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  • Writer's pictureGunnar Garfors

The Story Travelled Farther (But Not as Fast)

The paper edition of Oriental Daily in Hong Kong. Thanks to Beatrice Liu for the photograph.

The idea of travelling to five continents in one day, and making a television documentary about it (preview on Youtube), has been characterised as crazy, insane and mental. And as “systemised madness” by my own brother, Øystein Garfors, who is Head of PR for the 5in1 project. He knows me very well, so I guess he’s on to something. The story must in any case have been a good one, as it has now been told in major and minor media companies in at least 21 countries (see links to BBC, CNN and others below), although yet only on four continents.

It also seems to be liked by most, disliked by some, according to comments on various websites that has covered the story and in social media.

Twitter comments We used #continentrun as our Twitter tags, although most people have shared news stories unaware of this. Here are some of the Twitter comments made about this trip:

@DisplacedNation Olympian feat? Norwegian traveler Gunnar Garfors travels to 5 continents w/in a single day!

@patricialu88 How to travel five continents in one day. OMG i want to do this!

@tuija @garfors you’re insane 😀 Very funny (Sponsors alert – this guy is seriously #mobile)

@AIESEC_Windsor CNN describes the strategies one man used to set the world record for travelling: 5 continents in ONE DAY!

@SkinsYo10 Sure beats any Monday accomplishments I’ve done ~

@MullaNasruddin What you might call extreme commuting

@vivthesetter can’t help but feel they’ve missed the point of travel

With Adrian Butterworth (right) in Caracas. Behind us is one of many knackered old American cars being used as taxis.

Meaningless? The main critique is on two issues. Firstly that extensive air travel is bad for the environment. Secondly that such a hurried trip defeats the purpose of travel. It will come as no surprise that I do not agree with these opinions.

Flight travel is not the best thing you can do to show your love to the environment. Although it has ended up with a much worse reputation than deserved. We did first of all only take scheduled flights. These leave anyway, and as we help fill them up (none of the flights on this trip were completelly full) thus lowering the emissions per passenger. And the airline industry is anyhow not polluting that much, comparatively speaking. The internet is equally bad, if not worse. Transport of goods in worse whereas the biggest sinners of them all is the industry. And meat production should also be mentioned as a culprit. It turns out that most of those I talk to about this drive new cars, own Ipads, wear cotton products manufactured in China or eat imported Argentinian beef or sheep meat from New Zealand. So whereas airlines do pollute, so does almost everything out there.

How about defeating the purpose of travel? Well, what is the purpose of travel? To me it is to see and explore new places, meet new people and discover new tastes and scents. Our trip saw us on four airplanes in less than 29 hours (just a little longer than going to Australia or New Zealand), helping us see five countries and continents along the way. And the way back was travelled at a substantially slower speed, giving us time to enjoy each country. What I particularly liked was meeting locals that showed us “their real” country, as opposed to meeting few locals except for hotel and restaurant staff and only relying on what foreigners have written in guidebooks that may or may not be outdated, inaccurate and designed towards travellers, which is a very wide group with regards to age, gender, interests, etc. The outbound journey of this trip was relatively hectic, but not at all defeating the purpose of travel, rather the contrary.

5 Continents in 1 Day in the Media We have so far been made aware of stories being posted in the countries shown below. Some have been posted online, others are printed on paper, read on the radio or been discussed on television. If you know of others, please let me know the media (and URL if there is one) by sending me a mail (address in the right hand menu) or by using the comments below.

It is intriguing and fascinating to see how the story is portrayed in various countries. Some focus on both Adrian and myself, others only on me, yet others on the film that we are making or on the journey itself. Oriental Daily focuses on my job title, that it is a CEO that has done this trip while Danish public service broadcaster DR claims that I am a wealthy guy. I have no clue where they got that from, my salary doesn’t quite help me qualify as a richman. Please feel free to make them right though, I can do millionaire.

Hong Kong Oriental Daily: 挪威企業CEO 一日遊五大洲. And in paper edition (see photo at the top of this post). The Sun: 一日到訪五大洲創紀錄.

Ireland Irish Independent: Duo in content-hopping record bid.

Malta Times of Malta: Five continents in a single day.

Pakistan Pakistan Daily Times: Duo in continent hopping record bid.

Please let me know if you have seen or heard media coverage in other countries.

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