You think you’ve got a pretty respectable travel resume? Been to some pretty isolated villages in Laos, seen some very off-the-beaten-path spots in Bolivia, ran into unknown tribes in Kenya? Turns out, you’ve got nothing on this guy. Meet the world’s most traveled man, Charles A. Valey of San Francisco, who has been to 94% of the world, and traveled the equivalent of 1,538,686 miles
According to MostTraveledPeople.com, the world is made up of 872 countries, territories, autonomous regions, enclaves, geographically separated island groups, and major states and provinces; and Charles has been to 822 of them. In fact, he’s one of nine who are members of the “700ers,” a term I just made up for people who have reached the 700-places-visited level.
Charles did most of this travel from 1999 to 2003, at which point his wife gave birth to their daughter and his travel has decreased markedly — mainly for work purposes. So what kind of sage travel advice can the world’s most traveled person give? As he shared recently in an interview, he packs light and purposely runs out of things on the road:
I always enjoyed any opportunity that forced me out of my comfort zone and out into the culture . . . Plus, you wind up with more interesting souvenirs. I ran out of toothpaste in Russia once. Every time I used the Crest at home for the next few months I was reminded of Russia because the Crest came with Russian instructions on the label.
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