Graham Hughes was born in Liverpool England at the end of the 70s. As far back has he can remember he’s always loved to travel. As a boy he would be dragged around Europe on increasingly bizarre camping trips, trips that culminated in him helping in his own little eleven-year-old way to knock down the Berlin Wall.
After gaining 4 A-Levels from the prestigious Liverpool Blue Coat School, Graham attended Manchester University where he emerged blinking and disorientated into the new millennium with a 2:1 in Politics and Modern History. Not quite evil enough to be a politician, Graham turned to digital filmmaking. He won the MTV Star Wars Shorts competition in 2005, the inaugural Liverpool 48 Hour Film Challenge in 2006 and was shortlisted for the MySpace Short Film award in 2007. From 2002 to 2008 he was heavily involved in the Liverpool music scene, shooting or producing content for dozens of bands from Atomic Kitten to Arctic Monkeys. He has developed several feature-length scripts with the support of the UK Film Council.
In the summer of 2008, The Odyssey Expedition was given the thumbs up by Lonely Planet, and on January 1st 2009 Graham officially began the adventure that would change not only his life, but the world of travel forever. It was the culmination of his life-long dream to travel to every country on Earth, set a new Guinness World Record, raise money for a worthy cause and entertain people along the way.
On January 31, 2013 Graham entered the record books: the first person to visit every country in the world without flying. Along the way he devised, wrote, shot and presented the 8x30min TV series Odyssey with Graham Hughes (aka Graham’s World). It was produced by Lonely Planet, commissioned by National Geographic and distributed by the BBC. It has been screened in over 50 countries around the world and made its North American début in December 2015.
Since completing The Odyssey Expedition, Graham has talked about his adventures all over the world – on TV, on radio, online and in the press. He has spoken at The Telegraph Travel Show, The Century Club, Thinking Digital and at TEDActive and six TEDx conferences. He also created a hit viral video of his journey called ‘One Second Every Country’ which has received over 1.4 million views. His achievement was officially recognised by Guinness World Records in February 2014 and appeared in the 2015 edition of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the 2016 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.
Not long after completing The Odyssey Expedition, Graham won Samsung’s SOS Island competition hosted by Survivorman Les Stroud. The grand prize was his very own private island in Panama where he now lives; writing books, editing videos and training his pet sloths to be ninja assassins.
That island is Jinja Island.