Over 49 years, Rufus has travelled to all 252 countries in the world.
When he retired early from teaching in 2012, he discovered he was only 42 countries short of reaching this mark, so he set out to complete his list. The final country was Libya, which he was able to visit in 2017. In planning for his trips, Rufus divided the countries into three groups: physically challenging, like climbing the base of Mt. Everest in Nepal; politically difficult (dangerous); and expensive, which included south Pacific locations. Three of the most dangerous were Burundi, which is very repressed; Iraq, which he visited during the war; and Chad, which allowed very few Americans into the country.
Rufus is the author of three books that describe his travels with humor: Longitude and Latitude, with Attitude: One Man’s Quest to See the Entire World; Joyriding with a Terrorist in Yemen: and other Travel Tales; and Drowning in all Seven Continents. He also continues to give presentations, with pictures, at all three middle schools.