A Scarborough philatelist collected stamps of a different kind when he grabbed his passport and set off for the trip of a lifetime.
And Chris Phillips, of the Scarborough Philatelic Society, is about to publish the story behind his round the world adventure in a new book – Around the World in 128 days Minus 1.
The 73-year-old, of Alexandra Park, set off on his journey in 2006 and the minus 1 is a reference to his crossing of the International Dateline.
He describes himself as an Englishman who decided to emulate Phileas Fogg by travelling right round the world –without trying to set any speed records.
Chris said that there were a few places he wanted to visit at that time and it made sense to see them all as well as meeting up with international friends along the way. “It made sense to make one trip and go around the world rather than lots of trips,” he said.
Chris said he first started to use the internet in 1999 and during that time he had made lots of friends through networks such as Yahoo.
He said: “I thought it’d be nice to meet up with them. I also thought, being a strict vegan, it would be a good thing to show that you can go around the world and still be healthy on a vegan diet –I wasn’t ill once.”
The countries he visited included Canada, The USA, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.
Chris said he had to sleep in some strange places and added: “One was in a car on the very first night in Canada – I got lost. I slept out in the open during a travel adventure trip to Uluru (Ayres Rock in Australia).”
He said that he enjoyed the experience of travelling around the globe especially getting off the main tourist trail. “The experience of seeing the real places – and not always going to the tourist places which is what most people do when they go on holiday – my friends took me to the less likely places.”
On one occasion he found himself crashing through the undergrowth in an eight-wheeled vehicle in the Yukon.
And another time, when he was travelling to Alice Springs in Australia, he met a girl called Alice while reading the book called A Town Like Alice.
He said: “I had my copy of the book and I met this girl called Alice on the train. They were also going to Alice Springs.”
Chris said he asked her to sign his copy of the book when they arrived at the station.
• Chris will hold a book signing to officially launch his new publication at the Cafe Venus in Ramshill Road on Saturday, November 24, between 10am and 5pm.