How One Man Visited 47 Countries Without Taking a Single Flight
He's gone from Australia to California without ever boarding a plane.
Australian traveler Tyral Dalitz has spent the last three years traveling to 47 countries around the globe — without taking a single flight.
Dalitz, who previously worked across farms in Australia, rented a camper van after graduating from university and spent six months traveling around his home country.
“I realized that most of the fun and adventurous things happen when you’re getting from point A to point B, rather than where you end up,” Dalitz told Travel + Leisure.
That's why, since he set off in 2014, he's traveled by sailboat, bus, train, car, motorcycle, and even on foot.
The hardest part was getting out of Australia. He had heard from backpackers that travelers could catch a ride on non-commercial and privately-owned cruising yachts by signing up as crew.
Dalitz used resources like Find a Crew, CrewSeekers, and Crewbay, and ended up getting in touch with a retired couple. In exchange for helping to sail their boat, he joined on a sailing voyage from Australia to Singapore.
“When you’re hitchhiking on a boat, you have to contribute,” Dalitz said. “So you may be asked to work for free, but once you get into the community of sailing, it can open a lot of doors for you.”
He soon discovered the world of rallies — organized trips for groups of boats sailing the same route — that he used to travel to Indonesia and through Malaysia. On the Sail Malaysia rally, he met someone who invited him to board a ship traveling to Phuket.
From Thailand, Dalitz began traveling by land, hitchhiking his way up to Chiang Mai and all the way to Cambodia, where a local man in a town on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia offered to transport Dalitz to the country via a bicycle taxi, despite the more than 9,000 foot journey.
In Vietnam, Dalitz bought a motorbike, which he said is relatively cheap since you’re able to often sell it back to mechanics, and used it to explore the country.
“Being on a bike is still one of the top highlights for me, because it’s like another level of freedom since you can go wherever you want when you want, whereas with hitchhiking you have to rely on getting a lift,” he said of the experience.
From Hanoi, Dalitz took a train to China, where he traveled by train through the country before taking the Trans-Mongolian Railway to Moscow. “We went in the spring when there was tons of greenery and you get these big pine forests dotted with villages where wooden houses and shacks,” he said.
Once in Europe, Dalitz took a few buses, but primarily got around by hitchhiking, all the way to Finland’s Arctic Circle in search of the Northern Lights.
After spending about a year in Europe, Dalitz sailed across the Atlantic Ocean — to the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, and Hawaii before making his way to North America, where he is now.