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Kasey Stewart lives for new experiences.
That has included jumping (with a rope) from the highest cliff in the world in New Zealand, hiking the Stairway to Heaven in Hawaii and riding a motorcycle across Sierra Leone.
In between those notable highlights, there was also a polar plunge in Antarctica, some time spent living out of the back of a station wagon in Norway and a brief detainment in Vietnam by the local military.
To say the 32-year-old is someone who likes to defy expectations and social norms would be an understatement.
A little over a year ago, the former vice president and group creative director for Razorfish advertising ditched what many would call a dream career, sold most of his possessions and embarked on a journey to visit all seven continents.
Stewart's motivation was a desire to reignite his creativity, while also pushing himself outside his comfort zone. With that trip now accomplished, the Tulsa, Oklahoma native has a new goal, one equally noteworthy:
On December 13 at 4:55 p.m. Stewart and travel partner Julie Berry will board a plane in Sydney, Australia. If all goes well, a mere 72 hours later, they will have put their feet on all seven continents in the world.
He is calling the project 7in72 and, if the duo manages to complete their journey in three days as planned, they will have secured themselves a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
"My goal since I was a kid was to touch all seven continents; I really wanted to see all corners of the Earth," Stewart explained during an interview with TravelPulse. "After I did it, I was thinking 'What can I do to push myself outside of my comfort zone even more, while also doing something no one else has ever done?'"
It's not that Stewart grew up wanting to be in the Guinness Book of World Records per se. Rather, he has always wanted to live life differently. That Stewart's latest journey allows him to score a page in the record book is an added bonus.
"Nobody in the history of Earth has ever touched all seven land masses this fast and, with technology nowadays, I wanted to do something that no one else has ever done," he explained. "It is something that inspires me and hopefully it will inspire others as well."
Successfully navigating the logistics of this journey will be no small feat. Stewart spent hundreds of hours researching flights and planning connections. It's far from an easy task coordinating between all seven continents and doing so in a way that gets you from Sydney, Australia all the way to the far-flung destination of Antarctica in 72 hours.
The flight path includes stops in Dubai; Cairo, Egypt; Frankfurt, Germany; Toronto, Ontario; Santiago, Chile; Punta Arenas, Chile; and finally to Antarctica.
The two adventure travelers will spend a few hours in each destination engaging in a unique, preplanned activity and then quickly race back to the airport, hopping on a plane for the next leg of the journey.
In Dubai, they will tour major landmarks via limousine; while in Frankfurt they will visit a pub to sample local food and beer.
Barring any flight delays or cancellations, they will arrive in Antarctica on December 16. But that's a gigantic 'if' - because flight delays and cancellations are almost par for the course in travel these days.
"Any severe flight delay or flight cancellation would throw this off," said Stewart.
However, if all goes smoothly, Stewart and Berry will have spent about 49 hours on airplanes and 23 to 30 hours on continents.
Altogether the experience is costing about $15,000, a sum Stewart is financing primarily from his 401K fund. The last leg of the journey, to Antarctica, is being sponsored by Quark Expeditions.
Dipping into his retirement to finance a dream of this magnitude is something Stewart didn't think twice about.
"My passion is traveling and even deeper than that it is new experiences. I want to live my life to the fullest, and to me, that means experiencing things I have never experienced before," he said. "I have traveled so much with certainty. I wanted something to do something that didn't have that same element of certainty."
As Stewart likes to say, "life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."
Mia Taylor is an award-winning journalist who has two decades of experience. Most recently she worked as a staff writer for...
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