Anderson Dias Visited all 195 Countries in Record-Breaking Time - Full-Time Travel

Anderson Dias Visited all 195 Countries in Record-Breaking Time

This Record-Breaking Traveler visited all 195 Countries in the Fastest Ever Time

Anderson Dias overcame economic disadvantages to see the world. In 2019, he became a record-breaking traveler...

At the end of November 2019, a month before the first cases of coronavirus emerged, a 26-year-old Brazilian man named Anderson Dias broke the world record for visiting every country on Earth in the fastest documented time. He completed his trip in 543 days, shaving 11 days off the previous record, held by an American woman named Taylor Demonbreu.  

FTT spoke with Anderson from his current base of Recife, northeastern Brazil, where he’s overseeing the build of a new house for his parents, to discuss the highs and lows of such an ambitious trip, and his next big travel mission.

Anderson Dias in Cairo, Egypt

Esme Benjamin: When did you first decide you wanted to be the fastest person to visit every country? 

Anderson Dias: I come from a poor family and grew up in a poor neighborhood in Salvador, Brazil. When I was 17, I left home to work and study. I was selling cell phone cases on the streets to keep me going, and I was good at it. I managed to earn about $10,000 – enough to do an English language school program in Ireland. That’s where I fell in love with traveling. I spent six months there and came home with a completely different mindset. 

Back in Brazil, I eventually opened my own store, selling cases and fixing phones – when you grow up poor, you have to teach yourself new things and figure out ways to make money. I had improved my situation, but I wasn’t satisfied because life isn’t just about money, it’s about dreams. That’s when I had the idea to do something big. Something that could go down in history and get me out of my comfort zone. I decided to sell my business, my car, and all my possessions and start traveling the world as fast as possible. 

EB: I have no idea how you would begin to plan or budget for a trip of that magnitude. How did you go about it?

AD: You won’t believe this, but I didn't plan anything! I would buy flights on the spot, arrive in one country, spend some time there, then buy a ticket to the next country. It sounds crazy, but I always say done is better than perfect. There are people who plan a lot and do nothing, I'm the type who does it without even knowing if it will work. I didn’t even have enough money to complete the trip when I left Brazil. 

Shark spotting in Micronesia

EB: So did you have to work while you were traveling? 

AD: I estimated I’d need $100,000 to visit all the countries and get back home, but I only had $30,000 after selling my things, so I used the internet to get the money. I focused on creating content and growing my Instagram following so I could partner with brands. In the beginning, it was hard because I had less than 10,000 followers and brands look for high numbers. But when I got my first 100,000, they were interested. 

EB: What was the biggest challenge of your trip? 

AD: The biggest challenge of my trip was to keep myself motivated. Traveling for a year and a half without stopping, going through various difficulties – it took a lot of emotional fortitude. I almost died a few times. When I was in Guyana, I met a girl at a bar who tried to convince me to come back to her hotel. When I went with her to get a taxi, three guys beat me unconscious and robbed me. It was scary, but you have to prepare your mind. This was only country number 11, and if I let the fear consume me, I’d never finish the trip. 

EB: That’s a scary thing to go through. What were some of the other difficulties you faced while traveling? 

AD: Some countries have really complicated visa rules and restrictions. At that time Saudi Arabia was virtually impossible to visit as a tourist, but I relied on my Brazilian Instagram community a lot to get me connections at embassies etc. It was also very hard getting into countries coping with war or unrest, like Yemen. 

Anderson's highlight: gorilla tracking at Virunga National Park

EB: How long did you spend in each place

AD: In safe places that I really liked, around 7 - 10 days. In unstable countries, only one. 

EB: What was the absolute highlight of the trip? 

AD: The highlight of my trip was undoubtedly seeing gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Knowing that those animals are endangered and being able to get within three meters of them in the wild is something unique. I was privileged, and I’m so thankful for that experience.  


Anderson making friends in the Seychelles

EB: You shared all your adventures on social media. How important is it to you to inspire others to travel far and wide? 

AD:  In Brazil, we have 209.5 million people, and only a tiny number of them travel. My mission is to show people that traveling is not something that’s exclusively for rich people. Anyone can travel if they make it a priority, and they should because when we travel, we widen our minds, we start to understand other perspectives and ways of living. We learn to judge less and to have more compassion. So on Instagram, I teach people how to make money on the internet and show them how they can travel cheaply. 

EB: Which country would you most like to return to one day and why?  

AD: There are so many places I fell in love with: Thailand, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Russia, Iran. But I think Afghanistan would be my top country. That part of the planet is amazing. It’s more beautiful than Switzerland because you see mountains and rivers but no humans. Also, the locals are lovely and friendly. I had a great time in Afghanistan. 

Follow Anderson on Instagram here

We love a pre-winter adventure just before the water freezes into ice. @jaspernationalpark

Reel: @ninadefilla

199 3

Throughout November, the mountains surrounding the well-known abodes of Shirakawa-gō begin to adopt the colors of autumn. 🍂 ...

103 0

"The wait is over... it`s that time of year again! Every year from November to early March, millions of butterflies blanket the high altitude forest in central Mexico in a mesmerizing display. It`s truly spectacular to witness." - 🎥 @jess.wandering @everchanginghorizon ...

244 1

In the latest episode of our podcast, an award winning editor, writer and producer and the host of the podcast, Travel That Matters, @brucewallintravel travels through Central America with his then fiancee to enjoy what they imagined to be their last big adventure before settling down. It was a trip that gave Bruce a new travel ethos, that travel gets better the more effort you put into it. 🎧 Link in bio to listen! ...

38 1

When fall meets winter in Utah.

Reel: @ashleylporter

131 1

Ethereal moments from a sunset in Scoresby Sound, Greenland.

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

111 0

Autumn in Lago di Saoseo, a stunning alpine lake in the Poschiavo Valley of Switzerland, is a magical experience. The season transforms the surrounding landscape into a picturesque tapestry of vibrant colors. The dense forests that encircle the lake burst into a riot of reds, yellows, and oranges as the leaves change, creating a breathtaking contrast against the crystal-clear, emerald waters of the lake. The cool, crisp air of autumn adds to the tranquility of the scene, making it an ideal time for peaceful hikes and nature appreciation. It`s a time when the natural beauty of Lago di Saoseo truly shines, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Reel: @jakeguzman

323 1

6 Spooky Fall Adventures (An Hour from NYC)

Follow this guide from @steffy where everything is Halloween themed
including the street signs!

- @pumpkinblaze
- @harvestmoonorchard
- @lyndhurst_mansion
- @ Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
- @sleepyhollowbookshop
- @horsefeathers for a spooky drink
- @castlehotelandspa to stay!

48 1

Zhangjiajie, located in China`s Hunan province, is a stunning national park known for its towering sandstone pillars, deep ravines, and lush forests. It gained international fame as the inspiration for James Cameron`s "Avatar." The park`s surreal and otherworldly landscape, particularly the "Southern Sky Column" (renamed "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain"), served as the muse for the film`s floating mountains and lush forests. Zhangjiajie remains a popular destination for travelers seeking to witness the real-world beauty that inspired the cinematic masterpiece.

Reel: @cyn_cynti

124 0

The scent of crisp, autumn air fills the atmosphere of this picturesque region in southern Germany. Allgäu turns into a patchwork of fiery reds, golden yellows, and rustic browns as the leaves change color.

Reel: @_marcelsiebert

372 3

Host of our very own podcast, The Trip That Changed Me, and this week’s Travel That Matters guest, Esme Benjamin (@esmebenjamin), tells us about her year-in-the-making five-month-long road trip across the United States.

On the podcast, Esme starts by telling us the things that happened in her life that led her to take this life-altering adventure. Then, we hear about her path through the following incredible places: Black Hills & Badlands (South Dakota), Glacier National Park and Bozeman (Montana), Cody (Wyoming), Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa (Colorado), Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and the Grand Canyon (Arizona), Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana), San Francisco and Los Angeles (California), and more!

🎧 Link in bio to listen and to explore the transformative power of travel.

56 1

In the latest episode of our podcast, TV writer Kristin Newman (How I Met Your Mother, That 70`s Show, Only Murders in the Building) shares two very different trips to Argentina. The first, a two-month stint in which she attempted to live like a local, fell in love, and decided to commit the next decade of her life to travel instead of marriage and babies (the theme of her memoir What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding). Eighteen years later, she returned to Argentina to shoot a TV show based on her memoir, this time with her family in tow.

🎧 Link in bio to listen to the episode!

52 0

Lake Kawaguchi in autumn is a masterpiece of colors. The leaves around the lake and the reflection of Mount Fuji create a mesmerizing scene. It`s cool and peaceful, perfect for leisurely walks and boat rides. Don`t miss the local cuisine and hot springs for a truly relaxing getaway.

Reel: @henbu_

53 0

One of the best parts of traveling is meeting different animals that you`ve never seen before. Just like this male ibex lounging in front of the alps in Mont Blanc.

Fantastic capture @kylekotajarvi

870 5