Get ready for some travel inspiration: Gunnar Garfors visited every 198 countries by the not-so ripe age of 37. His first trip was to Greece with family when he was one—but it wasn't until he hit 17 that he began taking on travel as a major solo hobby. This stunt made him the youngest person in the world to visit 198 countries as a pastime activity (meaning that his adventures are in no way business related). In other not-so surprising news, he was also the first person to visit five continents in one day—Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and South America, in that order—using only public transportation. And then on September 21, 2014, Garfors broke another record: most countries visited in one day. He managed to fit in 19 destinations in 23 hours and 33 minutes (Greece, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein).
So what defines a trip? For Garfors, he made it his goal to leave the airport/train station in order for it to be counted toward the grand total—no need to spend a night in the destination. Garfors last trip was to Cape Verde off the northwest coast of Africa on May 8th, 2013. All of these visits were made on weekend, holidays, and using personal days from work, meaning Garfors did all of this without having to quit his job. If you're wondering how he pulled it off, he wrote it all down: Garfors' book "198: How I Ran Out of Countries" is available for purchase on Amazon.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.