Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why you should visit the world’s poorest country

There are over 10,000 animals in this photograph from Nkhotakota Game Reserve.

This country might be more known for hunger, floods, corruption and poverty than tourism. But go, and you will be rewarded by beautiful beaches, safaris, natural attractions and friendly locals. And I guarantee you won't meet your neighbour.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The World's Poorest Countries

Poor in money, rich in wildlife.

Have you ever been to a truly poor country? I am not going to try to define what is a "truly" poor one, but there are 26 countries with less than one thousand USD in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. How many of them do you think are in Africa?

The World's Richest Countries

The richest country in the world is rich on scenery too.

The world's richest countries are much more geographically spread out than the poorest, yet there are no African or South American countries on the World Bank's list. It measures GDP (gross domestic product) in USD per capita divided by the population (midyear). The figures are for 2010-2014.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

My Book "198" Finally on Sale in English Too

The English version contains pretty much the same as the Norwegian one, except photos,
but it is much more handy and travel friendly. And less than half the price.

It took less than 10 months from the Norwegian version of "198" (about my travels to every country) was released in Norway by Det Norske Samlaget until it came out in English too. What was a rather expensive book to research is finally available to buy, even to non-Vikings.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The 25 Least Visited Countries in the Whole Wide World

Yes, that's it. The world's least visited country. I once ran around it.

I first wrote about the world's 25 least visited countries in 2013, and the post has has been read almost a million times, in addition to have been translated to several languages, republished in many countries, rewritten and plagerised. Two years have passed, and it is time for an update of what I consider the ultimate traveller's bucket list. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

I moved 500K to save this fjord

The Førde Fjord (Førdefjorden), which may be reduced to a toxic waste dump. 

The Norwegian government has authorized the dumping of 300 million tons of toxic waste in the fjord I grew up next to. This madness has been covered internationally by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The BBC and others. Luckily it turns out that the local 21 person strong village council can challenge the government’s controversial decision, and I have moved back home, after 15 years in Oslo, to give my vote to political parties that oppose this severe crime against nature.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Eg flyttar for Førdefjorden - gjer du?

Faksimile frå Firda

Det er ikkje så lenge sidan Inger Fure Grøtting og co. oppretta ein underskriftskampanje for unge sunnfjordingar som ser heile Nordic Mining sitt såkalla rutileventyr som eit slag i trynet og som meiner dette gjer at det er mindre sannsynleg at dei vil flytte heimatt til Sunnfjord.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Media: World's first FM switch-off confirmed for 2017

Thorhild Widvey, Norwegian Minister of Culture, has confirmed that
FM switch-off will happen in 2017. (Photo: Ilja C. Hendel)

And it is official. Norway will switch off FM in 2017, as the first country in the world. The government, represented by the Minister of Culture, announced today. The replacement? Digital Audio Broadcasting, usually referred to as DAB+.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Skiers paradise - in the Iranian desert

Some traditionally dressed Iranian women take the ski lifts all the way to the top to admire the view.
Then return the same way. At least they don't have to worry about putting on sun protection cream.  

It is quite rare to see Bedouins come to Northern Europe looking for patches of sand to explore. Just about as rare as seeing Norwegians travelling to the Middle East to go skiing. But amazing conditions in Iranian mountains ought to change that.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Is it safe to fly?

The tower at Jeju Airport, South Korea.

The question following any plane crash, especially in the so called industrialized or western world where flying "should be safe", does however usually come out as quite the opposite.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

10 reasons why guide books are bad for you

Not my favourite kind of book shop. 

Travel guide books. I hate them. I hate them like garden owners hate smelly little apple stealing brats. Guide books reduce your creativity and destroys impulsiveness.  A lot of people use guide books to plan their holidays to death. All I know is that any such plans must, shall and have to be changed. So why make them in the first place?

Monday, January 12, 2015

How to travel to Antarctica

Tuxedo chasing penguin on King Georg Island. All photos Creative Commons licensed: Gunnar Garfors.  

Name a continent. All of them have a human history going back thousands and thousands of years. Except for the only uninhabited one. Antarctica was first discovered around 1820, and the South Pole wasn't visited until December 14, 1911 when my fellow countryman Roald Amundsen skied in and narrowly beat British Robert Falcon Scott to it. Antarctica is still rather hard and costly to visit.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Fido and Facebook Filthier than Flying

Approaching Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city, in Argentina.
Yes, so I fly. A lot. Does that make me a bad person? The reason why island nations around the world are "sinking"? One of the most wanted people alive for crimes against climate?


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Korleis slakte ein slaktar

Fortener boka eller bokmeldinga slakt?

Det er enkelte bokmeldarar som har fått med seg at eg har skrive mi første bok, "198 - Mi reise om alle verdas land". Dei fleste av dei hevdar å like kva dei las. Men ikkje alle. Ikkje Helge Baardseth i Vagabond, ei slags guidebok som no og då kjem ut i magasinform.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Øystein Garfors

Øystein Garfors in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Øystein is my brother. Or one of them, at least. I have three brothers and three sisters.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Media: All requirements for FM switch-off fulfilled

765 DAB transmitting towers provide 99.5% indoor DAB+ coverage in Norway.

The radio listening figures for the last three months made Ole Jørgen Torvmark a happy man. Over 50% of Norwegians now listen to digital radio daily. That means that all the government's requirements have been fulfilled in order for a switch off of FM to happen in Norway 2017.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lonely Planet's big travel hoax

No, Tonga is not on any of Lonely Planet's many lists.

Hurrah! The top travel list of Lonely Planet is out for next year, and my country is on the list! Oh, wait. There isn't only one list. There are several. No, I mean many. As in loads!

Monday, October 06, 2014

So you think you wanna write for

This site had one million hits in 2013, most of them for travel related posts. I regularly receive offers from guest writers, promising me amazing stories in return for money, a link to a website or the possibility to add "published on" to their CV. I have turned most down. Why?

Sunday, October 05, 2014

How to track a travel world record

My brother Øystein and I visited all 19 Norwegian counties in one day.
We celebrated in Finnmark, the last and northernmost one. 

Having visited every country in the world makes me prone to receive a particular question. What next?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

19 countries in one day

We managed 19 countries in less than 24 hours.

Yay! We managed to visit 19 countries in 23 hours and 33 minutes, all in one day on September 21. That's a world record. See how we did it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vi var Noreg rundt, alle 19 fylka på éin dag

Ei av bøkene vert til bokflaskepost. Kven finn ho og kva tid? 

Boka mi "198" om mi reise til alle verdas land kjem ut på torsdag. Korleis kunne ho vel betre lanserast enn å reise til alle Noregs fylke, på éin dag? Tenkte i alle fall eg.