Most countries visited-world record set by
PRISTINA, Kosovo -- Kashi Samaddar, 52,
a Dubai-based businessman (born in Calcutta, India) has travelled
to 218 countries-setting the world record for the Most
countries visited. He is also the first person to
visit all 194 sovereign states with his mission of Travel,
Tourism and Peace.
Photo: On May 27, 2008, Kashi Samaddar
became the first person in the world to visit all 194 sovereign
states. The first country he visited was Uruguay and the last
province was Kosovo in Serbia on May 27 last year-see photo.
need a visa to travel anywhere outside their country. There
were times when I had opportunities to get an Australian or
Canadian citizenship but I declined the offer because I wanted
to prove to the world that an Indian is capable of travelling
so much without changing his passport,” he says.
For Samaddar in his 50s, it all began way back
in 2003 on October 28, when he was denied a visa from a southern
African country because of his nationality. Feeling humiliated
he made a promise to himself that he would travel to all the
countries in the world as a mark of defiance.
Through travelling, Samaddar also hopes
to bridge the gap between several cultures. “People are friendly
in most parts of the world but they perceive Indians as troublemakers
and therefore reject their visa,” he says.
Photo: With Indian Consul General Dubai
HH Rajamoni and President Indian Bengali Asso, Dubai Mr Soumitra
Das upon completion of all, at Dubai. (enlarge
While the entire world trip experience exposed
him to beautiful countries, breath-taking scenery, endless
hospitality, it also highlighted the vast inequalities faced
by many travellers, who, because of the passport they hold
can have major difficulties entering certain countries.
His closest competitor, Samaddar says, is
a German, who has clocked 160 countries.
However, travelling to countries like Iraq
and Central Africa wasn’t easy. “Once I was travelling from
Somalia to Djibouti with my wife Barnali and we lost our luggage
that had important documents. That was a difficult trip,”
he says. Samaddar's wife has accompanied him to over 70 countries.
"The most difficult visa to get was
Moldova, which took me almost three years with many rejections.
The problem isn’t with big countries like America, England
or places in Europe, a lot of the time it’s smaller countries
who don’t know what they should be doing,” he says.
He visited Tuvalu in the Pacific
Nation. This Polynesian island nation is one of the few places
on earth that are most vulnerable to global warming. Why?
Because, at its highest point, Tuvalu is only five metres
above sea level and it’s possible the whole country could
soon be submerged beneath the water.
“It is one of the least polluting countries in
the world but faces a threat because of the pollution. 35
years down the line, if nothing is done, this island will
not exist,” he says.
Because of the difficulties some nationalities
have entering certain countries, back in Dubai, Kashi and
some partners decided to set up the web site Travel, Tourism
and Peace Global, www.ttpglobal.com,
which provides travellers with up to date advice on exactly
what they will need to be allowed access into different countries.
Samaddar spent all his life savings
on his travels. "I spent about Dh2.45 million (U$ 700,000).
I had to try visa for Macedonia- 08 times, Solomon Islands-
My wife accompanied me to some countries and
she has been all along with my close family and friends, supportive
of my idea to travel around the world."
But visa issues aside, Kashi says his around-
the-world trip included plenty of postcard moments, including
visiting the Alps mountain range and some fantastic spots
in South America.
“I think Brazil is a very good destination,
for everybody,” says Kashi. “In Rio de Janeiro, when you get
in the taxi, if you are from England they’ll play an English
music cassette, if you’re Chinese they play a Chinese cassette
and if you’re Indian they’ll play an Indian cassette. “The
people are lovely.”
"Some of the great destinations that I would
suggest are Copacabana Beach in Rio Di Janeiro, Brazil, the
Kovalom Beach in India, Colonia at Micronesia- Margarita in
Venezuela and Mala Mala at Nadi Fiji."
"The towns at the foot of the Alps, Andes
or Himalayas are just magnificent. I came across breath-taking
views at Black River, Amazon." Samaddar added he is concerned
about global warming and that he saw the Arctic icecaps melting.
-Book hotel in advance over the Net or a
- Get sufficient sleep before flight if
- Drink plenty of water or juice when on
- Use moisturising lotion
- Don't drink alcohol
- Don't take paracetamol and sleeping pills
money in two or three different places
- Don't carry your wallet in back pocket