Thor’s Extraordinary Journey: Travel w/o Flying

About Thor’s Extraordinary Journey:  His name may not sound like a typical traveler’s moniker, but Torbjørn C. Pedersen, better known as Thor, has never let that hold him back. Having already explored a significant portion …

An interview with Thor

About Thor’s Extraordinary Journey: 

His name may not sound like a typical traveler’s moniker, but Torbjørn C. Pedersen, better known as Thor, has never let that hold him back. Having already explored a significant portion of the world, he set out on a new venture—to visit every country from scratch and complete the entire globe-trotting journey. You may learn more about him at

About PlanTrips:

PlanTrips is an innovative AI trip planner, the ultimate travel hack that makes traditional planning methods look slower than a snail in a marathon. PlanTrips helps you save time, stress, and money when planning for your next adventures!


In a world where it seems like everything has been done, Thor set out on a groundbreaking adventure to travel the world without flying. His determination, resilience, and thirst for creating history led him on an incredible journey filled with unique challenges, environmental awakening, and a deep appreciation for sustainable travel. 

In this exclusive interview, we sit down with Thor, the first man to accomplish this feat, as he shares his motivations, the obstacles he overcame, and his plans for the future.

travel without flying
Thor in Sri Lanka (2023)

Johny (PlanTrips): Welcome, Thor! Let’s start with the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: What motivated you to embark on a journey to visit every country in the world without flying?

Thor: Thank you! Well, I was genuinely surprised to discover that nobody had achieved the feat of visiting every country in the world without flying. It was especially intriguing in a time when it feels like almost everything has been accomplished. I wanted to push my own limits and qualifications to the test, aiming to make history. And of course, I was also seeking an extraordinary adventure along the way.

Johny (PlanTrips): Fascinating! Could you share some of the unique challenges you faced during your travels and how you overcame them?

Thor: Absolutely! One memorable challenge occurred in Iceland when I was searching for a ship to take me to Canada. The only shipping company operating that route initially turned me down. But I didn’t give up. After some research, I managed to track down the ship’s owners, who granted me permission to come onboard. Persistence paid off!

On another occasion, I faced a visa dilemma while in Brazzaville, seeking a visa for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The embassy refused to accept my application as I wasn’t a resident. To overcome this hurdle, I applied to become a resident in Congo Brazzaville, enabling me to then apply for the DRC visa.

More recently, I found myself stuck in Tuvalu as my return ticket with a government vessel didn’t materialize. After spending two months there with promises that seemed to go unfulfilled, I managed to establish contact with a Fijian captain onboard an Australian tugboat. Eventually, I successfully made my way back to Fiji and continued my journey.

how to travel the world
Thor boarded a ship near Fiji

Johny (PlanTrips): Your perseverance is truly inspiring! How did your experiences shape your perspective on sustainable travel and environmental conservation?

Thor: Throughout my journey, I encountered various environmental issues, such as deforestation, pollution, and plastic waste. These experiences heightened my awareness of the urgent need for environmental conservation. Witnessing these challenges first hand shaped my perspective on sustainable travel.

I became determined to promote eco-friendly alternatives, raise awareness about environmental issues, and encourage others to make conscious choices when it comes to travel. I firmly believe that by adopting sustainable practices, reducing carbon emissions, supporting local economies, and respecting nature, we can contribute to preserving our planet for future generations.

Johny (PlanTrips): That’s a powerful message! What advice would you give to aspiring travelers, especially those from developing countries, who dream of exploring the world?

Thor: Embarking on the quest to visit every country is an incredibly ambitious endeavor, regardless of how you do it. It’s estimated that only around 300 people or fewer have accomplished it. While most of them had to fly at some point, they also encountered nightmarish bureaucratic challenges. 

However, even with a weak passport, you can visit more visa-free countries than most people will ever see. On a strong passport, most countries are easily accessible. There are indeed a few impossibly difficult countries depending on your nationality. Yet, with the global relaxation of visa requirements, the availability of travel hacks shared through blogs, and widely accessible transportation, the journey is becoming easier every day. 

Thor in Ethiopia (2017)

There are ways to save money, such as staying with local families, sleeping in a hammock, or opting for affordable dorm rooms. Public transportation is often budget-friendly, and crowdfunding could be a possibility. I firmly believe that more people will reach every country within my lifetime. Your personal willpower and choices about what you’re willing to sacrifice will ultimately determine whether you achieve this incredible goal. Nothing is impossible!

Johny (PlanTrips): Great advice for aspiring adventurers! Moving on, do you have any tips on planning a trip? Do you enjoy planning trips or do you find it tiring and boring?

Thor: My best advice for planning a trip is to stick to your plan and make it happen. Many people find excuses and let their dreams slip away. Once you’re out there, maintain a positive mindset, be open to new experiences, and smile a lot. I guarantee it will change your world! 

Try the local cuisine, learn bits of the local language, and use it whenever you get the chance. Trust people, but also trust your intuition. While the world is generally a safe place, it’s important to exercise caution. Remember that most people are focused on everyday things like family, sports, food, and social media. 

I find trip planning to be an exciting part of the journey, as it allows me to anticipate and prepare for the experiences ahead.

Johny (PlanTrips): It sounds like you’ve truly embraced the joy of travel! Do you know that on average, individuals spend 21 hours planning for a single trip? However, with the advent of modern travel planning tools like PlanTrips, travelers now have the opportunity to not only save time but also discover a newfound interest in the task. Moving on to your future plans, I know you’re excited to return to Denmark and start a family with your ultra-wifey. Do you have any other plans related to travel, human rights, sustainability, or philanthropy?

travelers stories
Time to go home and start a family!

Thor: Absolutely! There isn’t a single country I wouldn’t love to revisit, especially if I could do it as a tourist with complete freedom in terms of finances and time. Three countries I definitely plan to revisit in the future are the USA (Alaska), Ecuador (Galapagos), and Chile (Easter Island). As for my involvement in humanitarian efforts, I envision remaining in a supportive role and assisting the Red Cross in raising funds for their crucial humanitarian work.

Looking ahead, I plan to write at least one book about my incredible journey and pursue a career as a motivational speaker. We’re already in the process of filming one documentary, and another is in the pipeline. Furthermore, I hope to continue using social media platforms to share my experiences and grow my online presence.

Johny (PlanTrips): It’s clear that you have an exciting and impactful future ahead, Thor! Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey and inspiring insights with us. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors and look forward to following your continued adventures!

Thor: Thank you! It’s been a pleasure. I hope my experiences encourage others to explore the world, embrace sustainability, and make a positive difference. Remember, nothing is impossible if you have the willpower to pursue your dreams!

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