Babis Bizas, The most travelled person in the world
Babis Bizas, The most travelled person in the world

Interview with Babis Bizas. Our own Magellan.

by Cosmorama Travel Blog Team

He has been called names such as "The Greek Phileas Fogg," "The Greek who conquered the two poles", "The most-traveled man of the world." He is member of the Russian Geographic Society, one of the oldest in the world founded by Nicholas I of Russia in 1845. Charalampos (Babis) Bizas set off from the small town of Arta, Greece, to follow a course that even he couldn't have predicted. Until today, he has traveled to all 195 countries (sovereign states) of the world, according to the UN, has changed over 40 passports and has entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2004 as the only one who had evere traveled in all 194, then, countries of the world. Cosmorama is proud to present you a highly valued member of it's team: our own Mangelan, Babis Bizas.

Babis, when was your fist travel?
I got my passport when I was 22 years old. I wasn't aware at the time, but that was the moment that would change my life. A new chapter was opened that would affect my life forever. I couldn't even imagine that at the time.

How are you related to the profession of the tourist agent?
I started as travel group leader. I swaped between various travel offices, changed roles and titles but, in fact, I always remain a group leader. Just like today. The difference is that after some time, being a supervisor, I had to decide on the style and content of the trips organized.


A kayak ride to the frosty waters of Antarctica

A kayak ride to the frosty waters of Antarctica


Do you think organized travel is safer than traveling at your own risk?
Organized travel ensures confidence and protection within the circle of the group and the support of a travel agency officer with access to local representatives who are ready to intervene if unforeseen or unpleasant events occur. At the same time, the traveler just has to lay back and enjoy a smooth program flow, saves time that is required elswere to focus on the attractions and to experience the journey and the place he is visitting. Otherwise, you waste endless hours googling for hotels, flights, and local tour guides. I have suffered that many times and regretted as many more. It is a trap once you fall into, you can not make it back.

Do you think that people travelling on their own eventually pay less, or would it save enough time and money following the advice of a professional tourist agent?
Judging from my own private travels, I see money going down the drain when I travel at my own risk. I compare that to what group tour travellers pay to the same organized tour and get really angry with myself that I spend 40 to 50 percent more for the same travel! Not to include the man hours and energy I spend, and headache... I get in the end to arrange what a tour bureau would consider be an automated procedure.

What destinations do you think that have surprised you?
For many years I have been convinced that the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands such as South Georgia, Kerguelen, Zavodovski island and the like, is the most magnificent places on the planet. Then comes Venezuela with its magnificent trapezoidal "Tepui" mountains in the region of Canaima, followed by the tribes of northern Namibia and southern Ethiopia, the Lake Turkana people in northern Kenya and landscapes of Franz Joseph Land in the Arctic Russia.


Cosmorama in the South Pole

Babis Bizas during a recent trip to the South Pole in 2015


What was the most difficult to reach destination for you?
The recent trip I had to the Marion island in South Africa. Around 2,200 km south of Cape Town towards the coast of Antarctica. It took 209 hours traveling in 40 degrees slope with small sailboat due to lateral winds, and swings in 4m waves. I could neither eat nor sleep. We were wondering wether we hoped to get back alive after this trip. Because, yes, we were planning to go back. Took us another 201 hours back to Port Elizabeth!

What would you advise travelers to make sure they do before getting on their journey?
To promptly check whether their passport is valid for at least 6 more months. Get a few things together and introduce the "1-2-3" system (the suitcase is outdated nowdays): One pair of comfordable black walking/hiking shoes, two changes of underware, two sets of clothing (shirts/blouses, trousers/skirts), only the basic cosmetics/shavers and the 3A of drugs: antibiotics, anti-diarrheal and aspirins. If something is missing or damaged it can be easily replaced locally.


Babis Bizas


How would you value the services of Greek travel agencies?
The Greek travel agency services are of high quality and unsurpassed price ratio. International agencies have very cheap prices on vacation charters on some featured destination resorts. There the Greek agencies can not compete. By contrast, the Greek Travel agencies have very cheap rates in group packages with leader, visiting a region for 2-3 weeks. Comparing prices with international travel agents I was surprised on how much higher they charge! E.g. for the Round of Cuba, prices of €6000 is common.

Eventually traveling is a capital investment or simply pleasure and extravagance?
None of the above. It is mental wealth, knowledge and wisdom. It is the water of life. It's a book. You interpret and see the world with fresh eyes, automatically and without knowing so. You feel more fullfilled inside. I do not wish riches. I just want to travel. (To get to where I can until my eyes tutn into two gravels of soil.)

Babis Bizas.

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