Torbjørn C. Pedersen

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Torbjørn C. Pedersen
Torbjorn C. Pedersen in Fiji.jpg
Pedersen in Fiji, December 2019
Born19 December 1978[1]

Torbjørn C. "Thor" Pedersen (born December 19th, 1978) is a Danish traveller and adventurer known for the Once Upon a Saga project: a journey to visit every country in the world without the use of air travel. The project has lasted for over six years, and Pedersen had, as of January 2020, visited 194 of the planned 203 nations.[2]

Early life[edit]

Torbjørn Cederlöf Pedersen was born in Kerteminde, Denmark, to Torben Pedersen (Danish) and Ylva Cederlöf (Finnish). The family moved to Vancouver, Canada, then to Toronto, Canada, and after that to New Jersey, USA over a period of six years, before returning to Denmark in 1984 where he spent his childhood growing up in Kerteminde and Bryrup before entering business school at Silkeborg Handelsskole, Silkeborg. Pedersen graduated as a merchant student in 1998 and was drafted to the military later the same year, serving as a royal life guard at the royal palaces throughout Denmark. He was later a UN soldier for half a year in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Follwoing an education in shipping and logistic the Dane worked several years abroad in Libya, Bangladesh, Kazahkstan, Azerbaijan, the United States and other countries. When travelling abroad, Torbjørn is nicknamed Thor.

Once Upon a Saga[edit]

In 2013, Pedersen began planning a project which aimed at visiting every country in the world in a single unbroken journey explicitly without the use of air transport.[3][4]. Graham Hughes holds the world record of fastest visiting all countries by public surface transport, according to Guinness World Records. Hughes was however permitted to fly home to Britain twice during his journey, as long as he returned to the same airport in order to continue his journey. To visit every country in the world, in one single journey, without catching a single flight is something that has never been done before.[5]

Through the project Pedersen intends to reach every country without flying, while promoting every country and the world in a positive way.

On October 10th 2013 at 10:10am (10/10,10:10) Once Upon a Saga began at Dybbøl Mølle in Southern Denmark. Soon after Pedersen crossed into Germany by train and had, in January 2020, reached 193 of the intended 203 countries [6] on all six inhabited continents without returning home.[7][8]

He is expected to complete the project and return to Denmark again in 2020 after visiting his last country, the Maldives, in October 2020. [9][10][11]

The long journey has earned Pedersen media coverage in more than 100 countries so far.[12] [13][14][15][16][17][18][19] Notable outlets that have covered Pedersens quest between 2013 and 2020 include VICE, BBC, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Forbes, Al Jazeera, The Guardian,, The National and ABC.[20]

Red Cross Red Crescent[edit]

Pedersen was given a role within the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Red Cross [21]. Throughout the year he attended various trainings and became a logistics delegate of the ERU and towards the end of the 10 months planning period the Danish Red Cross appointed Pedersen a Goodwill Ambassador.

Pedersen holds the following roles and memberships in various societies within the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement:

  • Goodwill Ambassador of the Danish Red Cross Society
  • Lifetime member of Bahamas Red Cross Society
  • Lifetime member of Kenya Red Cross Society
  • Honorary member of Seychelles Red Cross Society
  • Humanitarian ambassador of Sudanese Red Crescent Society


  1. ^ "Torbjørn C. Pedersen is nicknamed Thor. In Fiji, December 2019". Once Upon a Saga.
  2. ^ "onceuponasaga". Instagram. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  3. ^ Planet, Lonely. "This man is travelling the world without ever getting on a plane". Lonely Planet News. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  4. ^ Walcutt, Leif. "Around The World By Container Ship: One Man's Quest To Visit Every Country". Forbes. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  5. ^ Leve, Andy "Torbjorn Pedersen: the man on a mission to visit every country in the world, without taking a single flight", The National, Abu Dhabi, 7 September 2019.
  6. ^ Pedersen, Torjørn (30 December 2019). "MV "Kota Hakim" – passenger no. 1 (reaching Marshall Islands the hard way)". Once Upon a Saga. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  7. ^ Pearl, Mike (12 December 2016). "What It's Like to See the World for Almost No Money by Traveling on Container Ships". Vice. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  8. ^ Russell, Helen (14 December 2014). "Wanderlust Viking: my aeroplane-free aim to visit every country on £12 a day". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  9. ^ Andersen, Mette "Eventyrer har lang vej hjem", Midtjyllands Avis, Silkeborg, 4 January 2020.
  10. ^ News, A. B. C. "How This Man Travels the World on Just $20 a Day". ABC News. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  11. ^ "How to travel the world without using one plane". NewsComAu. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  12. ^ Salquist, Ann-Christina (14 December 2014). "Press". Once Upon a Saga. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Danish globetrotter finds Bruneians ‘absolute sweethearts’", Borneo Bulletin, Bandar Seri Begawan, 20 July 2019.
  14. ^ "ONLY NINETEEN MORE THOR!", Kuwait Bazaar, Kuwait, 1 July 2019.
  15. ^ "He journeys across the world without flying for the Red Cross", The New Paper, Singapore, 21 June 2019.
  16. ^ "His name is Thor and he’s travelling around the world without flying", Condé Nast Traveler India, Mumbai, 2 February 2019.
  17. ^ "विश्व भ्रमण यात्री सी पेडरर्सन थोर नेपालमा", Online Raftar, Kathmandu, 30 January 2019.
  18. ^ [1], GNN TV, Islamabad, 28 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Around the world without planes", Oman Daily Observer, Singapore, 14 September 2018.
  20. ^ Darmadi, Mala "Thor visits Nauru on global tour", ABC, Melbourne, 7 September 2019.
  21. ^ "Danish Red Cross".

External links[edit]