The Upshot

Around the world in 6,237 pictures

After quitting his job, photographer and artist Kien Lam took a trip around the world. Over the course of a year, he visited 17 countries and took 6,237 photographs. Wanting to share his epic journey with others, Lam put his photos together to create a kind of time-lapse video that has enthralled the Web.

In a little less than five minutes, viewers are treated to beautiful shots of the U.S., England, France, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru.

On Lam's official site, he explains that he didn't really have an itinerary in mind when he set out.

I had a direction I wanted to head and a goal of following the sun to get as many warm days as possible. 2010 was a particularly cold year in San Francisco and I just wanted to wear shorts and flip-flops as many days as possible to make up for that. I would usually figure out my next destination when I was ready to leave my current one. Sometimes it was a particular dish, sight or story that brought to the next city and sometimes it was the company I kept and our desire to travel together for just a bit longer.

It may have been one man's off-the-cuff trip, but viewers would be excused if they thought this was something produced by National Geographic. All told, Lam took 19 planes, 58 buses, and 18 boats to see what he wanted to see. And, according to his site, he did it on the cheap, staying in hostels for about $3 to $15 per night.

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Sure, the flights weren't cheap, but when it was all said and done, the San Francisco native claims that it cost him a "little less to travel around the world than to just stay put in SF."

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