‘Hi, I am Chris, and I have traveled to 97 countries...'
What a great conversation starter, isn't it? We all have the-must-do’s-before-I-die lists, but only few of us are actually able to leave the mainstream and embark on the journey our heart wants us to! Such stalwarts, who follow their heart, are rewarded more often than not, with greater wisdom and experiences that we, the lesser mortals, can only read about in news or books.
Meet Christian Lindgren, 27, a Norwegian youngster who quit school at the age of 18 to follow his dream of travelling the world and to develop his love of photography. Unlike most travellers, Christian chose the road-less-travelled and decided to check out some of the less-visited corners of the world.
'Travelling has been in my blood since I was young,' Christian was quoted saying. 'Both my grandparents and parents travelled a lot in their younger days and I have been growing up with different artefacts from around the world in my house ever since.'
The courageous explorer used his savings to buy his first plane ticket and headed off to start his nine-year travels. 'All the money I have spent on my travelling is money that I have earned myself. Since, I know a lot of people now from all over the world, it makes it possible to sleep at their couch or floor if I'm in the area; I do stay in a lot of hostels, guest houses and hotels around the world, and if I'm going very rural, I'll stay in my tent,' he commented.
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
Christian also took up a range of unusual jobs to fund his travels, from teaching to farm labour to hostel work: the list of jobs undertaken on his resume is humungous.
Talking about his passion number 2, Christian says, 'Photography has been an interest of mine for years, although you need a lot of patience. For some of the photos I have taken I have been waiting hours in the same spot to wait for the right light, animal or locals to show up.’
With 97 countries already ticked-off his list, Christian now aims to visit every country in the world.
Do visit his blog: ‘UnusualTraveler’ to read about his awe-inspiring stories and to check out his incredible collection of travel photographs.