135 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 Counting Countries Extra

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 46 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Elena Chechina … A Lost Day Of Your Life

    Elena Chechina … A Lost Day Of Your Life

    Elena Chechina has traveled to 158 countries   Hey now, I am your host, Ric Gazarian.  I met Elena back at the ETF in Yerevan and started to realize what a unique life she was leading.  She is a true global citizen with true family connections to Europe, Asia, and Africa.  Elena has somehow managed to balance the multiple moving parts of her life … 3 children, a spouse who lives and works in Northern Africa, a full time job, and of course Chasing 193.  In this conversation, we learn how she manages the complexity of her life.      The next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be held on November 15, 2024 in Bangkok.  At the festival, we will have over 20 amazing speakers.  I am excited to announce new speaker Joe Cummings.  Joe has has spent time over six different decades in Thailand.  He wrote the first Lonely Planet Thailand Guide back in 1981. He offers an unique perspective on Thailand and travel that few have.  He is also a renaissance man, he is a linguist, an actor, and a musician.  You can buy your ticket now and use the code BANGKOK to save big at the .  If you have questions, just let me know.   I would like to thank everyone for their support of Counting Countries, especially my Patrons: Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmerman, Lori Pastorelli, Carole Southam, Sunir Joshi, Philippe Izedian, Gin, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Steph Rowe, Thor Pedersen, Adam Hickman, Katelyn Jarvis, Ed Hotchkiss, and Barry Hoffner for supporting this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to .  My patrons will hear extra content with Elena that you will not hear.   I was in Bangkok for this recording while Elena was in Sweden. Please listen in and enjoy.    Thank you to my …. Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmermann, Lori Pastorelli, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Barry Hoffner, Ed Hotchkiss, Katelyn Jarvis, Carole Southam, Thor Pedersen, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles, Ted Nims, Sunir Joshi, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Philippe Izedian & Dale Wursten.          And now you can listen to ! And Alexa!   And write a review! About Elena Chechina Counting Countries Where are you from & where do you live: I was born in Moscow. I live in Sweden. What passports do you hold: I hold 2 passports: Swedish and Russian. Favourite travel app: Couchsurfing NomadMania Must carry items: Powerbank and headphones if traveling solo Baby carrier & small stroller when I travel with kids Favourite food: Sushi and exotic fruits, pad thai Favorite drink: Traditional Sweet green tea with mint prepared by my husband in Mauritania Sugarcane juice  Favourite airlines: Emirates and AirAsia (for budget travel) Favourite hotel: Traditional yurt in Kyrgyzstan Couchsurfing with families around the world Favourite travel book: Books written by other travellers in our community like "Long Road to Cullaville" by Boris Kester; "Chasing 193: a quest to visit every country in the world". I also love books based on real stories or taking place in countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen e.g. The Kite Runner, Thousand Splendid suns, Desert Flower.. Favourite travel films: I love Bollywood movies and especially these movies about travelling: "Zindagi na milegi dobaara" and "Yeh Jawaani hai Diwaani" 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. Less 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 .  About GlobalGaz Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: , , and .  He is the producer of two travel documentaries: and .   Ric is also on his own quest to visit every country in the world. You

    • 1 hr 50 min
    Hayley Kennedy … Overcoming Obstacles

    Hayley Kennedy … Overcoming Obstacles

    Hayley has traveled to every country in the world   Hey now, I am your host, Ric Gazarian.  I started to follow Hayley in the last year or two on Instagram.  And over the last several months we started sharing some messages.  She has just completed her journey to every country in the world and I wanted to learn about her adventures as well as her two physical disabilities and how she overcame these challenges.     The next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be held on November 15, 2024 in Bangkok.  At the festival, we will have over 20 amazing speakers.  Sort of like the TEDx of travel.  Think Thor Pedersen, Francis Tapon, the Sultan Randy Williams, and so many more.  You can buy your ticket now and use the code BANGKOK to save big at the .  If you have questions, just let me know.   I would like to thank everyone for their support of Counting Countries, especially my Patrons: Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmerman, Lori Pastorelli, Carole Southam, Sunir Joshi, Philippe Izedian, Gin, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Steph Rowe, Thor Pedersen, Adam Hickman, Katelyn Jarvis, Ed Hotchkiss, and Barry Hoffner for supporting this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to .  My patrons will hear extra content with Hayley that you will not hear.  After the main interview with Hayley, I have a new series, called Meet The Patrons.  And I speak with Bisa Myles, my first supporter.  I have known Bisa personally since I get to see her occasionally on my visits to Chicago, but through our conversation, I got to learn a lot more about her and some of the challenges she has overcome.    I was in Bangkok for this recording while Hayley was in England. Please listen in and enjoy.    Thank you to my …. Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmermann, Lori Pastorelli, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Barry Hoffner, Ed Hotchkiss, Katelyn Jarvis, Carole Southam, Thor Pedersen, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles, Ted Nims, Sunir Joshi, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Philippe Izedian & Dale Wursten.          And now you can listen to ! And Alexa!   And write a review! 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. Less 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 .  About GlobalGaz Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: , , and .  He is the producer of two travel documentaries: and .   Ric is also on his own quest to visit every country in the world. You can see where he has and keep up with his journey at How Many Countries Are There? Well… that depends on who you ask!  The United Nations states that there are . The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are . The Traveler’s Century Club states that there are . The Nomad Mania The Most Traveled Person states that there are 1500 . SISO says there are .     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. Disclaimer: There are affiliates in this post. Hayley Kennedy Counting Countries 

    • 2 hr 13 min
    Extraordinary Travel Festival II Update #4

    Extraordinary Travel Festival II Update #4

    To hear the entire podcast join us on patreon.com or Apple Podcast subscription.   Join us in Bangkok for the Extraordinary Travel Festival in November of 2024.  Please use code – BANGKOK – to save $120.  . Want to go to Bhutan?    Or you can join us on a tour to. For those in the know when it comes to Thailand, you must know the name Joe Cummings.  Joe has been living in Thailand since the late 1970s and has a resume that will rival the most interesting person in the room.  He wrote the first Lonely Planet Thailand guide in the early 1980s, plays in a rock band around Bangkok, is a film and TV actor, his written over 30 books, speaks Thai fluently, and is an expert in Sak Yant Tattoos.  His wealth of knowledge and years in Thailand gives him an unique perspective on the country and region.  I am very excited to have him as a speaker at the ETF.  You can follow him on . Also joining us on the podcast after Joe is Jordan Campbell, one of the attendees who you will meet at the ETF.  She is a content creator at and of course an avid traveler. And after Jordan, I speak with Jane Eagleson who is a veteran traveler, whose travel career spans several decades providing a longer perspective on the changes in travel.  These are some of the great people you will meet at the ETF.

    • 2 hr 21 min
    Extraordinary Travel Festival II Update #4 (full)

    Extraordinary Travel Festival II Update #4 (full)

    Join us in Bangkok for the Extraordinary Travel Festival in November of 2024.  Please use code – BANGKOK – to save $120.  Reserve your place today.

    Want to go to Bhutan?  Join us on our side trip to Bhutan.  Or you can join us on a tour to UNESCO Thailand.

    For those in the know when it comes to Thailand, you must know the name Joe Cummings.  Joe has been living in Thailand since the late 1970s and has a resume that will rival the most interesting person in the room.  He wrote the first Lonely Planet Thailand guide in the early 1980s, plays in a rock band around Bangkok, is a film and TV actor, his written over 30 books, speaks Thai fluently, and is an expert in Sak Yant Tattoos.  His wealth of knowledge and years in Thailand gives him an unique perspective on the country and region.  I am very excited to have him as a speaker at the ETF.  You can follow him on Instagram.

    Also joining us on the podcast after Joe is Jordan Campbell, one of the attendees who you will meet at the ETF.  She is a content creator at Global Debauchery, you can check her out on FB, and of course an avid traveler.

    And after Jordan, I speak with Jane Eagleson who is a veteran traveler, whose travel career spans several decades providing a longer perspective on the changes in travel.  These are some of the great people you will meet at the ETF.

    Raiiq Ridwan … The Travel Bug

    Raiiq Ridwan … The Travel Bug

    This is the second publication of this interview.  The first podcast had a corrupted file.  All audio from the first interview had been deleted after 1 hr and 31 minutes.  This publication is the full file.   Raiiq has traveled to 118 countries Hey now and Happy New Year to all!  I am your host, Ric Gazarian. I knew Raiiq from EPS and had the pleasure of meeting him at the ETF in Armenia.  I was spurred to learn more about him after a recent post in EPS detailing his challenges with carrying a Bangladeshi passport.  We all know Chasing 193 is no easy feat, and Raiiq shares with us an additional set of impediments he faces to complete his goal.  The next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be held on November 15, 2024 in Bangkok.  I am also excited to announce optional trips, one for UNESCO Thailand and 3 different agendas to Bhutan before and after the festival.  Check out the website or send me a message.  You can buy your ticket now and use the code BANGKOK to save big at the .  If you have questions, just let me know. I would like to thank everyone for their support of Counting Countries, especially my Patrons: Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmerman, Lori Pastorelli, Carole Southam, Sunir Joshi, Philippe Izedian, Gin, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Steph Rowe, Thor Pedersen, Adam Hickman, Katelyn Jarvis, Ed Hotchkiss, and Barry Hoffner for supporting this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to .  My patrons will hear extra content with Raiiq that you will not hear. After the main interview with Raiiq, there is an additional sidecar interview with Michael Zervos of the .  Michael will be departing from his home in mid-January to attempting to break the GWR record for quickest time to travel to every country in the world. Good luck Michael!     And in 193 news, more congratulations to go around with the following people completing their last country.  (Data from NomadMania.)  * Ryan Smith : Reached his final country in St Vincent and the Grenadines. * Enric Moreno and Mayte Galindo : First Spanish couple to achieve this, ending in Palau. * Ernestine Chan () : completed her global tour in Libya. * Julie Ann Small : The third British woman recently to finish, in the Maldives. I was in Chicago for this recording while Raiiq was in England. Please listen in and enjoy.    Thank you to my  …. Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmermann, Lori Pastorelli, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Barry Hoffner, Ed Hotchkiss, Katelyn Jarvis, Carole Southam, Thor Pedersen, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles, Ted Nims, Sunir Joshi, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Philippe Izedian & Dale Wursten.  Raiiq Ridwan Counting Countries      And now you can listen to ! And Alexa!   And write a review! 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. Less 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 .  About GlobalGaz Ric Gazarian is the host of Counting Countries. He is the author of three books: , , and .  He is the producer of two travel documentaries:  and .   Ric is also on his own quest to visit every country in the world. You can see where he has  and keep up with his journey at  How Many Countries Are There? Well… that depends on who you ask!  The United Nations states that there are . The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are . The Traveler’s Century Club states that there are . The Nomad Mania  The Most Traveled Person states that there are 1500. SISO says there are .     Me? My goal is the 193 countries that are recognized by the UN, but I am sure I

    • 2 hr 43 min
    Raiiq Ridwan … The Travel Bug (full)

    Raiiq Ridwan … The Travel Bug (full)

    Raiiq has traveled to 118 countries

    Hey now and Happy New Year to all! I am your host, Ric Gazarian. I knew Raiiq from EPS and had the pleasure of meeting him at the ETF in Armenia. I was spurred to learn more about him after a recent post in EPS detailing his challenges with carrying a Bangladeshi passport. We all know Chasing 193 is no easy feat, and Raiiq shares with us an additional set of impediments he faces to complete his goal.

    The next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be held on November 15, 2024 in Bangkok. I am also excited to announce optional trips, one for UNESCO Thailand and 3 different agendas to Bhutan before and after the festival. Check out the website or send me a message. You can buy your ticket now and use the code BANGKOK to save big at the Extraordinary Travel Fest. If you have questions, just let me know.


    I would like to thank everyone for their support of Counting Countries, especially my Patrons: Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmerman, Lori Pastorelli, Carole Southam, Sunir Joshi, Philippe Izedian, Gin, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Steph Rowe, Thor Pedersen, Adam Hickman, Katelyn Jarvis, Ed Hotchkiss, and Barry Hoffner for supporting this podcast. You can support this podcast by going to Patreon.com/CountingCountries. My patrons will hear extra content with Raiiq that you will not hear.

    After the main interview with Raiiq, there is an additional sidecar interview with Michael Zervos of the Kosmos Project. Michael will be departing from his home in mid-January to attempting to break the GWR record for quickest time to travel to every country in the world. Good luck Michael!

    And in 193 news, more congratulations to go around with the following people completing their last country. (Data from NomadMania.)

    * Ryan Smith : Reached his final country in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
    * Enric Moreno and Mayte Galindo : First Spanish couple to achieve this, ending in Palau.
    * Ernestine Chan (@ernies.journies) : completed her global tour in Libya.
    * Julie Ann Small : The third British woman recently to finish, in the Maldives.

    I was in Chicago for this recording while Raiiq was in England. Please listen in and enjoy.
    Thank you to my Patrons …. Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmermann, Lori Pastorelli, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Barry Hoffner, Ed Hotchkiss, Katelyn Jarvis, Carole Southam, Thor Pedersen, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles, Ted Nims, Sunir Joshi, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Philippe Izedian & Dale Wursten.
    Be the first on your block to sport official Counting Countries apparel!



    And now you can listen to Counting Countries on Spotify! And Alexa!


    Subscribe on Apple Podcasts today! And write a review!
    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. Less 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
    How Many Countries Are There?
    Well… that depends on who you ask!
    The United Nations states that there are 193 member states.
    The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are 226 countries and territories.
    The Traveler’s Century Club states that there are 329 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands.
    The Nomad Mania di

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

Exploring Ed ,

Great podcast for frequent international travelers

In the last month, I’ve listened to 7 podcasts out of the 100+. I plan to listen to all. In each podcast, I picked up pieces of information which will help my travels and was fascinated by the people interviewed. The podcast is especially helpful for those who want to go to hard-to-get-to places. Ric is a warm interviewer who keeps the conversations going without a hitch by asking relevant questions and sharing his experiences.

Dallastx7 ,

Excellent Podcast

I love your interviews of very interesting travel stories that make me to want to travel more around the world. Thank you

divebookreader ,

Great podcast

Inspiring travel stories. Look forward to each episode.

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