Hi, I am Jakob from Denmark. I was born in late 1971. Before I was 18 I never really traveled. Back then I got easily carsick, seasick and was very afraid of flying.
Since I didn’t like cars or boats or planes I started of with the train “interrailing” around Europe in 1991&92. Found out I liked always going somewhere new. Started using other means of transportation – and kept going.
If somebody back then had told me I would one day go to Mali, Syria, Iran, Iraq and bring my kids to Afghanistan I wouldn’t have believed them.
But I did venture on. Along the way I found out that the world is a kind and friendly place. I found no danger in the “dangerous” countries. Just friendly people with the same dreams and ambitions as you and me. So I just kept going.
31. July 2019 I stepped foot on my last and 196st country Eritrea (I count 193 UN coutries + Kosovo, Vatican, Taiwan). Even though I have completed every country I continue to travel – I go back to the best places, I try to document special peoples and ceremonies and I help my family improve their count (see below). I would be honored if you would follow the rest of my journey either here or on facebook, instagram, youtube or twitter.
The country count for the rest of the family is:
- Charlotte (b. 1976) country count 120/196
- Ava (b. 2006) country count 79/196
- Jonas (b. 2009) country count 68/196
I try to bring my family as often as possible, but sometimes my sweet wife also allows me to travel solo.
My ambition once was to be the youngest Danish person to visit every country in the world. I failed. Presently 3 (viking) Danes have already visited them all the youngest being my friend Henrik Jeppesen who finished when he was only 27.
My next ambition was to be the youngest hobby traveler to go everywhere. I failed again (Norwegian Gunnar Garfors beat me to it finishing at 37 years and 344 days).
Presently may be the youngest hobby and family traveler to visit every country in the world (not a verified record). Hobby meaning I have a normal job and pay for everything myself. Family meaning that I have a beautiful wife and two fantastic kids that I try to bring as often as possible.
Maybe someone will someday beat me to that as well. Flight tickets are getting cheaper and entry visas easier to obtain. Record or no record – I could not have dreamed of a better life than this.
Also I presently hold the titles: “Youngest dane to travel to every country and continent”. And “most travelled person of Denmark” (if defined as the person who has both visited every country and travelled the longest distance using surface transportation – 225.000+ kilometers).
How do you get the money?
I work and save. As simple as that. I work in IT and Sales. You could work, save and travel almost everywhere too (if you are born in a rich country). I have friends who are – a childminder, a nurse, a teacher and even a guy who is unemployed and on welfare who all have visited 100+ countries. Save every penny and you could do the same. If you want it bad enough.
How do you find the time?
When I was younger i did longer trips when I was between jobs. After having kids I generally travel one month in summer and one month in winter. My employer is kind enough to grant me two weeks extra (self paid) holiday every year (danes typically have 6 weeks vacation). When the kids were 2 and 5 we took paternity/maternity leave 3 months and took them around the world and island hopping in the Pacific.
You are very welcome to also read my Bucket List.