No-one has been around Planet Earth more than Fred Finn. With more than 15 million miles under his belt he is – and this is according to the Guinness Book of Records – the most travelled person alive (and one can safely assume the most travelled ever).
The 71-year-old from Kent, England has visited 139 countries over the course of his remarkable life: his total of 718 flights is a world record, and he is the only person to have ever taken the airliner three times in one day.
He even had his own seat on his aerial vehicle of choice, Concorde,- 9a, chosen as its occupant was always the first to be served with food. When this seat was sold to someone else, Finn would join the pilot in the cockpit (these were pre-9/11 days when security was not what it is now.)
It has not all been an easy ride: Finn has been on-board a flight during an attempted hijacking and been forced into emergency landings for bomb threats and electrical faults. But he pays tribute to the professionalism of airline staff, explaining, “Anything you can’t control is scary. But this is where the crew do an amazing job. In times like this, cabin crew are fantastic.”
Of all the countries he has seen, he says that the most beautiful are Kenya, Ukraine, Croatia, the United States and the Seychelles.
If there is one country he would like to avoid going back to, though, it’s Nigeria, which is for him the least beautiful of his destinations.
There are still some places he has yet to visit and, of these, he says Antarctica is the one he wouldn’t mind checking out. But if he could never travel again, where would he stay?
“This is tough for different reasons. I like to be in Europe because I am European. I also like the four seasons and Europe is also accessible. I’d probably choose Ukraine. I like the seasons – autumn and spring in particular. I also love Spain – around Girona, and could live there.”
Having seen most of Earth, he once had plans to go to the Moon but tells us this is not now on the cards: “I don’t think [going to the moon for me] is realistic at all to be honest. It’s not affordable travel, and you can’t see much once you are there. It would be more to say you have been”.