. I have travelled on every occasion, almost every holiday and day off and many weekends.” He told Buzzfeed news.
In 2014, the young globetrotter visited 19 countries in just one day, another world record!
So what does he do for a living? Gunnar is no small time employee. He is President of International DMB Advancement Group (IDAG), a digital radio and mobile TV organization with members on 4 continents and also provide talks and debates around the world.
Gunnar has published a book too. It is called ‘198: How I ran out of countries’, based on the number of countries he has visited so far. His book talks about his travel experience around the world.
He has visited world’s 198 countries including, 193 UN members, the Vatican, Kosovo, Palestine, Western Sahara, Taiwan.
He finished his mission to travel all 198 countries on May 8, 2013, that made him the youngest hobby traveler in the world.
Born in Hammerfest on May 29, 1975, Gunnar visited his last ‘new’ countries, Tonga, Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati and finally Cape Verde on May 8th 2013. He was accompanied by two brothers, a sister and 11 friends. His mother passed away before he accomplished his dream however, she left him a note well in advance which his sister read to him.
“Congratulations on a mission well accomplished! This has cost you a lot of time and money, and we have shared you with the world for many years now. You have still prioritized your family, occasionally.” She did have a sense of humour! :)
Gunnar’s advice for all the travelers is to keep their luggage light and smile wherever they go. “Suddenly you will find yourself invited to a party, dinner, mountain hike,” he said. “I smile a lot more now than what I used to. And I guess it works. I was recently told that I am a postcard for happiness!”
All images and information sourced from here.