How many countries would you like to visit in your lifetime? This week’s Wild Business Growth Podcast guest, Thor Pedersen, traveled to every country in the world in less than 10 years – without flying. Thor is the Creator of Once Upon a Saga. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and your other favorite podcast platforms.
Episode 256: Thor Pedersen – Every Country Without Flying, Once Upon a Saga
Thor Pedersen, Creator of Once Upon a Saga, joins the show to share his journey becoming the first person to travel to every country in the world without flying. Hear how to pack efficiently, whether you get seasick on container ships, the times Thor’s life was at risk, the biggest way his travels have changed him, and globe-trotting questions from Wild Listeners. This episode covers everything from double-decker buses to Cerebral Malaria. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:
- How do you get over travel fatigue
- Where did the idea for Once Upon a Saga come from
- What kind of suitcases did Thor take on his journey
- How did he decide which countries to visit first
- What’s his favorite form of transportation
- How did his long-distance marriage work during his journey
- What would he do if he started his journey over again
- Which country had the best food
Enjoy the shoooooow! Check out the show notes below for much more detail. You can also find the full transcript here.
- Intro & Jet Lag
- [0:31] Email me at to save time with your high-quality podcast and use it as a business-building tool
- [0:41] Connect with Thor at ThorPedersen.DK, OnceUponASaga.DK, and social media @OnceUponASaga
- The Once Upon a Saga Story
- [5:51] Where did the idea for Once Upon a Saga come from
- [6:44] Mount Everest
- [7:11] When did Thor get serious about traveling the world without flying
- [7:51] Budget
- [9:06] Green Bay Packers
- [9:10] How do you pack efficiently
- [10:12] Shoutout, Alex!
- [10:24] What kind of suitcases did Thor take on his journey
- [10:39] Duffle Bag
- [11:37] How did Thor fund Once Upon a Saga
- [12:52] Debt
- [13:00] Couldn’t resist
- [13:26] Ross Engineering aka Ross Energy
- [14:07] Crowdfunding
- [14:50] How did Thor decide which countries to visit first
- [15:33] Social Media
- [16:12] Pacific Ocean, Denmark, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, Maldives
- [18:23] Why was Thor stuck in Hong Kong for 2 years
- [19:04] Macau
- [19:59] Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong
- [20:21] World War III (WWIII)
- [20:32] How many forms of transportation did Thor take
- [21:14] Toyota Corolla
- [21:52] What’s Thor’s favorite form of transportation
- [22:42] PlayStation
- [23:19] Do you get seasick on container ships
- [24:10] Such an honor speaking at Podcast Movement ’23 in Denver! Sign up to grab the slides from my session at MaxPodcasting.com/PM23
- [24:12] Sign up for the Podcasting to the Max newsletter at MaxPodcasting.com/Newsletter and receive How to Edit Your Podcast in Audacity
- Thor’s Thoughts on Once Upon a Saga
- [25:16] How did Thor’s long-distance marriage work during his journey
- [27:20] What would he do if he started his journey over again
- [28:37] SIM Card
- [28:49] Red Cross
- [31:14] Wi-Fi
- [31:37] iPad
- [32:54] Visas
- [33:19] How long would Thor’s journey take if he did it today
- [34:38] The Amazing Race, The Amazing Thor or Something
- [34:49] When was Thor’s life at risk
- [37:31] Sheesh
- [38:14] Cerebral Malaria
- Rapid-Fire Q&A – Submitted by Wild Listeners
- [39:38] Kristin O’Brien: Which country had the best food?
- [40:05] Karim Khalil of Yaza: Which country would you definitely want to go back to one day?
- [40:50] Angie Cowger of Custard Stand Chili: Were you ever in a country you were afraid in?
- [42:01] Brooke Qilafi & Rob Mattson: What’s the #1 commonality or similarity across all people & cultures?
- [42:51] Cesar Romero: (Impossible Question) Which country is your favorite?
- [43:47] My cousin Mel Taylor: What foreign language was the most helpful or do you wish you would’ve known?
- [46:57] My cousin Amber Goddard: What’s your best memory from your journey?
- [48:01] What’s the biggest way Once Upon a Saga has changed Thor?
- [49:28] How did he celebrate accomplishing his journey?
- [49:54] Port of Aarhus
- [50:16] “When The Saints Go Marching In” by Louis Armstrong
- [51:27] Connect with Thor at ThorPedersen.DK, OnceUponASaga.DK, and social media @OnceUponASaga
- [52:26] What are Thor’s Final Thoughts
- [52:35] Donate to the Red Cross at ICRC.org
- [53:22] Follow the Wild Business Growth Podcast and tell a friend about the podcast. And show love (or roast me) by leaving 5 stars on Apple Podcasts and/or Spotify
- [53:44] Check out the Wild Business Growth Podcast on Goodpods, where you can see what your favorite people are listening to
- [53:47] Connect with me on Instagram, Twitter (aka X), and LinkedIn @MaxBranstetter
- [53:51] Save time with your high-quality podcast. Email me at to bring your podcast to life and use it as a business-building tool
- [53:58] Sign up for the Podcasting to the Max newsletter at MaxPodcasting.com/Newsletter and receive How to Edit Your Podcast in Audacity
- Theme music: Freestyle Percussion Magik – “Jungle Tribe” – provided by Jamendo
What is the Wild Business Growth Podcast?
Wild ideas. Wild growth. Every Wednesday morning a new entrepreneur joins the Wild Business Growth Podcast to share the wildly creative and unusual ways they grew their business – and teaches you how to do it, too. Hear the minds behind WordPress, Stacy’s Pita Chips, Drybar, NFL RedZone, Big Mouth Billy Bass, the voice of Bart Simpson, and more Wild stories. Hosted by Max Branstetter (that’s me), Founder and Podcast Producer at MaxPodcasting.
How do you start a podcast?
Interested in starting a professional-sounding podcast for your brand, but don’t want to deal with the time commitment of all those behind-the-scenes details? I’ve got you covered. Email me at to save time with your high-quality podcast and use it as a business-building tool.
Thanks for listening to Thor Pedersen on the Wild Business Growth Podcast. To hear more Wild stories like this one every Wednesday morning, follow the Wild Business Growth Podcast and tell a friend about it. And do good. Until next time, Let your business Run Wild…and Bring on the Bongos!!