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Is It Possible to Drive Around the World?

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earth map globe photo satellite image drive around the world by car

Photo: NASA via CC0 Public Domain

A century ago, the invention of the automobile revolutionized travel, making it possible to arrive at destinations sooner and travel further distances in a day. Today, we rely on cars to take us across entire countries on road trips, and it’s even possible to travel from continent to continent in a car. Even back as far as 1873, when Jules Verne wrote Around the World in 80 Days, people dreamed of travelling the circumference of the Earth. Has the invention of the automobile made it possible to drive around the world?


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The Possibility and Obstacles of Travelling Around the World by Car

Attempting to drive around the world is more common than you may think. Multiple online blogs chronicle the feats of ordinary adventurers who have attempted to traverse the world in their car. Such endeavors beg the question, is it actually possible to drive around the world?

This form of travel is called overland travel and doesn’t rely on the use of boats or airplanes. If you choose to stick with the same vehicle for the entire travel, you can maneuver across North America and Europe/Asia fairly easily, if you plan your route well. Generally, two obstacles will be in your way when trying to cross between these continents, though: the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In both cases, you’ll have to rely on a ferry to bring your car from one shore to the other.

Making the Most of your Driving LessonsAlthough there is less than 55 miles between North America (Alaska) and Siberia at their closest points, there is no bridge that crosses the Bering Strait (building one would cost billions of dollars). Plus, trying to cross over this body of water, even via ferry, is very difficult for legal reasons, too. While doing so may be possible if breaking the law, it’s not a wise way to go. It’s better to find a ferry that will legally, safely take you across the ocean, even if it’s a longer route (if you got to Siberia, you’d find hardly any roads anyway).

Similarly, you’ll need to take a ferry to cross parts of the northern Atlantic Ocean, getting from Canada to Greenland to Iceland to Norway.

So, while it’s not possible to rely solely on an automobile to travel around the world, you can do so without leaving your vehicle (if you sit in it on the boat). The entire journey will take you around 3-4 months, depending on weather and border crossings.

For a fascinating look at the feasibility of constructing a road that connected the entire world, check out this video.


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Sources: Angus Adventures, Wiki Voyage