Babis Bizas Explained
|Birth Name:||Charalampos Bizas|
|Birth Date:||16 September 1954|
|Birth Place:||Arta, Epirus, Greece|
|Spouse:||Pinelopi Spyroula Maria Biza, nee Paizi (1979-today)|
Ioulia Biza, nee Konstantinou
|Known For:||Member of the Russian Geographical Society
The most travelled man on earth (National Geographic Traveler)
Babis Bizas (born Charalampos Bizas; 16 September 1954) is a travel writer, explorer and tour operator, and arguably the most travelled person in the world. He was born in Arta, Epirus, Greece. He started travelling as a backpacker and then as professional tour escort. He participated in an expedition to the North Pole in May 1996. Almost 18 years later, in December 2014, he landed in the South Pole, thus becoming the first person to raise the Greek flag to both Poles.  By 2004 Bizas had visited all 194 sovereign countries of the world at that time. He traveled to South Sudan, the newest independent state, in 2011.Since 1987, when he first started working as a tour operator, he has created, organized and personally escorted dozens of tours to unusual destinations offered for the first time in the world market, thus changing the world concept of holiday travel for the average traveler. He is currently a member of the RGO (Russian Geographic Society) Русское географическое общество.
He studied Political Sciences at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens and Slavonic languages in the Institute of Balkan Studies in Thessaloniki, where he learned Bulgarian and Russian.He also attended for theatrical studies for 3 years in Thessaloniki, in an attempt to become an actor.As a university student, he travelled as backpacker in Europe mostly hitchhiking and in 1977 he followed the stream of the young European travelers to Katmandu. He travelled overland all the way from Greece to Nepal and from there to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). In Colombo, he boarded the cargo Greek ship “JOANNA II” and became a seaman only to travel the world.During the 3-month voyage he visited Mozambique, South Africa, Cabo Verde, ending in the USA.
Professional life and carrier
MANOS TRAVEL was the first major tour operator he worked for, from 1981. For the first 7 years he travelled to all mainstream destination at that time: Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Japan, Thailand, USA, Mexico and South America. He realized that either because of ignorance or too much uncertainty, countries and places with old civilizations, history and culture were left out of the usual tourist itineraries, for example, Guatemala, Thibet, Cambodia, etc.In 1987 Bizas became the Planning Manager of MANOS TRAVEL and the decision-maker for the design and the operations of the tours. He immediately introduced a series of new tours which he always escorted himself, at least the very first time they were organized. As a result, he was able to visit his 100th country in relatively a short period. He escorted the very first group worldwide to postwar Cambodia and Vietnam, and also to Andaman Islands in India, to Ladakh and along the Silk Route.In 1992, as the company grew, Bizas was released from his Planning Manager duties and concentrated exclusively on “new destinations”. In the next 10 years, he escorted groups in unusual places such as Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Central America, Guyana, Surinam, West Africa and East Africa. As a pioneer in organizing new tours, he was invited by Intourist in the post Soviet Russia to explore and organize trips in Arctic Siberia, Yakutia, Kamchatka, and Sakhalin island. During the same period, he visited the North Pole (1996) using huge M11 helicopters from a military base in Arctic Russia. He travelled extensively to the Aleutian islands, Arctic Canada, and Micronesia. As the world was changing, he grabbed the opportunity to visit the last remaining countries and organize trips when seemed to be good timing. He offered his loyal travelers tours to Algeria, Afghanistan, to Baluchistan and Iran, following the steps of Alexander the Great. In 2004, he completed his goal to visit all the UN countries of the world by escorting a group to East Timor (Timor Leste) . In 2011, he traveled to South Sudan, the newest UN country. The same year, he escorted the last group, as a fulltime tour leader, to FRANZ JOSEF LAND on board M/S Plancius. After that, he became a part-time tour leader for COSMORAMA, organizing cultural tours to known countries such as USA, Russia, and Australia, or thematic tours to Iraqi Kurdistan, and elsewhere. He used his free time to travel with other fellow travelers to Marion Island, or travel with the supply ship M/S MARION DUFRESNE to the Sub-Antarctic French islands: Kerguelen, Crozet, Amsterdam and other remote places. The same period he decided to visit all the disputed and unrecognised countries like Kosovo, Abkhazia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh -Արցախ), and Transdniestria (Приднестровье)
Even before visiting every country in the world, Babis Bizas attracted the interest of the local media and magazines because of his travels to unusual destinations. He often appears in TV shows and gives interviews in newspapers and magazines. “OXYGEN” magazine published his experience from North Pole Expedition as well as his various travel achievements in another issue. In 2004, when it became known that he had visited all the 194 countries in the world, Babis became one of the most popular figures in the media, giving dozens of interviews.   He once again attracted the media’s interest, when it became known he raised the Greek flag in the South Pole, a matter of national pride, given that a Greek had set foot on both Poles of the Earth.
Although his main professional interest was to search, design, organize and operate tours that has a strong cultural component, he dedicated some time to write travel articles in the GEOTROPIO magazine, focusing on the less-known places he had visited, and sharing pictures and travel tips from areas little known to the average traveler. He resisted the pressure to write a book for his travels, believing he had nothing new to say. Finally he gave up and wrote a travelogue guide for Russia with the titlePASON TON ROSION (ΠΑΣΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΡΩΣΙΩΝ – ταξιδιωτικός οδηγός Ρωσίας Μπάμπης Μπίζας – “ALL RUSSIA” – Babis Bizas – The Travel book for Russia. The book is published in Greek, but an English version is expected in the near future. The book covers all the 86 provinces of Russia including Crimea and the still unrecognized countries Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Bizas got married to Pinelopi-Spyroula-Maria Paizi He still travels around the world for about 300 days a year. When is not away in expeditions, he lives in Halandri, a northern suburb of Athens, Greece, and prepares his next trip.
- http://www.eviasziget.hu/2015/04/a-gorog-aki-vilag-minden-orszagaban-jart.html#more About Babis Bizas
- http://admhmansy.ru/news/41/111902/ Babis Bizas in Russian News
- http://travelerscenturyclub.org/archives/2276 Babis Bizas Travelers Century Club Member Reaches the Two Poles
- http://travelerscenturyclub.org/archives/2514 Travelers Century Club Diamond Members (300 or more countries) – Babis Bizas
- http://www.kulturosupa.gr/index.php/cinemania/agnosti-gh-tainia-prosexos-8684/#.V0k-gOT4g0M “Αγνωστή Γη” – Unknown Land – Movie by the Producer Babis Bizas
- http://rociodelmarliveaboard.blogspot.gr/2016/02/clipperton-big-migrations-expedition.html Babis Bizas – Expedition in Clipperton Island
- http://www.cosmorama.gr/en/articles/interview-with-babis-bizas–our-own-magellan-.html Cosmorama Review On Babis Bizas
- http://www.ekathimerini.com/168511/article/ekathimerini/community/what-a-life-the-worlds-most-traveled-man-whos-been-to-all-195-countries Ekathimerini Babis Bizas the most travelled man in the World
- http://www.ellines.com/en/achievements/405-akrites-tou-ellinismou-oi-ellines-tis-diasporas/ Greeks of diaspora
- http://www.aeginaphotographer.com/profiles/16142/ Photoshoot of the most travelled man of the World
- http://www.star.gr/Pages/Media.aspx?art=251393&artTitle=deite_poios_kalesmenos_tis_popis_tsapanidou_pige_stin_ekpompi_me_gouna Babis Bizas in Star TV – Interview with Popi Tsapanidou
- [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeThf4vKIiLN3bJi55Tnkag] Babis Bizas Youtube Channel
- http://blog.geitonas.edu.gr/%CE%99%CF%83%CF%84%CE%BF%CE%BB%CF%8C%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%BF/%CE%94%CE%B7%CE%BC%CE%BF%CF%83%CE%AF%CE%B5%CF%85%CF%83%CE%B7/89/%CE%9C%CF%80%CE%AC%CE%BC%CF%80%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%9C%CF%80%CE%AF%CE%B6%CE%B1%CF%82–%C2%AB%CE%8C%CF%83%CE%BF-%CF%84%CE%B1%CE%BE%CE%B9%CE%B4%CE%B5%CF%8D%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82,-%CE%B1%CE%BD%CE%B1%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%BB%CF%8D%CF%80%CF%84%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82%C2%BB Geitonas Education Foundation – Article on Babis Bizas
- http://babisbizas.com/%cf%80%ce%b1%cf%83%cf%8e%ce%bd-%cf%84%cf%89%ce%bd-%cf%81%cf%89%cf%83%ce%b9%cf%8e%ce%bd-all-russia-2/ ΠΑΣΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΡΩΣΙΩΝ – ταξιδιωτικό οδοιπορικό Ρωσίας Μπάμπης Μπίζας
Notes and References