Henrik Jeppesen: Indians Should Explore Their Own Country Before Travelling Abroad

The man who has visited every country in the world has some lovely advice for all those who have been bit by the travelling bug

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Henrik Jeppesen is just 28 years old and has already travelled to all the countries in the world. To the surprise of many who wonder if it takes a fortune and a lifetime to cover the whole world, Jeppesen’s travel journals are evidence of how one can do it in a way that’s very light on the pocket. Jeppesen today, is out on his next project to cover all the union territories across the world and aims to cover them by the end of next year.

A Dane, Jeppesen’s always wanted to travel since the age of 13. From driving in a bulletproof car in one of the world’s most dangerous countries to hitch-hiking with a driver who downed a bottle of vodka, Jeppesen has great stories. Bayside Journal managed to get in touch with Jeppesen, who is currently in Brazil, for an interview. Excerpts:

1. When did you first realise you wanted to travel and journal for a living?

At a very young age I’d say. I started travelling in 2006. I wanted to start traveling when I was 13, but truly started travelling at the age of 17. I have always been fascinated by cinema. Movies and films from across the world. Whatever they projected in the films I watched have inspired me to travel. From a very young age, I’ve wanted to experience all that I watched in person. As for writing, I started my blog in the year 2010.

2. Wherever one goes they carry their culture along. It is as if a majority travels to never leave home. How far would you say is this true?

This is true to a great extent. It is observed at the most when you’re travelling in America and when the Americans travel. With all due respect, many travel and live lavishly or well planned. Not many explore by living local and experimenting much with the local lifestyles. So yeah, I’d say it is true to a great extent.

3. There are claims that travel destroys local cultures, what’s your take on this?

I wouldn’t say it destroys as much I’d like to say it gives rise to new subgroups of cultures. In a sense that when people from different regions travel there’s a trade of culture that takes place, which only helps discover the culture in depth. Most of the travellers today, take sincere interest in knowing. In the history of the place and their ways of living.

4. The English/ Europeans enjoy great privileges on visas, making it relatively easier for them to travel both monetarily and otherwise. How should citizens from other countries budget their travels? 

If I were to suggest, specifically to Indians I’d firstly encourage to get around and explore locally. There’s so much to do within the country, so much to see and discover, so many underexplored and hidden places.

Secondly, when it comes to travelling internationally I’d advise getting your visas done from different country. To get to different countries, opt for the most feasible one first and get around from there. Get to a closer country and then travel to neighbouring countries or places. This helps you reduce or avoid all the expensive applications and gives you hassle free process.

5. How are contemporary styles of traveling ensuring breaking stereotypes constructed on countries with negative implications? 

People are more aware as of today. They understand that travel helps you open to different cultures and diversities. Travel writers in general are in an attempt to break these notions about places and their people. The ones who get first hand experience of places and with their people are journaling their experiences. People today are travelling and talking about their experiences all over social media and other online spaces. The very reason I try to focus on spreading the word across different social media platforms. I try and state facts and keep my writing as real and accurate as possible. I have travelled every country and I have collected and presented evidences for the same. This is in order to get beyond the negative constructs about various places. This is to tell people that places are as safe to travel and wonderful to explore. For instance, every country that I visited I came across very friendly and warm people. I didn’t expect to be welcomed in every country but I was!

6. How do you ensure authenticity and credibility while working and writing as a PR?

Whenever I travel I gather as many evidences I can. While writing about my experiences, like I mentioned earlier, I keep it as real as possible. I state facts and try to tell an accurate story.

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