Think you’re dedicated to travel? Meet Don Parrish, a 73-year-old Chicago resident who could just be the world’s most travelled man.
Of course, Mr Parrish has been to every country and territory around the world – according to The Sun, he one of just 23 people to have completed the Travelers’ Century Club, visiting the 325 countries or territories on their list.
He’s also been to every state in the US and more than 1,000 places on the Nomad Mania list. But Parrish was officially awarded the title of ‘World’s most travelled man’ (but not person?), after a recent trip to the remote Conway Reef near Fiji.
“I travel by myself, with one person, with a few people, in small groups, large groups or with a driver and guide,” he said.
“I live frugally — no smoking, no coffee, I drive old cars and I have spent my life savings.”
Parrish has also had to make more serious sacrifices to pursue his passion, including abstaining from marriage and having children.
He’s seen his fair share of hostile situations too.
“In 2010 I visited Bossaso in Somalia. My travel agent refused to help me because he thought I would get kidnapped,”said Mr Parrish, now retired after working in telecommunications.
“So I requested security from a local guy I used to plan the trip.”
“The word security got translated into four armed guards who stayed in their own room at the hotel and even followed me from my room to the computer room when I did emails at 11pm at night.”
Although he’s seen most of the world since his passion was born during a working holiday in Germany in 1965, Parrish still has at least 20, mostly remote, destinations on his wishlist, including the Bounty islands, the Scott islands, Paracel islands and Guantanamo Bay.
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