236 INTERVIEW: Gunnar Garfors and Ildikó Szabó
I’m back with fresh material. I know that I’ve been away a lot on that front this year, but now I’m back with new episodes from exciting destinations in the beginning of January.
We start with a miniseries recorded in Yerevan, Armenia, in October. Here I attended the first-ever Extraordinary Travel Festival and got a chance to speak to some extraordinary travellers.
You will get eight episodes between now and the new year. Two episodes every week – and you’ll still get flashback episodes every Friday. So, we’re going to be busy.
Here are the people you can meet in the miniseries: Boris Kester, Charles Veley, Daniel Shachory, David Yang, Francis Tapon, Gus Rosted, Mette Ehlers Mikkelsen, Odette Ricasa, Paul Barbado, Romaine Welds, Slawek Muturi, and Tony Giles. But we start with Hungarian, Ildikó Szabó and Norwegian, Gunnar Garfors.
She was born and raised in the countryside of Hungary and was a late starter in travelling. She was 18 years old when she first left her home country for the first time, and it wasn’t until she was almost 22 when she first set foot on a plane.
At the age of 25, she went on my first solo trip outside of Europe when she backpacked in China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the UAE. And then, she really caught the travel bug and decided to persuade a career in aviation.
In 2018, at 36, she achieved her goal of visiting every country in the world as the first Hungarian and amongst one of the youngest female travellers achieving this milestone without any sponsorship.
Apart from being an anagram for Ungarn (Hungary), Gunnar is a journalist, public speaker and bestselling author who has visited every country twice. And he was the first person in the world to do that.
He holds many records, but an interesting one is a Guinness World Record that he set in 2012 with Adrian Butterworth by being the first to visit five continents on the same day.
Gunnar has written several books [https://www.amazon.com/Gunnar-Garfors/e/B011EBCZV0/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1], with the first one called “How I ran Out of Countries [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011C6IK52/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0].” Garfors also writes on his travelblog, garfors.com [http://garfors.com/].
Like me, he’s worked in the radio industry for many years – in fact, we found out that we’ve attended the same radio conferences in the past. Now he’s funding his life and travels as a writer and a public speaker.
He grew up as the oldest of seven children in the tiny village of Naustdal on the Norwegian West Coast. Currently, he lives in Oslo – when he’s not on one of his many journeys because he still feels there’s a lot to see.
Extraordinary Travel Festival
As mentioned, I met Gunnar and Ildikó at the Extraordinary Travel Festival in Yerevan, Armenia. It was the first conference of its kind, and we all agreed it was an incredible event.
It’s still up in the open where the next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be, but according to Ric Gazarian, who is in charge of organising it, he’s working on doing the next one in 2024.
I did so many interviews in Yerevan, and in the next episode, we will feature another extreme travel legend, Charles Veley. He did something not many people have done: He got a chance to visit the world’s most remote island, Bouvet.
Watch Gunnar’s TEDx Talk [https://youtu.be/thWOjUMpnz8]
Facebook:Ildikó Szabó [https://www.facebook.com/endlesstravelcoma]
Instagram: @endlesstravelcoma [https://www.instagram.com/endlesstravelcoma/]&@endlessgastrocoma [https://www.instagram.com/endlessgastrocoma/]