Travel Junkie on a No-Flight World Tour Had Just 9 Countries Left, Now He's Stuck in Hong Kong
Torbjørn "Thor" Pedersen was on a mission to visit every country in the world without getting on any flights when COVID-19 disrupted his plans | Image credit: Instagram
Travel junkie and Instagramer Torbjørn "Thor" Pedersen had been on a six-year-long mission to complete touring all the countries of the world without using air travel. After years of traveling via roads and sea, the traveler was just nine countries away from completing his goal. And that's when the coronavirus pandemic happened.
Pederson had been in Hong Kong, waiting to board a ship to Palau archipelago in the Pacific when the city went into lockdown. A Danish national and a goodwill ambassador for the Danish Red Cross, Pederson has been stuck in Hong Kong for nearly 84 days.
For now, Pederson has no option but to wait for the crisis to tide over.
The Instgtramer has been active on the social media portal, however, uploading photos and videos from his adventures in Hong Kong, which recorded its first coronavirus death early in February. He has also been regularly updating his blog.
The Red Cross activist has been keeping busy volunteering with the local Red Cross organisation in Hong Kong and trekking to the many nearby trails that can be accessed on foot. He also outlined on Twitter that though his plans had been disrupted by the virus, he was having a good time.
"...for me personally, when I can’t get what I want, I somehow got the second best thing. I’m stuck in Hong Kong but I’m free to move about. A loving family is caring for me. I’m supported by thousands of people online. I’m in good health. I’m safe," he wrote on Instagram on Day 78 of his involuntary incarceration.
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Hong Kong: day 78! The virus outbreak dictates when we can leave and the Saga can continue. Isn’t that extraordinary! Something so small that we can’t even see it is keeping billions of people on lockdown, has closed borders, has families separated, has cost people their jobs, has shut down businesses, keeps children out of school and dominates conversation And yes, for me personally, when I can’t get what I want, I somehow got the second best thing. I’m stuck in Hong Kong but I’m free to move about. A loving family is caring for me. I’m supported by thousands of people online. I’m in good health. I’m safe❤ My visa will soon expire but it seems that extensions come relatively easy these days. We will soon find out. While time is a valuable commodity which will never be returned...so far...all I’m really loosing here is time. Stay safe and sane wherever you are❤✨ #onceuponasaga #ModernViking #HKG #HongKong #香港
Though Pederson's visa is about to expire soon, the traveler was impressed by Hong Kong's immigration department that instantly got his extension processed due to the current conditions.
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Finally some good news I’m very impressed with the Hong Kong Immigration Department!! My three month visa will expire on April 27th. To prevent overstaying I headed to the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai for an extension. There was plenty of staff and everyone was really kind and helpful. I headed up to the 5th floor to collect a form and speak with a kind woman behind the counter. She sent me to the 3rd floor to make some copies. Then I had to go to the ground floor to catch the elevator to the 24th floor where I had a brief interview. My case is now being processed and I’m invited back for an extension interview on May 21st. Between now and then I’m permitted to stay so in JUST 20 MINUTES my visa was effectively extended by 30 days. Let’s hope the Saga continues long before. However it’s good to know that Hong Kong is so accommodating❤✨ #onceuponasaga #ModernViking #HKG #HongKong #香港