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.
Colourful Havana, Cuba. Cuba was a great experience for me. I hitchhiked several times near Holguin, but I learned Cuba look at hitchhiking differently. It's probably the only country in the world where you are expected to pay. Aero Caribbean (now merged with Cubana) sponsored me the domestic flight to Holguin last minute. Just after I arrived in Havana and went to their office to talk to the guy I had emailed. He was not there, but they called him, and my request was approved. See, that's another way to get an important sponsorship.
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!
First Day on South Georgia Island. – One of the most amazing places I have ever been. I have travelled a lot. More than 3,000 days and 291 countries and territories as of today. South Georgia stands out as one of the best experiences I've had. I look forward to experience more of this amazing place. I don't like sailing but @silverseacruises is doing an excellent job, and I am enjoying exploring some of the most remote parts of our planet. I hope to complete the list of visiting every country and territory next year, but I need luck with British Indian Ocean Territory and Wake Island. Can anyone help? 🙂 South Georgia is one of my new favourite places in the world. Add it to your bucket list?
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.