He’s 28 and he’s visited every country in the world. In 2010 Henrik Jeppesen sold everything he had and hit the road for the ultimate budget travel journey on Earth. He ran out of money in 2012. Four years later he ran out of countries. He started adding territories and states to his ‘must do’ list.
While staying at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, Henrik paused for breath and told Outrigger host Ken Scott about which countries had the friendliest people, the best food, and what surprised him the most about travelling.
When did your global travel ambitions start?
When I was a teenager, I wanted to do 50 countries. Then I wanted to do a hundred. When I reached 100 countries in 2012, I decided to go for all of them.
Where did the travel bug come from?
Television and movies, because my family never really travelled. I think we had one trip to the south of France. Other than that I think we just travelled to Scandinavia.
Why this fixation with the Maldives? It seems to be a special place for you?
The first time I was here was in December 2010 and I thought it was just spectacular. It is just that bit more beautiful than everywhere else. I love the Maldives and I found the experience – staying in an island resort with the concept of one island, one resort, very unique. That’s why I like it so much. You can completely relax. And being here at Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is extra special, it’s a beautiful resort. One of the best resorts in the Maldives for the price.
What has been the most surprising destination you have been to?
I would say Rwanda because I had very low expectations because of the genocide and all the negative things you hear from the media. But today Rwanda is one of the most stable countries in Africa and also one of the safest. And the infrastructure is unbelievable by African standards. You can sit comfortably in a bus without the usual dust floating in the air like you have in most countries in that part of the world. It’s just very beautiful. It’s called the land of a thousand hills. There’s a lot of things to do and see and cost wise it’s not too expensive. Africa is usually very strict with visas, but with Rwanda you just need to do an online registration to get your visa on arrival. So it’s very easy to visit as well.
Where is home for you?
I’m a quiet person. I really appreciate a place where I can relax, so I rented a house in Denmark. It’s in a city. I don’t really know anyone there, but that is exactly what I need for five months, which is to sleep in the same bed every day and to have a lot of hours online…When I’m in the same place for the next five months I hope I can write books. I have so many projects and ideas I don’t have time to do when I travel. So now I need to give that a chance, probably until the end of the year, then I might get back on the road. I’ll see how it goes.
In your travels, where had the friendliest people?
I always say Iran because they are the friendliest in terms of how they treat you. When I walked in the streets of Tehran and asked, how do I get there, they just said, ‘Can I pay your taxi?’ At Tehran airport, normally I wouldn’t hitch-hike from the airport of a big city, but in Tehran I was quite angry that they did not have any public transport into the city. The only option was a taxi at about 20 euros, and 20 euros was way above my daily budget. So I just put up my thumb and the third or fourth car stopped. He took me to some places in Tehran and then to my hotel, so I couldn’t beat that.
Do you travel with a backpack or a suitcase?
I travel with a backpack with as little luggage as possible. I travel with just 2 or 3 kilos – the absolute minimum. I do my laundry in the sink.
What advice do you have for other world travellers?
Anyone in the world can travel. It’s just a matter of priorities and about how much you are willing to put into it.
Henrik was a guest at the Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort in July 2016. Click here to read his review.