Around the world at eighty years old

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS - JORUNN LORENZEN

THE thought of trav­el­ling around world solo at 80 years old may seem in­tim­i­dat­ing to most, 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 Nielsen stopped in Emer­ald 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 wid­ower.

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 for a lift only to learn back­pack­ing is il­le­gal in Aus­tralia.

Svend was wel­comed to the Cen­tral High­lands by the CH Re­gional Coun­cil CEO Scott Ma­son, who said Mr Bang Nielsen’s ar­rival was a great re­minder of the wide range of vis­i­tors who 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.”

Pic­tures: con­trib­uted

NEVER TOO OLD: Svend Aage Bang Nielsen is film­ing a TV doc­u­men­tary of his trip.

Svend Aage Bang Nielsen get­ting ready for his round the world trip.

Svend gets ready for his trip.

Svend Aage Bang Nielsen on his trip around Aus­tralia.

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