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Around The Edge

By Tom Dimond

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The first person who cycled 
the world’s coastlines.

In a time when bike-packing wasn’t a thing and the political landscape was still unstable during the Cold War, you would forgive Vladislav Ketov for getting carried away and dreaming up a wild idea and not doing it.

Around the Edge

Vladislav realised that the landmass of the entire world could be circled in one continuous loop with only two shipping canals and the Bering Strait to halt the journey. After doing some research, he realised that he was one of the first to think up this crazy idea, never mind complete it, and his thirst for this adventure only grew.

The year was 1991 and Russia, his home country, was about to annul all service passports, so out on a whim, he left Leningrad (Now St Petersburg’s) and headed to Poland to start his epic adventure.

Around the Edge

After Poland, Germany was the first of many problems when it came to his visas. In fact, he spent an unbelievable 5 years just waiting around for visas during his 21-year journey, using his skills as an artist to make ends-meat.

 

 

 

Travelling through the aftermath of Yemen’s Civil war was an achievement in its self and he even managed to cross the imposable border of Bangladesh and Myanmar but one of his biggest challenges was back in his home country battling the Northern Coastline realising the plan had to change

Around the Edge
“I spent two seasons in Russia’s north, looking for viable alternatives. I covered about 2000 km by foot, by boat, by deer and by helicopter. It dawned on me then that the only feasible option was flying by gyroplane.”

Any serious traveller has required the help of a stranger or local; it’s those strangers that can make the trip and he made this interesting observation:

“When it comes to people’s willingness to help there is an interesting dependency: the lesser potential a person has, the stronger his or her desire to help. And on the contrary: the higher the potential, the lesser the desire to help anybody with anything. This is an ironclad dependence with rare exceptions”
Around the Edge
Around the Edge

His crazy project came to end in 2012 and at an age of 63, his purpose was clear. He wanted to demonstrate that any person in the world can travel.

 

We can all learn a thing or two from Vladislav. That there is a certain romance in getting carried away with an idea and then making sure it happens, even without a plan.

It’s time we all got carried away.

Around the Edge
Around the Edge
Around the Edge
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