The World’s #1 Ranked Traveler

BBC Travel

Early in 2015 I wrote about what some might consider the most traveled man in the world. However, most traveled might not be completely accurate. Fred Finn might just be the most flown person since he’s flown over 16 million miles so far!

In early 2014 I brought you an interview with the youngest American to visit every country in the world, Lee Abbamonte. Now I’d definitely consider Lee one of the most traveled people. He’s visited every country and is still frequently traveling to far-flung places, trying to become the youngest to complete the Travelers Century Club list.

There are many other big-time travelers out there and BBC Travel tells us about The World’s Number One Ranked Traveler. I don’t know about you, but I hadn’t a clue that there was such a designation out there!

According to BBC Travel, 70-year-old Don Parrish of Chicago has “visited nearly every geographic entity on the planet“!

After completing a goal of visiting all 50 US states, Parrish set a new and much more ambitious goal- to visit every UN Member State. He achieved that goal 4 years back when he visited Mongolia.

So all 50 states, all 193 countries. Pretty impressive stuff but that wasn’t enough.

Don decided he wanted to visit everywhere but said that “you have to define what everywhere means“.

I keep track of where I’ve been as well as the UNESCO World Heritage sites I visit on a site called Most Traveled People. On MTP there are 875 places. Don’s been to 843 of them! The BBC articles says he is tops on the site but when I checked he was in second, still pretty incredible. (BTW, I’ve been to 133 places on MTP.)

The Travelers Century Club considers the world to have 324 countries & territories. Then there is The Best Travelled which has 1,281 places. (Until coming across this article, I hadn’t heard of TBT.)

Don’s been to every place on the Travelers Century Club list except one which is off-limits to tourists. On the TBT list he ranks fifth.

Figuring out how to get to all of these hard to reach places is lots of work. The article mentions spreadsheets being kept, areas closed due to political reasons and others which are very expensive to get to as obstacles to finish off the MTP list.

I found it interesting how the article mentioned that most of the world’s most traveled are single or divorced men. It seems like it might be something of a club and “they also frequently pool their resources to charter boats to reach places like Banaba, an out-of-the-way island that is part of the Republic of Kiribati” according tot the article.

I’d assume in this group of well-traveled men, it’s also a competition but there is power (buying power) in traveling together.

Find out more about Don Parrish in the BBC Travel article here.

1 thought on “The World’s #1 Ranked Traveler

  1. Have you heard of canadian Mike Spencer Bown?:

    Mr Bown has been in a single journey 23 years , or half his life, and visited all the countries of the world.
    He is not a member of travel lcubs, so you can’t compare him with Don Parrish in teh clubs TCC, or MTO, or TBT.
    Don Parrish only speaks english and traveled only when he was retired, after 60, perhaps 10 years all his life, while Mr. Bown has been traveling 23 years. There are many more travelers, unknown to the club Most Traveled People, but they have travelled much more than Mr. Don Parrish, like German Heinz Stucke (52 years in a sigle journey), plus french André Brugiroux (50 years of travel, all countries of the world visited).
    Compared with those 3 travel masters, Don Parrish is only a beginner.
    Best Regads from Argentina.
    Isaac Molina

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