Vietnamese-American Beats World Travel Record by 17 Days

May 19, 2017

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Update 5/20/17: The text below has been updated to reflect the fact that De Pecol is currently the first woman to have visited every country in the shortest amount of time.


Eric Thanh Nam Nguyen has become the youngest person to visit every country in the world. The 24 year-old, who surpassed the previous record by only 17 days, deferred starting medical school at age 21 in order to chase his goal of breaking the world record which was previously held by Brit James Asquith.

For the past three years, Nguyen was tirelessly traveling to some of the most remote — and dangerous — places on the globe. Yesterday, Nguyen landed in Eritrea at a little past 3:00 am local time, finally completing his voyage. But Nguyen’s journey was not without its hiccups. According to one account, Nguyen was almost kidnapped by a gang in Libya, got in a motorcycle accident in Guinea, was held at gunpoint in Liberia and got stuck on the border in Yemen for five days with no way out (some of these countries could be more fun to visit from the comfort of your own home).

While Nguyen will take the world record from Asquith, he will also take the title of youngest American to visit all of the world’s countries which belonged to Lee Abbamonte, a native of Connecticut. Abbamonte completed this massive task at age 32 before he was overshadowed by another Connecticut Native, Cassie De Pecol. She made her way around the headlines (and the globe) earlier this year when she became the first woman to visit every country in the world in the shortest amount of time.

The group of people who have traveled to every country in the world is an exclusive one as the task is expensive, dangerous and takes a good bit of mental strength. Nguyen was able to finance his trip — which cost an estimated $70,000 — through sponsors, the same way De Pecol afforded her trip which came in at a whopping $209,000. Maybe on the next go round these adventurous travelers can make further use of their points and miles.

H/T: The Huffington Post

Featured image of Eritrea courtesy of Hugy via Getty Images.

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