For one of my classes we have been reading ancient travel stories, Herodotus, Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, etc. In each tale the traveler is said to be the “World’s Most Traveled Man.” It got me thinking, who is the current most traveled man? Here are three possibilities:
John Clouse: John was from my home town in Indiana and I even got to hear him speak once at a Rotary event. It ends up though that he died two years ago, so he is out of the running. He had visited 315 of the world’s 316 countries, regions, and island- only missing out on Bouvet Island near South Africa before he died (when I met him in 2002 it was 314 because he hadn’t visited Macau). He was the Guiness World Record holder his entire life before they decided to discontinue the category. He had seven wives, would meet them, travel with them, and then they would leave him and he would find a new one. He also died pretty broke having spent all his money going aroudn the world.
Fred Finn: has technically traveled the most, but hasn’t visited the most countries. He has flown or ridden 15 million miles (makes Ibn Battuta’s 75,000 seem small) which would take him to the moon 31 times and back and has cost him more than three million dollars. However he has only visited 139 countries out of the world’s 196 (“only” seems like a weird word but comparatively). He says that he does not wish to go to any of the ones that he has left out and instead would like to go back to the ones that he likes. He also holds the record for most concorde flights (781) and most concorde flights in one day (3). He says he has made 2000+ transatlantic flights and gone to africa 600 times.
Charles Veley runs the website MostTraveledPeople.com which gives points for countries, islands, regions, territories, etc. The website counts 872 and he has been to 822. That definitely means that he has been more places than anyone. He calls himself a “competitive traveler.” He really lives a fascinating life, and I would love to learn more. What is interesting about him is that he does most of his travels on “round the world tickets” and uses them so efficiently that he travels first class cheaper than it would cost to buy each ticket in economy. He also has a family that he goes back to.