The final push – off to the penultimate county
Day 3,494 since October 10th 2013: 201 countries out of 203. No flight, no return home, min 24 hrs in each country and 1 pandemic!
(The opinions expressed on this site are my own, and do not reflect the position or policies of the Danish Red Cross which I represent as a Goodwill Ambassador).
Yes people, we are heading to Sri Lanka!
I’m going to make this entry as short as I can while still telling you all the amazing things that happened this week. But I’m drunk. So, let’s see how this goes.
Last week’s entry: Singapore – round two!
Yup – so while I’m really healthy these days and my body is in really good shape due to no alcohol for a long time and lots of physical activity…I’m drunk right now. A few glasses of red wine and three beers was all it took. Okey-dokey…let’s see how this goes. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately. There is so much I want to accomplish within the Saga and I want to keep relatively high standards. But there is only so much time. What I’m going to do this time is upload a bunch of photos and add captions. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. They say a lot. Only time will tell if they were right – or perhaps lucky. I like people. I probably like you. We’re coming close to 3,500 days of hardcore logistics, unbelievable bureaucracy, kindness from strangers, wonders of the world, pushing personal limits, promoting the best of humankind, humanitarian work and making world history. When is enough enough? I could be home in less than three months. Please let that be true. Now, let's see if we can solve the mystery of who got me drunk?
Somebody MUST be the most traveled person in the world - right? Well, odds are that it is Harry Mitsidis whom I had dim sum with in Singapore a few days ago. He is the founder of NomadMania and soon to be the third person in the world to reach every country twice. He is also a really nice guy and I'm happy we met.
Oh my! The Brookesies! Cam, Justine, their six thousand children and everything which comes with it. Cam and I have a strong story of friendship and you can watch it HERE while we roam around on a lawnmower in Aussieland.
In 2019 Swire Shipping promised to help the Saga in the Pacific and they delivered!! A legendary photo was taken in 2019 and this week we took another here in 2023. The 2023 photo has Maersk personnel, Swire personnel, ex Swire personnel and more. I'm so grateful for Swire's assistance because without it we would not be where we are today.
I decided to take some time off to clear my mind and cross Singapore on foot on the Coast to Coast Trail. Whoever created that thing must love concrete a lot?! It could easily have been a far greener trail as Singapore is a very green country. I don't think the official website is very good but Ostrich Trails have done a really good blog about it. At this point I think I do stuff like this to cope with being in a project I really want to escape.
The trail ends a Coney Island. It was supposed to be a 36km (22.37mi) trail but I clocked up 44.70km (27.78mi) with all the construction work and a few mis-navigations. I don't think I would recommend the trail. But it does offer bragging rights (if anyone cares). If you do want to do the trail then I do recommend bringing noise canceling headphones.
I was invited to speak at a members club called 1880. 1880 was the year construction on Robertson Quay began. It was a great audience and in the picture I'm seated next to the 1880 founder, Mr. Marc Nicholson. It was my friend Corinna Yap whom I met in Hong Kong who connected me with 1880. Singapore appears to be full of membership clubs. I hear 1880 is a good one.
A highlight of the 1880 talk was definitely meeting Corinna Yap's parents!! :)
Another highlight at the 1880 talk was meeting Bjorn from Norway who found the Saga in 2020 as the pandemic broke out and he was looking for inspiration. Good to spend some time with another modern Viking :)
I really like Ole Sander who definitely has his heart in the right place! He is another Danish Dane from Denmark and he married really well when he found Marcia.
I had the pleasure of speaking at Elite International Logistics where Ole Sander is the CEO. There was so much kindness and support among the staff :)
And then there was a quick photo with Marcia (who's an excellent ambassador of the Saga) and the tennis ladies! I went for "big arms" and almost knocked a guy unconscious who snuck up behind me. Good times at the American Club.
Ole and I might have had a few beers afterwards. Is that were I got drunk?
It was a great pleasure to speak at the Roy Bennett Theatre at UWCSEA. About 260 grade 8 students (14 year old's) sat in for this session which my friend Paramesh's (Swire) wife Mrs. Gayathri Nair had arranged for. If you scroll up and look at the Swire photo from 2023 then you'll see them both. Mrs. Rachel McCarthy is on the stage with me. I almost always get the best questions from young minds.
Uh! Look who's a VIP guest at Maersk in Singapore :)
My appreciation for Maersk within the Saga can not be described in a few lines. The connection runs deep and they have offered and delivered so much over the years that I wouldn't know where to start. Maersk is arguably the worlds most influential shipping company and it just happens to be Danish. We will likely see a successful completion of the Saga thanks to the support of Maersk. #ConstantCare #AllTheWay - All the way indeed. The photo is from my 2023 talk at Maersk Singapore. I did one back in 2019 too.
Yeah, so I think it was Thue Barfod who got me drunk. Or maybe it was me? Thue is a longtime Maersk employee and we first met in Hong Kong but he has since moved his family to Singapore. It was really, really, really good to catch up with him again. I can't believe how fortunate I have been to meet so many special people all around the world. okay now, it is 03:14am and the transfer to Malaysia will arrive in 4 hours. We're off to Sri Lanka now. As my friend Riza Rasco would say: the penultimate country.
I would like to thank our esteemed partners for their invaluable contributions to Once Upon A Saga: DB Schenker Denmark, Kameli, Red Sand Solutions, Salomon, the Danish Red Cross and Ross Energy / Geoop
If you enjoyed this blog or find that I am doing a good job then you can support here below. The Saga welcomes funding. Thank you :)
Mr. Torbjørn C. Pedersen (Thor) - let's keep on keeping on!
"A stranger is a friend you've never met before"
Once Upon A Saga