Sven Hagemeier, from Leipzig, Germany, recently received a 26th birthday gift he will never forget.
After flying across three countries in different time zones within 14 hours in last August, which ended up prolonging his birthday by 46 hours, Hagemeier received a Guinness World Record prize for the ‘longest birthday ever.’ His attempt beat the previous record of 35 hours, 25 minutes set by Nargis Bhimji of Karachi, Pakistan, who took a flight from her hometown to Singapore and then San Francisco to celebrate her birthday in June 1998.
Hagemeier started the day by flying from Auckland in New Zealand, to Brisbane in Australia, which is two hours behind Auckland. From there he travelled backwards in time across the International Date Line to Honolulu, capital of Hawaii, 20 hours behind Brisbane, thereby extending the celebration by 46 hours.
The calculation makes sense considering the time in different time zones and how it elongated his birthday. In reality, the actual duration of his journey was much less than 46 hours – about 13 hours and 10 minutes in the air.
Hagemeier’s trip may not have been the most enjoyable. He ate nothing but airline food for almost two days and also struggled to stay comfortable in a plane seat admiring the clouds through a small window. He was, however, able to undertake a 90 minutes tour of Auckland with the help of a taxi driver named Khan. Recalling the experience, Hagemeier said: “You will get help wherever you are in this world.”
The German expressed his delight at entering the Guinness World Records and revealed that he had always desired one. “I always asked myself if it would be possible to set a record myself. After I found the perfect record for me, I felt confident I could become a record holder.”
According to him, the most memorable moment of his birthday trip was his wife waiting to meet him at midnight when he landed in Hawaii.
Hagemeier’s peregrination took place last year August and required him providing evidence of the journey, including flight ticket, to Guinness World Records, which verified the claim. While still basking in the fame, Hagemeier, however opted for a low-key 27th birthday celebration which involved spending time at home with family and friends…
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