Around the world at 80-years-old
THE thought of travelling around world solo at 80 year-old may seem intimidating to some, but for Danish man Svend Aage Bang Nielsen fear doesn’t exist and solitude is bliss.
Bringing a documentary TV crew along on his adventures, Mr Bang Nielson stopped in Emerald last thanks to his fondness for gemstones.
Travelling alone and very lightly, with only one backpack, Mr Bang Nielsen stays not in fancy hotels but with old friends, in hostels and small motels.
“I want to travel as if I were 20-years-old again,” he said.
“I want to talk to and surround myself with young people.”
Mr Bang Nielsen’s revived wanderlust was triggered when he became a widow.
He and his wife Hanne travelled the world together before her passing and he wanted to do one last lap around the globe in her memory.
Both engineers for the United Nations, Svend and his late wife travelled to India, Pakistan, Egypt, Vietnam, Angola, China, North Korea and Iraq for their work.
On his last journey, Svend will visit Pakistan, India, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Easter Island, Chile and Peru.
Calling Central Queensland ‘Toyota country’, Svend was initially unimpressed with the region after spending two hours in the sun waiting to a lift only to learn that backpacking is illegal in Australia.
Svend was welcomed to the Central Highlands by the CH regional Council CEO Scott Mason, who said Mr Bang Nielson’s arrival was a great reminder of the diverse range of visitors that are attracted to the region.
“Mr Bang Nielsen has a refreshing, nevertheless eccentric, philosophy on life, one I suspect one can only obtain through the wisdom of learned experiences over time,” Mr Mason said.
“It is a wonderful reminder that our region attracts a diverse range of visitors from around the world and many different walks of life.”