Not all those who wander are lost – the saying holds true for Milan Bihlmann and Muammer Yilmaz, two friends who travelled the world in 80 days in a rather unusual way. It all started when they met in Berlin in December 2010 and planned a round-the-world trip together. However, what they didn’t know and expect was that they’d be able to complete the challenge without having to pay a single penny.
Inspired by the character of Phileas Fogg from the classic adventure novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, the two started their journey from Paris on September 9th and managed to travel through countries including Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, USA and Singapore. However, the journey was not as simple as we think, as Milan and Muammer had to persuade travel companies to provide them with free train tickets and airfares. They also hitchhiked between destinations and were offered free accommodation by strangers that they met during their journey. The two travel enthusiasts experienced different cultures during their trip and met compassionate people who helped them complete the challenge. Businessman, Amit Saraogi paid for their tickets from Calcutta to Thailand while they were on the verge of quitting. Another roadblock that they had to face was when Milan was denied Iran’s visa on arrival because of his German nationality.
On the whole, the trip covered approximately 12,500 miles, working out at roughly 155 miles per day. While both travelers come from different professions, their love for exploring different parts of the world brought them together for this meaningful project. The spontaneous expedition that started from Paris ended there too on November 28th and has been documented by the two passionate travelers on their Facebook page ‘The Optimistic Traveler’.