from Around the Globe
Next stop: ALL OF AFRICA 🌎
Next stop: ALL OF AFRICA 🌎—To get to all 197 countries you eventually have to do the hard ones: the Sudans, and Somali pirates, and Central Africa. Layer in Yemen, Libya, and Level 5 warnings and it crushes most dreams of getting to 196. I Almost quit. Actually I did. For the last 6 months I put off the inevitable - the most dangerous countries on Earth. 🤞.Behind the smile is a scared guy w a dream to keep going. Finishing all 54 countries in Africa. The hard thing about hard things is that...well they're hard. I like rooftop bars, and Mojitos, and dressing up. I don't like road trips, lawless nations, and the threat of terrorism. Not sure who does. Waking up early, working out, same thing. But to get there, you need an extra measure of faith and a whole lotta courage. Insane Courage perhaps, and that’s what I'm leaning into. 💯.So here’s to Big dreams and pushing boundaries (and borders). My traveling partner @treygoesglobal pushed me to do a 30 day challenge. To at least share the real stuff behind the glam of Instagram and the idea that traveling is always awesome. Sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it's pushing into dangerous places, gaining different perspectives, and finding those shared moments with other people that makes us all human. 🤝.After a bazillion hours on a plane I just finished reading a James Patterson thriller and he concluded with the following: “Humanity is about Widening the circle of opportunity, Strengthening bonds of community, Shrinking the idea of them, and Expanding the idea of us.” That’s the juice. That’s the good stuff. That to me is what traveling is all about! The Road to 196 continues 🌎.First stop, Yemen. A lawless nation with no government and no embassy. Here comes the hard stuff. Depth breath. Let’s go. 🙏
The Forgotten Pyramids of Sudan.
The Forgotten Pyramids of Sudan.—Sudan has older pyramids than Egypt. And no one knows. Untouched and never visited - it’s a true treasure.Location - Meroe Pyramids, Sudan.
When a Good plans goes Bad...🤷♂️
When a Good plans goes Bad...🤷♂️—Trey got malaria. No bueno. Luckily in Angola they have horse pills the size of his head so it should be gone in 72 hours. So we must wait and rest. But now our visas are all mismatched along w our flights, hotels, and where we should be. They also took our passports - I digress..I had a good friend tell me a story once (inspo @movingwithmatt) - that in the moment - you can always view a situation one of two ways: Good luck, Bad luck, who knows..Perspective and time shapes most stories and this will be one. Malaria - bad luck. Being grateful for health and a chance to rest, recover, and reflect - Good luck..More missed flights and wrong visas - bad luck. Finding out our new stopover will be in the south of France. My God, good luck! Cannes - The Film Festival. Aperol Spritz. This is GREAT LUCK. The GREATEST. And then it’s onto Libya 😳
“Talking to Strangers”
“Talking to Strangers”—I just finished Malcolm Gladwell‘s latest book w the same title. His conclusion - we are terrible at it, but rather than being a skeptic continue to default to truth. And believe the best in each other. It has faults but it’s better than the alternative. But Always acknowledge context (when & where) you meet a stranger - it can make all the difference.—Libya. Courage. Strangers. It was all there. This man w his “worry beads”, me holding a book on Insane Courage. 2 strangers. Defaulting to truth about one another. Learning, listening, and believing the best in one another. Keep talking to Strangers - it was one of the best moments of this whole trip. 💯
Wow - Dating back 6,000 years, the Erbil Citadel is known as the “Cradle of Civilization”: the longest continually inhabited place in the world. Iraq: Fascinating country, complicated history, welcoming people. As with all travel - “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” —Nelson Mandela
Eritrea #160 : “The Cuba of Africa” What an incredibly unique country.
Eritrea #160 : “The Cuba of Africa”What an incredibly unique country.—1) Eritrea is Awesome - Top 3 in Africa for sure! It’s located right below Ethiopia, frozen in time like Cuba, and feels like 1960’s Italy.•2) It’s Italy Frozen in Time - there are old school pay-phones, old school bicycles, and Hello Gelato!! - It has a distinct Italian feel w a huge coffee / gelato culture and a cafe on every corner.•3) It’s Safe - Extremely safe. What a relief!•4) No Wifi or Cell signal - Just like Cuba but technically there are “Wifi cafes” like in the early 2000’s and in some hotels. But it’s 2G. It was nice to unplug for a bit.•5) Ghibabo Restaurant - if you go, remember this gem. Insane courtyard and terrace, nicest owners, unique coffee display, 1960’s Italian wine room, and one awesome accordion. Add Eritrea to the Bucket List!
The world Accordion to GG
The world Accordion to GG• make memories that last a lifetime• make an impression on the world, not the couch• dream about unrealistic goals• make them a reality• and always “If it’s not Wow, it’s not worth doing” 💯Top caption cred @snakeagram
Insane. Amazing. In Awe. 💯
Insane. Amazing. In Awe. 💯Mountain Gorillas in the Congo 🕺🦍
Presence is the greatest present 💯
Presence is the greatest present 💯—Africa is tough. 54 countries on the continent and getting into all of them is a like figuring out a Goodwill Hunting math equation of impossible flights, routes, vaccines, and visas. 🌎👨🏫. You need heaps of patience and loads of luck. And sometimes it still doesn't work. You Fail. Like today. 😢•But sometimes life or luck will throw something even better in your path and along your journey. Like these 2 brave souls @veryhungrynomads. Hearing the stories of these 2 female travelers on their way to 196 was insanely inspiring.•We didn't make it to Burundi (my last Africa visa 🤦♂️), but 11 hours of sharing stories on a bus was one of the best moments of this journey: Indeed, presence is the greatest present. Best of luck @veryhungrynomads. Keep inspiring 💯
Do you ever get SCARED 😳??
Do you ever get SCARED 😳??—Of course. This is probably the question I get asked most often (after Yemen, Libya, DRC...fair enough). I wrote a whole book on Insane Courage and facing fear but we're all human and risk exists. For me it comes down to this: embrace Insanity, resist Stupidity. 💯•INSANITY is positively pushing your personal boundaries, coupled w courage it’s smart, measured, and mitigated risk.☝️-STUPIDITY is being reckless, it’s coupled w lazy thought and a dangerous disregard for risk. 🥺•As for the soldiers, they protect the gorillas, and the people coming to visit. There are other ways into the DRC, but going w these guys and seeing the gorillas was a measured way to mitigate risk. Be brave. But be smart. Fortune favors the bold, not the fool. 😎
Africa 54: 17 YEARS LATER 🎉
Africa 54: 17 YEARS LATER 🎉17 yrs. 11 trips. 3 part story..Here’s a look back across 11 trips to the African continent and how we got here! 😳.Part 1 (2002-2008)My 1st trip to Africa in 2002 changed my life and launched our charity H.E.R.O. for Children. After meeting a young man at an orphanage named Martin, I ditched Wall Street dreams for a non profit career and lived back at home w Old Man G (who I told ladies at the time, I simply had a “roommate”)😎.HERO has since raised millions of dollars and impacted so many lives.💯 From @UGAheros, mentoring programs, and hosting Miss Universe, to programming for over 15 years - it’s been incredible what came from an experience in Africa. If you’ve ever donated a dime or a dollar or even a minute of your time to help our amazing kids, I'm forever grateful. 🙏.PART 2 (2008 - 2018)Later Cape Town, South Africa became a second home. I'll always thank @kevinpaulscott , Courtney, and Robbie for believing in the impossible - a 100 day journey across Africa - 🌎which led us to starting The greatest study abroad company ever..It was a “Peace Corps for the 21st Century” idea anchored on Leadership, Education, Adventure, and Diplomacy mixed w Shark Cage Diving w an edge. 😎 It’s where I first had a chance to become a professor and teach about life beyond the typical classroom and what truly matters. 🤓 For anyone that sat through any of my lectures and dreamed along w me, I'm forever grateful. 💯.PART 3 (2018 - present)The final chapter was a Book tour and a 27 Africa Country embrace of Insane Courage. A Big Thank You goes to @treygoesglobal @abovethewingtip @wanderreds @snakeagram for making this journey a reality and all the mayhem, mischief, and memories along the way. 🤭 I am also forever grateful fellas. Now for #54 Burundi. Just need one more trick up my sleeve. Let’s go!! 🙏
Africa 54: WHAT A JOURNEY 🙏
Africa 54: WHAT A JOURNEY 🙏—17 years & 7 quotes that got me through the journey. I hope one of these resonates with you and you pick some insane goal that brings you joy... and you never give up. (Creative photo cred @square8studio)—-1) “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”—Ashe2) “It’s always too early to quit.”—Peele3) “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”—Marshall4) “You can't build a reputation on what you’re going to do.”—Ford5) “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”—James6) “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” —Mandela7) “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”—Eliot
AFRICA 54: IN CONCLUSION 🌎
AFRICA 54: IN CONCLUSION 🌎-Let the world break you. And then do something about it. An AIDS orphanage in Africa 17 years ago. A young man named Martin. A broken spirit after a year in Africa. That could have been one story. Or you decide, and do something about it. And it becomes another story..And that’s what we did. One that has involved so many of you. So many of you that I am so thankful for in this journey we call life. From HERO to ADDO, 17 years, and 11 times back to the continent. That’s a much better story. And we wrote it, together. Headed home, forever grateful. 💯
WHAT’S UP WITH THE TUX?
WHAT’S UP WITH THE TUX?—10 years ago I went to Antarctica. 🐧 Sounds great, it was a disaster. I was able to convince one friend @grantzarzour to join. He was heading to Med School and had 1 condition: 🤓 He had to bring all of his books to study for the boards during the 10 day voyage. Easy..DISASTER 1: On the flight, to the tip of South America, they lost my luggage and cancelled his flight. Great start. 🙄 I landed w one carry on. He swore he would make it. Inside the carry-on I packed one thing - as a joke. My TUXEDO to look like the penguins in Antarctica. Now it’s all I had. 🕺.DISASTER 2: By a Christmas miracle my friend made it. First announcement - “Ladies & Gentlemen this will be a very rocky ride, 20 foot waves can make reading very difficult, so relax and enjoy the views.” My friend wanted to kill me. Sorry Med School. 😭.DISASTER 3: I survived the entire time in a tux. The problem was getting home. 😳 I promised to meet my brother for Machu Picchu. Our first brothers trip together. I showed up w the tuxedo. And hiked Machu Picchu in it. Idiot. 🕺.2020 LESSON: Eisenhower once said “Take your job seriously, not yourself.” Dwight was right 💯 So now the Tux comes on every carry on. To each country. It’s a small reminder to enjoy it all. 🎉 One moment at a time. No matter what life throws at you. A solid lesson for another decade. Oh Ps: My friend became a Doctor. Thank the Lord! 🙏
GATES OF HEAVEN 🙏
GATES OF HEAVEN 🙏—I've seen this photo 100 times on Instagram, but my good friend @movingwithmatt just went here and I knew I needed the courage to go find it. I had a 12 hour layover in Bali. It would have been easier to stay at the airport, but that’s not Courage.—I'm not sure what happens in Heaven, but I've surely faced the end of life with Old man G. It reminded me of a story from an end of life care nurse, Bonnie Ware, who recorded the following. —Top 5 Regrets of the Dying .1. I wish that I had let myself be happier.2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.3. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.4. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.5. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.—COURAGE: In this new year, in this new decade, in these Roaring 20’s, I hope you choose Courage over Comfort 💯
Always representing 💯 If a country has @CocaCola , guarantee yeah I've had it! If not, I will tell you No, it’s not all the same 😅 #CocaCola #ATL
FINDING THE HULI WIGMAN 🎉
Papua New Guinea
FINDING THE HULI WIGMAN 🎉—-I saw a special on Papua New Guinea as a kid. 🌏 And then I read about these last tribes on Earth in the 26 volume Encyclopedia Britannica that Fran G bought us for Christmas, as kids. 🙄Thanks Mom!.Today I finally met the Huli Wigman of Papua New Guinea (PNG). It took a spectacular array of luck after befriending a cab driver named Benny. I told him it was my dream since I was a kid to meet these guys (and do a dance together) 🕺.He laughed and immediately called his friend, who knew a friend, who knew a friend, who - well you get the idea. Someone will know someone who will know the Huli Wigman. “We will make this happen for you Mr. GG” was what Benny kept saying. I wasn't so sure. 🙏.On the last day, Benny made it happen. He phoned me at the hotel “We found the Huli Wigman - we must go now, they are at the airport.” I was so excited “WHATTTT, the Huli Wigman travel? They have passports? Would they want to come for my birthday party in May?” 🥳💯.Benny politely said “No Mr. GG, sometimes they come to the airport to greet tourists. Today is your lucky day, my friend at the airport called and said they are there now.” 💯.And off we went. It was awesome. Benny showed them some of my dance videos and they laughed. As in out loud. My moves are Universally laughable. 🕺😜 Awesome. And then we came up with our very own dance together. A highlight of my life. And Benny made it happen!.—-MY HULI WIGMAN LESSONThere’s always a Benny in every town, company, or corner of the world, who has the answer if you have the Courage to ask. ⭐️ THE PROBLEM: We only ask “obvious” people for our answers. But Obvious people typically have obvious answers. Surprising people give... you guessed it, surprising answers. 🔥 .We just need the Courage to ask someone outside the obvious. Because it’s those surprising people and answers that can get you Unstuck and on your way. Thanks Benny for that reminder! 🌏💯
JUST WRITE ANYTHING 🍀👽🍾
JUST WRITE ANYTHING 🍀👽🍾—Did you know there’s a 42% better chance of accomplishing a goal if you just write it down. I started this #EverySunday challenge in 2020. Inspired by my buddy @casey_g_baugh , basically just wake up early and write every Sunday📝. He’s been doing it for years. He’s also a bazillionaire. And has five kids. And is a saint. He’s obviously doing something right.🙏•It’s a time to think, reflect, and focus - on your goals or a new habit or an idea you have - but ultimately you have to Write! Then take a picture 📸 of your Journal every Sunday to keep you accountable.•“But I don't know where to start?” Great, neither did I. So my first Sunday I made a list of 50 things I’d like to do. “Find a 4-leaf clover, meet an alien 👽, read the entire Bible, visit every country, take a pic on Mt Everest...in a Tux, truly fall in love 💫, open a champagne bar (invite the alien), teach at Harvard, sell a special to Netflix (most likely about my alien & the champagne bar) 🍾. See, you just have to start..And if you’re telling me there’s a 42% better chance I'll find a 4-leaf clover and truly fall in love, I'm writing it down. I hope you'll join #EverySunday
Kiribati - 2nd Least visited country in the world
Kiribati - 2nd Least visited country in the world 🏝. “Sex Lives of Cannibals” - 1st most popular book about the country. 😳. Instagram vs Reality. AWESOME.Side note: My flight out was cancelled today. Misadventure continues 💪
Halfway down my guide yells, “You're doing great, I can see the good spirit in the water!”
Halfway down my guide yells, “You're doing great, I can see the good spirit in the water!” WHATTTT 😇 #Samoa
ONE MONTH LATER
ONE MONTH LATER—I headed out to the Pacific 30 days ago to visit 13 countries. I learned these 3 things. Hope this resonates with someone.—1) IT’S LONELYPeople need People. We’re all on a life journey, but literally stranded in the Pacific just showcased how much community truly does matter. The founder of Chick-fil-A once said “How can you tell if someone needs encouragement?”Answer: “They’re breathing.”That’s a good one. A real real good one. Be that for someone. I will too.•2) LAUGHIt’s much better than crying. Things will go wrong. They always go wrong. It’s life, it’s messy, and that’s part of the bigger message. So if you’ve been kicked in the teeth lately, a deal fell through, or you’re lonely for Valentines day, just laugh. As my good friend Matt Thomas says, “Good Luck, Bad Luck, Who Knows.”•3) DON’T JUSTLastly, I’m reminded of this quote by Roy T. Bennet -Don’t just learn, experience.Don’t just read, absorb.Don’t just change, transform.Don’t just relate, advocate.Don’t just promise, prove.Don't just criticize, encourage.Don't just think, ponder.Don't just take, give.Don't just see, feel.Don’t just dream, do.Don't just hear, listen.Don't just talk, act.Don't just tell, show.Don't just exist, live.
Follow me to...1 last island and 10 more countries.
Follow me to...1 last island and 10 more countries. 🌎 We're almost there!! What a Crazy ride across the Pacific. Stranded on an island, cannibals, coronavirus, and things I can't even make up. 😳. As the saying goes, “You can never be Old and Wise if you were never Young and Crazy.” Let’s go!
We did it!! Country #186 Tuvalu
We did it!! Country #186 Tuvalu - Last in the Pacific & Least visited country (supposedly). Reality - just happy to survive!! 🙏 Paris and Afghanistan up next...because those two go together 🌎💯
10 STEPS TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY 🎉
10 STEPS TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY 🎉—With 10 countries left to go, I’ve found these things tend to help most - in travel, business, life and the alone times figuring it all out. Hopefully one of these resonates wherever you are. 🌎—1) Take Small Steps and Ignore Big Drama2) Cultivate patience and plan ahead for problems3) Expect and embrace self doubt4) Remember when things were a mess5) Realize how far you’ve come6) Be proud of the person you’re becoming7) Focus you’re energy where you feel most alive8) Ask what’s the next right move9) Have the Insane Courage to do it10) And always remember, some guy in a Speedo can ruin even your best moment. Just go with it 😬😅
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