John Bougen

Remarkable man - founder of Dress Mart and the Auckland Memorial Gardens, John and his cousin set off to set a world record for the shortest time taken to travel to 191 countries in 167 days - and they succeeded. The book “An Absolutely Outrageous Adventure” is the account of their journey, the places they visited, and in particular the people they met. Bougen's Guinness book record is for ‘the most countries visited in six months’.
book “An Absolutely Outrageous Adventure” is the account of their journey, the places they visited, and in particular the people they met. They were angered, humbled, scared and tired – but never bored. John Bougen, an Auckland businessman and his NZ born cousin, James Irving of Brisbane, completed their staggering All Nations Quest Journey amid some of the most anxious security times the world has seen. They journeyed through the Middle East as the US was poised to attack Iraq and they encountered many harrowing moments in other parts of the world. Bougen's Guinness book record is for ‘the most countries visited in six months’. He is later expected to receive another world record for the biggest air ticket every issued for a single journey. Bougen journeyed 242,000 km – which is equivalent to circumnavigating the world six

In August 2002 two travel-crazy Kiwis set off to set a world record for the shortest time taken to travel to 191 countries in 167 days - and they succeeded. The times – during his 167 day attempt. He used 104 airlines, sat on 54 planes, boarded 242 flights, entered 191 airports and spent 417 hours in the air since departing Auckland on 28 August 2002. These were all new world marks for a single journey and he showed painstaking patience in waiting 576 hours – or 24 days at airports and stations.

With his cousin Bougen crossed the equator 9 times and booked into 114 different hotels. The arduous journey was a logistical nightmare to put together and a true character test Bougen said. Their trip cost them NZ$350,000 which they met themselves and through help from the Flight Centre, Vodaphone and Mike Henry Travel Insurance.

Working with Save the Children John travelled around the world and photographed a child in every country he visited. Sometimes sad and moving and sometimes funny, his latest book, to be released in October 2003, shares the dreams of children all around the world. Throughout their 169day tour they used their profile to highlight inequalities for children and ‘Save The Children’s’ work worldwide. Bougen, an Auckland businessman who is most famous for setting up Dress-Smart factory outlet malls took a photograph and asked a child in every country “What is your Dream?’ All profits from this book will go the Save the Children New Zealand.