It is likely that no one has travelled more extensively than Calgarian Spencer Bown, who this week ended a 23-year-journey that took him to every region in the world.
And at the end of the journey, he found a pint of Guinness, in Ireland - an interesting ending to what has to be the most interesting adventure in the annals of modern travel.
Bown's Facebook page reads like an 'Indiana Jones' novel, the odometer that tracks his frequent flyer miles has rolled over -- five times, has evaded genocidal Hutu rebels in the Congo, learned to drive a reindeer sleigh while drunk with the Yakuti tribe in Russia, avoided capture by pirates in Somalia, and has felt the dull sting of loneliness.
Click through the sideshow below for the top 23 experiences, according to backpackology.org, Bown lived through in his 23-year odyssey.
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Lazing along the Mekong river by slow boat, Laos
Rock climbing the Hand of Fatima and the monumental mountains of Mali.
21. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Exploring the spectacular, ancient Khmer ruins in the jungles of Angkor Wat, Cambodia
20. Golden Temple of Amritsar, India
Rubbing elbows with Sikh pilgrims in the Golden Temple of Amritsar, India
19. Nook, Greenland
19. Checking out the “Red Neck” Inuit bar scene, Nook, Greenland
18. Milford Sound, New Zealand
Cruising through spectacular fjord panoramas on Milford Sound, New Zealand
Standing amidst penguin colonies under towering, blue ice cliffs, Antarctica
16. Unawatuna Beach, Sri Lanka
Searching for the perfect mango, Unawatuna Beach, Sri Lanka
Spelunking Southeast Asia’s longest cave system at Deer Cave, Borneo
14. Palmyra, Syria
Wandering an ancient Roman city frozen in time by the desert sands, Palmyra, Syria
13. Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls by dugout canoe, Venezuela
12. Argent Beach, Seychelles
Lounging on the most beautiful stretch of sand in the world, Argent Beach, Seychelles
11. Ranthambore National Park, India
Glimpsing tigers on the prowl, Ranthambore National Park, India
10. Democratic Republic of Congo
Living in a leaf hut with an African Pygmy tribe, Democratic Republic of Congo
09. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Poling away from cantankerous hippos in a mocoro boat, Okavango Delta, Botswana
08. Petra, Jordan
Pretending you’re Indiana Jones in the incredible, cliff-carved ruins of Petra, Jordan
07. Trans-Siberian Railroad, Russia
Testing your liver on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Russia
06. Damascus, Syria
People watching over a sheesha pipe in an ahwa, Damascus, Syria
05. Virunga Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Coming face to face with Silverback Gorillas in Virunga Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
04. The Alps
Red wine and wheels of cheese, anywhere in the Alps
03. Machu Picchu, Peru
Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru
Standing in awe of the Great Herd Migration, Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania
01. Mt. Everest Base Camp
Looking down upon the world from Mt. Everest Base Camp, Nepal or Tibet
"I decided 23 years ago that I was going to try to see everything on Earth and I've been travelling ever since. If I'd known it would have taking 23 years I'm not sure I would've begun," he told RTE News, adding a passport lasts an average 18 months.
But he hasn't just visited every corner and region on the globe, he's made a conscious effort to spend as much time as possible in every country he landed on and to properly get to know the people and culture wherever he was, the Calgary Sun, which named Bown the 'World's Most Travelled Man,' reports.
It's the experiences, the adventures and the people that are the theme of his travels, not the passport stamps, he said
“Some of the least travelled people I’ve ever met have been to 100 countries, or even as high as 170 countries — what they do is fly between major cities and especially capital cities, stop off in the airport or take a hotel for the night, and then say that they’ve ‘done’ such and such country,” said Bown, speaking with the Sun.
And experiences he's had, the most publicized being his foray into Somalia.
In 2010, Bown made headlines when he flew to Mogadishu, Somalia, to the bafflement of officials there.
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"We have never seen people like this man," Omar Mohamed, an immigration official, told the Agence France-Presse of his visit at the time. "He said he was a tourist, we couldn't believe him. But later on we found he was serious. That makes him the first person to come to Mogadishu only for tourism..."
"They tried four times to put me back on the plane to get rid of me but I shouted and played tricks until the plane left without me," Bown recalled to AFP.
Bowman expects to be in Ireland for another week and, according to his Facebook page, he's not celebrating with champagne in ritzy hotel's presidential suite, but drinking beer before crashing in a dorm inhabited by drunks, snorers, an amorous couple and a cranky sleeper.
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