I wonder what -besides an obvious desire to make a world’s Guinness record- is worth in Gunnar Garfors’ travelling 5 continents in a day. Please read the full story in this interview on CNNGo.
On Monday June 18th, this Norwegian man has flown to 5 continents (well… a very time limited chunk of them: Istanbul for “Asia”, Casablanca for Africa, Paris for Europe, Punta Cana for North America and Caracas for South America) in 29 hours – reduced to 24 when considering time zones’ changes.
Of course, I may compliment the idea and the endeavor, but the whole thing still looks a bit perplexing to a lover of slow overland travel like I am. And please allow me to run a bit amok over it…
According to Garfors’ statements appeared on CNN.Go, his idea comes from his previous visit to Instanbul. He affirmed that “If you can visit two continents in a matter of seconds, how many can you visit in a day?”
I am sorry, but being an overland aficionado into his fifth year of deep exploration of the Asian continent ALONE – still much to discover around here, folks -, I wanted to scream after reading such a naïve statement.
It made me question the whole concept of modern day travel: safe, fast, conducted in aseptic insulated plane cabins, with rolling wheels on shiny tarmac…
I cannot agree with such a travel experience: where has the adventure gone? How can someone even think to visit two CONTINENTS by crossing a line along a nonexistent border?
I wonder if travel still counts for an experience today, or if the whole concept feels more like an exercise in dining table conversation’s bravado: to what use people should say they ”have visited X countries”, when all they really did was vacationing to X different cities in X different countries?
This just sounds not too fair to dedicated travelers. Personally, as I modestly say around the same dining table that I have visited India or China, I am no frequent flyer to Delhi or Beijing. I have in fact visited, eaten, criss-crossed, tasted, slept, made love to 23 and 21 of each country’s provinces and states, and I count them as ONE COUNTRY in my “book of visits”!!
Without bragging, this is what I consider a fair travel experience to one location. Like, if you go to New York City, you CANNOT say you have visited the United States… as you simply visited NYC!!
Please wait, it is not finished yet, as there is more leaving me puzzled: Garfors affirms to be on a quest to visit all of the 198 countries in the world. “I’ve been to 174 of them and plan to visit more next year” he said to CNNGo. Well, dear Garfors, if your “been there” means having stepped off a flight for a few hours – according to the same article, Garfors’ shortest visiting time was 1 hour and 55 minutes in France, Europe – let me tell you: I am not impressed with any of your numbers.
I am plain worried that what I love – travelling, intended as deeply knowing the world around me –may slowly mutate into another quest for fame and coffee-table ego boosting. I have nothing personal against you, dear Mr. Garfors, but I think I may spare your way of travel. As far as I am concerned, if I keep going my present way, a lifetime will not be enough to visit even half of the continents you claim to have travelled in one day.
Do you readers agree with me or Garfors’ attitude? Please comment hereinafter.