The adventure involved 10 people in 12 countries over a period of 35 days, but it wasn’t the latest episode of "The Amazing Race."
Instead, it was the journey of Dublin Town Councilman David Shrewsbury, who recently circumnavigated the globe in one "amazing trip."
Shrewsbury, who has taken several trips around the world, recently embarked on a trip that took him to Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai, India, Thailand, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Asian Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, Greece, Frankfort, and finally back to Charlotte, North Carolina. He used 13 different forms of transportation on his journey, including an elephant, camel, and horse-drawn carriage.
Shrewsbury a lot of planning and preparation goes into such a long and winding trip.
"When you are gone 35 days, you take everything you can because you need different clothes," Shrewsbury said. "We went through anything from extreme heat in India to quite chilly in Greece. In Tokyo, it is quite chilly and wet."
Along the way, Shrewsbury encountered a number of situations that added extra adventure to his trip.
The first came in Thailand, where he just barely missed the earthquake that devastated India.
"There was an earthquake in India, but it wasn’t where we were at," Shrewsbury said. "We heard there was one, but basically we weren’t anywhere near it. We were in Pouquet, Thailand, but it was a 3.2 magnitude (quake there)."
Although he was fortunate to have missed the worst of the earthquake, he did have to deal with a record 117 degree heat wave that broke a 1952 record.
Another dangerous and exciting moment came when the group traveled on boat through the Gulf of Aiden where boats are often attacked by Somalian pirates.
"The most thrilling part was when we went to the areas where the pirates are," Shrewsbury said. "We don’t hear that much about them here (in the U.S.), but they are a big threat over there. When we went to the area, we weren’t attacked, but there were five ships attacked at the exact same time we went through the Gulf of Aiden. (The boating company) paid $50,000 for British mercenaries to guard our ship through there. They had this big gun boat. We came through the Persian Gulf being escorted by an Iranian gunship out of the gulf back to the Asian Sea. At the Asian Sea, an Italian gunboat picked us up. and escorted us through the night. The next day, we picked up our own private security."
Another dangerous situation occurred when the boat carrying Shrewsbury’s group had to travel down the Suez Canal, between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
"Egypt is on one side and Saudi Arabia is on the other side," Shrewsbury said. "Saudi Arabia is nothing, but sand. Egypt, on the other hand, is not plush, but green because they use the Nile to irrigate. Every third mile, there is a guard hut on each side and Egypt is guarding Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is guarding Egypt. … missiles are pointed at each other and you are going underneath them. They say the Sinai Peninsula should be red with blood because of all the lives lost after the fight over that piece of land, but you look up and it looks like a useless piece of land. There is no vegetation. People don’t realize our ship paid $165,000 to go through the Suez Canal. The Egyptian government makes $15 million dollars a day off of the Suez Canal."
Even with all these near misses, the trip couldn’t end without a little more adventure.
Two other incidents nearly caused Shrewsbury and the group to continue their stay for longer than expected. However, they were able to overcome the obstacles and return home via plane to Charlotte, North Carolina.
"I was standing there 24 hours prior to all of the rioting that was going on in Athens, Greece," he said. "We had until 12:30 in the morning to get out of Athens. The whole time we were over there, we didn’t know if we would get to come home or not because of the volcanic ash. Our airport was in Frankfort, which had been shut down, but it opened up when we got there."
Nonetheless, they were able to overcome all of the obstacles they encountered and return home.
While some may have found the trip a little too adventuresome, Shrewsbury reflected on the journey and said he looks forward to more trips in the future.
"The whole thing was an amazing trip," said Shrewsbury whose wife owns Christian Travel. "We have been to Africa, Alaska, and the Galapagos Islands. Those were my favorite trips. We are going back to Africa next year."
This most recent trip was two years in the making.
"We only had a group of 10 (people go on the trip)," he said, noting that a lot of people dropped out over the two-year span. "We lost people to breast cancer, two hip replacements, one had a father get ill, another one got pregnant. Because it was a two year span, we had a lot drop out. There were about 28 of us to start out with. It was the smallest group we had in a while."