Many people add far-flung excursions and journeys to their travel bucket lists, but few succeed in breaking any real records. That hasn't stopped some from trying, however. And of those who attempted the unbelievable, a handful succeeded. Here are 10 world travel records that will blow your mind.
The Youngest Person to Travel to Every Single Country in the World
There are 196 countries in the world, and James Asquith visited them all before he turned 25. Originally from the United Kingdom, James visited his first foreign country, Lithuania, in 2001. Then he finished visiting the other 195 on July 8, 2013.
The First Family to Travel to Every National Park in the U.S.
It’s taken eight years, but the Maitland family from Jackson, Michigan, is the first family to visit all 418 parks, battlefields, monuments, scenic trails, lakeshores and seashores in the U.S. National Park Service. They began their adventure in Florida and covered most of the journey in their campervan. The 10 parks in Hawaii were the last on their list and were completed before the start of 2019.
The First Person to Stand Up Paddle Board Across the Atlantic
The 4,050-mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean is a huge accomplishment no matter what vessel you choose to brave the waves in. Chris Bertish chose a stand-up paddle board and made the journey from Morocco to Antigua in 93 days. He averaged 43 miles a day, paddling mostly at night to limit his exposure to the sun.
The First Solo Trek Across Antarctica
Antarctica is known for its impressive winds and incredibly cold temperatures. In December, 33-year-old Colin O’Brady trekked across the continent unassisted, covering 930 miles in just 54 days. He completed the last 80 miles of the trek in a single push, pulling his sled through 30 mph winds to the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, where it meets the frozen sea ice.
The First Person to Visit Every Country Without Flying
Do you have a fear of taking to the sky in an airplane but still want to travel the world? Graham Hughes will be the first to tell you that it’s possible. Hughes spent four years and 31 days on his expedition around the world, without setting foot on an airplane. He used public transportation on land but did find private rides over the water. While traveling the world, Hughes helped raise money and awareness for the charity Water Aid.
Fastest Visit to All Disney Theme Parks
There are 12 Disney theme parks across the globe, and travel blogger Lindsay Nemeth visited every single one of them in just 75 hours. Nemeth is a die-hard Disney fan and has always wanted to hold a record. Her schedule was so tight on her journey, that the only time she slept was during her long flights. She began her trip at Disneyland in California, and she ended it in Tokyo at Disneyland and DisneySea.
The First Person to Run Around the World
In 1997, Robert Garside set off on foot from New Dehli, India. His goal? To run around the world. His journey took him across 29 countries. He completed his journey in 2003, finishing at the same point where he began. Journalists and members of the running community were skeptical of his achievement at first, and it wasn’t until 2007 that he received the world-record title from Guinness World Records. According to Garside, “it’s just like going for a jog every day and not going back home.”
Longest Birthday Ever
A little creativity and some extra airline miles may get you extra birthday wishes. As Sven Hagemeier was turning 26, he managed to achieve the Guinness World Record for the longest birthday ever by crossing between different time zones over the course of two days. His official birthday lasted 46 hours, and even though he spent most of that time on an airplane, he was also able to visit New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii on his special day.
Oldest Person to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
According to Guinness World Records, the oldest person to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, was Robert Wheeler, who made a successful trek in 2014 at the age of 85. It took Wheeler and his son five days to make the journey, and seven days to return to sea level. At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, and it offers an exhausting climb for any age. Two others, ages 86 and 88, have supposedly summited Kilimanjaro since 2014, but Wheeler still holds the official record.
The World’s Oldest Pilot
Ernie Smith has been recognized as the world’s oldest pilot. Ernie recently celebrated his 101st birthday by flying a plane. Ernie broke the Guinness World Record in 2016 at the age of 98. He’s been flying ever since he got his pilot’s license in 1946, and he hopes to fly as long as he lives.