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“I was secretly hoping this was going to be a nice holiday, but it really was a race against time.” That’s what author and motivational speaker Jamie McDonald (also known as Adventureman) experienced on his recent record-breaking trip to see all New Seven Wonders of the World in the span of one week.
If you hear the term “Seven Wonders of the World,” that usually refers to either the Wonders of the Ancient World (The Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Myth Colossus of Rhodes, Temple of Artemis, Lighthouse of Alexandria, Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus), or the New Seven Wonders of the World. Unfortunately, many of the Ancient World’s wonders are now lost to time. But the New Seven Wonders can still be seen and, apparently, traveled to within about a single day of each other. They are the Great Wall of China, the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá, Petra in Jordan, Machu Picchu, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Colosseum in Rome and India’s Taj Mahal.
It took McDonald exactly six days, 16 hours and 14 minutes to visit all of these sites. He started with the Great Wall of China and then headed West to see the others, finishing up at Chichen Itza in Mexico. Before he’d decided to take this trip, he’d never even heard of Petra, where Moses hit a rock and produced water for the Israelites as they escaped Egypt in the Bible.
“The one that really took my breath away was when I ended up getting to the top of the mountain to see Machu Picchu,” says McDonald. “It was the most magical wonder and I felt like I needed to go back and actually take my kids with me to see it through their eyes.”
If you want to visit the Seven Wonders, you may want to space them out a bit more. McDonald ended up taking a total of 13 flights, 16 taxi rides, nine buses, four trains and one toboggan, traveling a total of 36,783 kilometers (22,856 miles) in less than seven days. He only slept 12 hours during the week and lived off airplane food. Not exactly a dream vacation to most.