Torbjørn “Thor” Pedersen by no means anticipated his bold round-the-world journey would take him the higher a part of a decade when he left his native Denmark.
The 43-year-old traveller has his sights set on changing into the primary particular person to go to each nation on the globe in an unbroken journey with out air journey.
“I’ve now come to 196 international locations with out flying and I have never been house,” he stated.
Mr Pedersen arrived in North Queensland on a cargo ship from Hong Kong final month after being stranded for 2 years in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He’s about to set sail to New Zealand within the remaining stretch of a sophisticated, exhausting and life-changing journey.
Making recollections in Australia
Mr Pedersen has travelled through bus from Townsville to Brisbane, then onto Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Tasmania up to now seven weeks.
“When individuals ask me might I see myself dwelling anyplace else, from all of the international locations I’ve visited, Australia is a type of international locations,” he stated.
The Danish Purple Cross ambassador has amassed a big worldwide viewers who eagerly comply with his travels on-line.
“So many individuals have been reaching out, providing me a beer or a spot to remain or to information me round – individuals have been tremendous welcoming,” he stated.
“There was a household who had hosted me in PNG and now reside in Brisbane, in order that they took me in and I stayed with them.”
He stated he felt the load of his age in Sydney when he then checked right into a hostel for the primary time in two years.
Mr Pedersen was visited by his father from Denmark for the primary time in 4 and a half years whereas he was in Sydney.
He was additionally reunited together with his spouse, who he had solely been in a position to see sporadically since 2013.
A visit to the Blue Mountains was amongst their highlights.
“I’ve seen a lot of mountains and nice landscapes and I would say that that ranks up fairly excessive,” he stated.
“A few of the views you rise up within the Blue Mountains are actually astonishing.”
Seven international locations to go
After a number of weeks of negotiations with delivery corporations and immigration authorities, Mr Pedersen will spend the approaching week or so travelling through cargo ship from Melbourne to New Zealand.
He then plans to go to Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.
“After which from there, I must go all the way in which throughout to the Indian Ocean, which is much away, particularly while you’re not flying, after which go to Sri Lanka, after which the Maldives,” he stated.
He anticipated the rest of the journey would take no less than one other 12 months.
Sacrifice and perseverance
Mr Pedersen stated a lot of the journey had not been clean crusing.
“I’ve positively thought-about giving up and I got here very, very near giving up again in 2015,” he stated.
He stated the challenge was now “10-per-cent per cent journey, 90-per-cent work”, with many hours spent behind the scenes on logistics getting from one place to a different.
“There are a substantial amount of international locations that simply make it mind-bogglingly troublesome, and it’s important to leap via so many hoops to get the paperwork so as and the signatures and the stamps and all kinds of permissions,” he stated.
“All of this was presupposed to take lower than 4 years and we’re eight-and-a-half years in now, so it weighs closely on my thoughts.”
However Mr Pedersen stated he had taken solace within the “extraordinary resilience” of the individuals he had met around the globe.
“It is great to see that human spirit – we at all times appear to bounce again,” he stated.
Mr Pedersen stated he hoped to start out a household and write a e-book about his adventures when he lastly arrived again house in Denmark.