98 episodes

With a membership of only around 100, it’s one of the most exclusive clubs on Earth. In fact, more people have been to outer space than have earned their way into this, the ultimate travel club. According to the United Nations there are 193 sovereign nations in the world. Welcome to the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to them all. Welcome, to Counting Countries. With your host, Ric Gazarian.

Counting Countries Ric Gazarian

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 37 Ratings

With a membership of only around 100, it’s one of the most exclusive clubs on Earth. In fact, more people have been to outer space than have earned their way into this, the ultimate travel club. According to the United Nations there are 193 sovereign nations in the world. Welcome to the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to them all. Welcome, to Counting Countries. With your host, Ric Gazarian.

    Tommy Shuai Shao … Chasing 244

    Tommy Shuai Shao … Chasing 244

    Key Links How Many Countries Are There In The World video Support Counting Countries at Patreon The new Counting Countries Merch Store

    Thank you to my Patrons…Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Thor Pedersen, Steph Rowe, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles & Ted Nims.
    Be the first on your block to sport official Counting Countries apparel!  You can purchase them today on Amazon.
    And now, you can listen to Counting Countries on Spotify! And Alexa!
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today! And write a review!
    Check out our friend: Large Minority.  They organize international rallies around the world, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines, and the Amazon.  And watch my full-length documentary in Cambodia when I traveled with Large Minority.  


    I am friends with Tommy on Facebook and also met him on the somewhat famous Adam Hickman Covid Zoom travel trivia game, but he was many of my social media friends who I really did not know.  On Tommy’s FB page I noted some interesting posts with a lot of flight maps.  It definitely caught my attention and thought I would love to learn more about Chasing 244.   
    After my conversation with Tommy, I will be checking in with Thor Pedersen again of Once Upon A Saga.  I have been documenting Thor’s journey to every country in the world and all of the challenges he has been facing with this pandemic.  You will hear a snippet of this conversation but my patrons will hear the entire conversation. 
    Thanks to Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Steph Rowe, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Thor Pedersen, and Adam Hickman for supporting Counting Countries. They help pay for the production of this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to Patreon.com/CountingCountries. 
    I endeavor to interview a diverse set of voices within our community.  I want to hear different perspectives and experiences and I believe you appreciate that as well.  It has been my shortcoming that I have not had a guest from China, the world’s most populous country.  Well, that has been rectified with this conversation with Tommy as we learn about his journey to every country in the world and his recent project of Chasing 244.
    I was in Yerevan, Armenia for this recording while Tommy was in Shanghai.   Please listen in and enjoy.  
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today!!
    About Counting Countries Counting Countries is the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to every country in the world. Fewer people have traveled to every country in the world than have been to outer space.
    Theme music for this podcast is Demeter’s Dance, written, performed, and provided by Mundi.
    About GlobalGaz Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: Hit The Road: India, 7000 KM To Go, and Photos From Chernobyl.  He is the producer of two travel documentaries: Hit The Road: India and Hit The Road: Cambodia. 
    Ric is also on his own quest to visit every country in the world. You can see where he has traveled so far and keep up with his journey at GlobalGaz.com.
    Well…that depends on who you ask!
    The United Nations states that there are193 member states. The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are226 countries and territories. The Traveler’s Century Club states that there are329 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands. The Most Traveled Person states that there are949 unique parts of the world. The Nomad Maniadivides the world into 1301 regions. SISO says there are3,978 places in the world. Me? My goal is the 193 countries that are recognized by the UN, but I am sure I will visit some other places along the way. An analysis of these lists and who is the best traveled by Kolja Spori. 
    Disclaimer: I will earn a fee if you order from Amazon/Agoda. Or book a trip through G Adventures.  PS  Thanks!
    -----
    Produced by Sonorous Lab Studio
     

    • 2 hr 20 min
    Counting Countries - Special Announcement

    Counting Countries - Special Announcement

    Join us in Yerevan, Armenia from October 14 -16, 2022 at the Armenia Hotel Yerevan for the Extraordinary Travel Festival
    This will be a multi-day event with great and inspiring speakers
    And at night we will be hosting parties and dinners to have fun and unwind
    This is a great opportunity to meet travelers from all over the world
     
    Our goal is to bring people together from around the world, who are:
    Traveling to every country in the world
    Passionate to explore extreme and challenging destinations
    And love to have fun and network with likeminded people
     
    Learn more and buy your ticket at www.extraordinarytravelfestival.com
    Do you want to save $50 off your ticket?  Use code - eps.  
     

    • 30 min
    Ted Nims … Hanging With Alferd Packer

    Ted Nims … Hanging With Alferd Packer

    Key Links How Many Countries Are There In The World video Support Counting Countries at Patreon The new Counting Countries Merch Store

    Thank you to my Patrons…Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Thor Pedersen, Steph Rowe, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles & Ted Nims.
    Be the first on your block to sport official Counting Countries apparel!  You can purchase them today on Amazon.
    And now, you can listen to Counting Countries on Spotify! And Alexa!
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today! And write a review!
    Check out our friend: Large Minority.  They organize international rallies around the world, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines, and the Amazon.  And watch my full-length documentary in Cambodia when I traveled with Large Minority.  


    I met Ted at a small travel meetup in Boston a couple of years ago, but knew him prior to that as one of my patrons for Counting Countries.  We both have homes in Chicago and we also connected a couple times in the Windy City.  We met up in late June for lunch and then retired to the Counting Countries Studio to record this podcast. 
    After I speak with Ted we will hear from Nick Butter once again at the end of the podcast, a guest from earlier this year.  Nick founded the 196 Foundation.  This is a charity inspired by his trip around the world.  I will let Nick explain how this all works during our conversation.  But I will add that I have become a supporter of the foundation.  And I am now one of 500 plus people who have joined together in this project.  I imagine everyone of us is inundated with multiple offers to donate or support one cause or another.  It can become overwhelming but nonetheless I would suggest to take a moment and to check out his website to learn more. 
    My patrons will hear more of the interview with both Ted and Nick than you will.  AKA as exclusive content.  Thanks to Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Steph Rowe, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Thor Pedersen, and Adam Hickman for supporting Counting Countries. They help pay for the production of this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to Patreon.com/CountingCountries. 
     
    Ted shares how his collection of stamps propelled him around the globe.  Like many other 193ers, he likes to collect and create lists.  Country Counting can be another outlet for this passion.  Ted shares many of his experiences including cutting his trip short in Socotra during the beginnings of Covid.  And also a big thanks to Tony Wheeler for doing the guest introduction.
    Ted and I met up for incredible hamburgers at Lux Bar and then recorded this episode in the City of Big Shoulders.  Please listen in and enjoy.
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today!!
    About Counting Countries Counting Countries is the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to every country in the world. Fewer people have traveled to every country in the world than have been to outer space.
    Theme music for this podcast is Demeter’s Dance, written, performed, and provided by Mundi.
    About GlobalGaz Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: Hit The Road: India, 7000 KM To Go, and Photos From Chernobyl.  He is the producer of two travel documentaries: Hit The Road: India and Hit The Road: Cambodia. 
    Ric is also on his own quest to visit every country in the world. You can see where he has traveled so far and keep up with his journey at GlobalGaz.com.
    Well…that depends on who you ask!
    The United Nations states that there are193 member states. The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are226 countries and territories. The Traveler’s Century Club states that there are329 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands. The Most Traveled Person states that there are949 unique parts of the world. The Nomad Maniadivides the world into 1301 regions. SISO says there are3,978 places

    • 1 hr 58 min
    Ben Dowson … Nicking Sheeps

    Ben Dowson … Nicking Sheeps

    Key Links How Many Countries Are There In The World video Support Counting Countries at Patreon The new Counting Countries Merch Store

    Thank you to my Patrons…Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Thor Pedersen, Steph Rowe, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles & Ted Nims.
    Be the first on your block to sport official Counting Countries apparel!  You can purchase them today on Amazon.
    And now, you can listen to Counting Countries on Spotify! And Alexa!
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today! And write a review!
    Check out our friend: Large Minority.  They organize international rallies around the world, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines, and the Amazon.  And watch my full-length documentary in Cambodia when I traveled with Large Minority.  


    Ben made a brief appearance as the guest announcer for the January episode of Gina Morello. 
    After a bit of research, I pieced together who Ben was, pulling on a long thread and realizing that he was connected to many previous guests on this podcast.  Ben has a very, very deep travel resume.      
     
    Do not be thrown off by the length of this podcast, it is really a twofer.  You will hear from Ben first and you will hear from Dave Seminara during the second half of the podcast.  Dave is an avid traveler himself and also the author of Mad Travelers: A Tale Of Wanderlust, Greed, And The Quest To Reach The Ends Of The Earth.  You can buy this on Amazon and wherever else you buy books these days.  I read the book and do recommend it. The main focal point of this book is William Baekeland, a former guest of the podcast, who is alleged to have conned fellow extreme travelers of nearly a million dollars.  If you don’t know the back story listen to William’s podcast as well as the William Baekeland Controversy episode.   
     
    My patrons who support the show, will hear more content from Ben, over 33 minutes, which only they will hear. Thanks to Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Steph Rowe, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, and Adam Hickman for supporting Counting Countries. They help pay for the production of this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to Patreon.com/CountingCountries. 
     
    Ben is an “old school” traveler.  Ben forges his own path, and constantly bears left when all of his friends turn right.  This is a very candid conversation sharing the magic of travel and also some of the challenges that those of us who are obsessed with extreme travel confront.  I feel like I only scratched the surface of Ben’s 30 year plus travel career as he chased 193 and so much more. 
    Ben was in Jakarta while I was recording in the home of the New England Patriots.  Please listen in and enjoy.  
    More About Ben: Where were you born: Born in Newark, UK. Grew up in a small village south of Nottingham What passport do you hold: British Favorite Travel Book: No idea. Maybe Michael Runkel's "Meine Reisen an der Enden der Welt" as he is mate of mine! I remember enjoying Heinrich Harrer's "Seven Years in Tibet". Bill Bryson can be quite funny. My folks want me to write a book. If I do, I'm sure it will be my favourite. Favorite travel app or website: Kayak and NomadMania Must carry item when traveling (like flashlight, Kindle, deck of cards etc.): Olight flashlight. Bivvy bag. Hydrapak collapsible water bottle. Used to carry mini ipad, but no need now, as iphone pretty much does everything. Same goes for camera. Favorite drink: Ice-cold beer. Pocari Sweat. Red Bull. Fresh mango juice. Banana milk shake. Water. Coffee. Each has its specific time and place. Favorite airline: Emirates for comfort, SQ, for style, Turkish or Ethiopian for network Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today!!
    About Counting Countries Counting Countries is the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to every country in the world. Fewer people have traveled to every country in the world than have been

    • 3 hr 48 min
    Nick Butter … Don’t Wait For A Diagnosis

    Nick Butter … Don’t Wait For A Diagnosis

    Key Links How Many Countries Are There In The World video Support Counting Countries at Patreon The new Counting Countries Merch Store

    IG: Nick Butter Donate!: Running The World Website: Nick Butter  
    Thank you to my Patrons…Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Thor Pedersen, Steph Rowe, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles & Ted Nims.
    Be the first on your block to sport official Counting Countries apparel!  You can purchase them today on Amazon.
    And now, you can listen to Counting Countries on Spotify! And Alexa!
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today! And write a review!
    Check out our friend: Large Minority.  They organize international rallies around the world, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines, and the Amazon.  And watch my full-length documentary in Cambodia when I traveled with Large Minority.  


    Nick appeared on my radar screen when I read a post on FB about his quest to run a marathon in every country in the world.  My first thoughts were a mixture of disbelief and skepticism.  I started communicating with Nick at the end of 2019, yet it took to March of 2021 to sync our calendars. Patience is a virtue.   A special thank you to Twitter and Nabil Kazi, a traveler and athlete in his own right, who was a catalyst in setting up the interview.   
    After I speak with Nick, you will hear a snippet with Thor Pedersen.  You remember Thor, he has been on Counting Countries twice before.  Thor is on a quest to travel to every country in the world without flying.  Thor has made a lot of sacrifices, including not seeing his fiancee for over a year and a half.  After my conversation with Nick Butter, I will share with you part of my conversation on how Thor hacked his way to reunite with his fiancee, whom had had not seen in a year and a half.
    My patrons who support the show, will hear the entire hour conversation with Thor. Thanks to Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Steph Rowe, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, and Adam Hickman for supporting Counting Countries. They help pay for the production of this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to Patreon.com/CountingCountries.  And remember to follow Thor across social media at Once Upon A Saga.

    Stating the obvious, Counting Countries loves the long format interview.  This interview neared two hours yet I had an arsenal of unasked questions.  Nick’s career of travel and athletic feats could not be unpacked in two hours.  We overview his journey which was an incredible balance of logistics and physical sacrifice all while promoting awareness of prostate cancer.  You can donate here.  
    A quick notes from our friends at Untamed Borders … This year, with travel back on the horizon, Untamed Borders have some seriously off the beaten track trips planned.
    Join them in Afghanistan for one of the world’s most remote treks to the Wakhan Corridor, or a cultural tour visiting the country's highlights, led by Afghanistan's only female tour guide - she was recently featured in CNN.
    Other upcoming Untamed Borders trips include Pakistan and Iraq, where it is now possible to obtain visas on arrival in Baghdad for many nationalities.  I've been to Kurdistan, but am really excited to visit Baghdad while jumping through less hoops. 
    Nick was in England while I was recording in Beantown.  Please listen in and enjoy.  
    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today!!
    About Counting Countries Counting Countries is the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to every country in the world. Fewer people have traveled to every country in the world than have been to outer space.
    Theme music for this podcast is Demeter’s Dance, written, performed, and provided by Mundi.
    About GlobalGaz Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: Hit The Road: India, 7000 KM To Go, and Photos From Chernobyl.  He is the producer of two travel documentari

    • 2 hr 8 min
    Gina Morello … No Roof On Your Dreams

    Gina Morello … No Roof On Your Dreams

    Gina Morello has traveled to every country in the world

    • 1 hr 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

Dr Double E ,

Great podcast

Very inspiring to hear the stories of different travels from all walks of life. Glad I found this podcast. Keep up the great interviews!

mfallik ,

I don’t understand

I listen to a LOT of podcasts, many of them travel-related. My problem with this podcast is reflected by the episode descriptions which, in other podcasts, describe the content of the episode. This podcast's descriptions are literally, "Johnny Smith has traveled to 135 countries."

As much as I love to travel, I've never understood counting stamps on a passport. I've listened to several of these episodes, and it's shocking how many people tell stories like, "I landed in Central African Republic at 5:00pm, checked into my hotel, and had to get to the airport the next day at noon for my flight to Cameroon."

I wish someone could explain to me the point. Having listened to several episodes now, I still am not understanding. When I get a stamp in my passport, that stamp represents experiences, memories, people I've met, food I've eaten, music I've heard, festivals I've attended, hikes I've taken. It's not just ink on a page representing country #43.

In addition, this podcast might as well be renamed "Privileged white people bored with their jobs." I don't guilt them for their privilege (I am privileged, myself.) But the superficiality with which they travel seems to take that privilege for granted, and that bothers me.

sportsnathan ,

Motivational, Fun to Listen and Inspiring

Ric is a fantastic host and all of his episodes are very inspiring and motivational. Every day listening to this makes me want to travel around the world! Ric is very passionate on his show and brings fantastic guests!! I always get excited to listen to episode while working on the job, commuting and working out. If you people are motivated to listen about travel I would send people to Counting Countries and I already have referred this podcast to others!

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