Saturday, September 26, 2015

How to Visit 22 States in 24 Hours

22 states in 24 hours - from Maine to Illinois - had to be celebrated.  
It may not be your ideal Sunday, but what do you not do to break a travel world record? Together with my friends Øystein Djupvik and Tay-young Pak I decided to try to visit more US states in 24 hours than anyone else before us. And we managed.

We tracked the world record trip via GPS, using Real Time GPS Tracker,
a great little app from Greenalp. How to track a world record.
But why? Well, besides the adrenalin kick, it was also arguably the world's fastest book promotional trip. My book "198: How I Ran Out of Countries" is now available in English, and some sort of release party was called for. 

It was obviously a race against the clock, but luckily we experienced a fair amount of tailwind, primarily downhill roads and a tiny bit of luck. In addition to a lot of planning to find the best routes and flights in between. We started off in Maine, clocked 7 states before we flew from Albany, New York to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Another 6 states awaited before we took yet another plane from Dulles International Airport, Virginia to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.

The three of us are rather restless, and our outragous attempt to visit more than 19 US States, the former record, in just 24 hours turned out to be quite a thrill. Øystein drove in all states except for in North and South Carolina wehere we took a taxi from Charlotte to South Carolina and back. Tadjik, our Pakistani driver, was quickly let in on the world record attempt, and delivered record breaking speeds in between flights.

"All three have trained a lot for this slightly manic trip and aim for celebration. This is of course not really about traveling, this is about smart choices, having fun and pushing any limits but speed limits. We want to live to tell the tale," Øystein said before we started, and he delivered on his promise. He drove a Dodge Charger, a Chevy Camaro and an Infinity, with accumulated 880 horse power.

"We got a bad flight delay midway on the trip, and this threatened to jeopardize the whole record attempt. Fortunately we had prepared ourselves for such situations, and managed to reorganize so we did not lose too much time. But it was a close call," Øystein admitted a day later. We were then in New York to celebrate the world record.

Tay was responsible for cooking and photographing during the slightly frenetic tour. From the backseat of our RecordrunUSA cars, he juggled lobster dishes, oysters, sandwiches and camcorders. And a fair amount of energy drinks.

"Good food has been important to keep morale up along the way. We are also obliged to take picture of ourselves in each state for documentations, so I´ve had my hands full. But we could not have completed this enormous task without the support of our sponsor, international betting company They have as much hand in this success as I have," Tay smiled.

And having people bet on how many states we could visit certainly helped motivate us. Especially the guy who put 80USD on us managing only 2 states. He lost his cash rather early.

How many states have you visited in a day? You can read more about the world record on the official website, or find the press release here. Photos from all 22 states below.

State #1: Maine. We started at 06:20 on a Sunday morning. Inhumane.
State #2: New Hampshire. A guy bet $80 that we'd manage only 2 states. He enjoys giving cash away.
State #3: Massachussetts. Try to pronounce that name!
State #4: Connecticut. Where we narrowly avoided being spat at by the llamas in the background. 
State #5: Rhode Island. We'll stay longer next time.
State #6: Vermont. We even had time to go to church.
State #7: New York. We are lumberjacks and we're OK.
State #8: Pennsylvania. Where new wheels awaited.
State #9: New Jersey. We were joined by the sun.
State #10: Delaware. Where we made it two figures.
State #11: Maryland. Unfortunately we had no time for crabcakes.
State #12: Virginia. Why not go back to schoold?
State #13: West Virginia. I'd rather be whitewater rafting.
State #14: North Carolina. Tadjik the taxi driver promised us to get to South Carolina and back in maximum 35 minutes.
And he did. 
State #15: South Carolina. Too dark to see much, though.
State #16: Alabama. A little bit later than we'd like. Two out of the three American Airlines flights were delayed.
State #17: Mississippi. But no river boats to be seen.
State #18: Tennessee. We so should have stopped for a jam in Memphis.
State 19: Arkansas. We equalled the current record, yet no Clintons showed up to celebrate.
State #20: Missouri. And the record was ours! But why stop there? 
State #21: Kentucky deserved more than a U-turn, but some other time. 
State 22: Illinois. And a pretty long day was over. 22 states in 24 hours felt quite alright.
All 22 states in one.