Around the world in 20 days

Around the world in 20 days

Ever dream about visiting seven countries in one trip? Join us on our 21,623-mile adventure.

Published on April 29, 2016

If only we had 80 days. Unfortunately, we don’t have Verne’s generous vacation allotment, but we do have nearly three weeks — more than enough time to take a short lap around the world. For our circumnavigation, we will touch down in five countries, one island city-state and a former British colony administered by China. The boots-on-ground segments will last from a brief 24 hours (Reykjavik, Iceland) to a more languorous three days (Seychelles). For each destination, we will embark on a mini-scavenger hunt: we must visit a landmark, eat a local dish and snap up a souvenir. Over 20 days, we will cover thousands of miles and several time zones on four continents. And on the 21st day, we shall rest.

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Day 20

At New York’s JFK airport, a certain kind of freedom lay just after the customs line: the freedom to eat a hamburger with fresh toppings at Shake Shack (pile on the produce), to drink a Diet Dr. Pepper (none of that horrid Coke Lite) and to gulp down water with ice (no fear of gastro-wrenching bacteria). At the American Airlines gate, we couldn’t find the burger outlet or the soda pop but, while waiting for our flight to Washington, we chugged several tall glasses of cold water.

Welcome home, indeed.

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About the series

Reporter Andrea Sachs and photographer Jabin Botsford set off on a global scavenger hunt. Using an around-the-world ticket, they dropped into seven countries to visit a landmark attraction, sample a traditional food and purchase a souvenir — documenting their journey (and lack of sleep) as they went.