Francis Tapon Counting Countries has traveled to 120 countries
Francis popped up on my radar about a year ago, when former guest Fabio Cao brought him to my attention. I hit google up and quickly realized Francis was an accomplished traveler, including a five year continuous journey across every country in Africa. He seemed like a great fit for Counting Countries, but I neglected to reach out. Then a recent email from listener, Francois Xavier, suggested that I have Francis on the podcast. This email served as a catalyst for me to finally reach out to Francis and we promptly agreed upon a time to speak. And I was really happy I did.
We recorded this episode back in February and obviously so much has changed since then. I have been self-sheltering in Bangkok since my trip to West Africa was prematurely canceled on March 17. This opening bumper was re-recorded on May 5 and things in Bangkok will be slowly opening up this week. I hope everyone who is listening is safe and sound.
Also, I would like to introduce Counting Countries Mini. I am hosting live interviews with Country Counters on my Instagram account, GlobalGaz.
Support your content creators during this time of self-sheltering. Support Counting Countries on patreon.com. And thanks to my other patrons, Steph Rowe, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Ryan Gazder, Stephen Rothwell, and Adam Hickman. My conversation with Francis is a long and rich one, but you will not be able to listen to the entire talk. My patrons will hear 20 more additional minutes of our conversation.
Untamed Borders regularly guide systematic travelers who are completing lists whether it is chasing 193, TCC, MTP or Nomad Mania..
The TCC has recently expanded their list to include South Ossetia where Untamed Borders has been guiding fans of unrecognized countries since 2014.
Nomad Mania recently added the state of Jubbaland, an autonomous region in Somalia as a new region. Untamed Borders can take you to Kismayo, the capital of Jubbaland. This is in addition to their trips to Somaliland, Puntland and Mogadishu. And runners, Untamed Borders is partners with the Mogadishu and Somaliland Marathons.
Finally, recent security improvements mean Untamed Borders can now guide you to Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in Pakistan, Kandahar in Afghanistan and the Hadramout region of Yemen. These are all regions on the Nomad Mania and MTP lists that have been tricky for travellers to reach in the past.
For more information visit their website at www.untamedborders.com or drop them a message at email@example.com.
Francis veered left at the fork on the road. Going left was a life of freedom, independence, and passion. Going right, meant continuing down the path of the startup Silicon Valley rat race with his Harvard MBA. Francis has trekked the Appalachian trail, the Continental Divide, and the El Camino. He spent months exploring Eastern Europe. And really spread his wings as he drove overland in Africa for five years. Besides chasing 193, he is even chasing a more exclusive list, which you will hear about.
I encourage you to subscribe wherever you listen, Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify and write a review, even better when it is 5 stars.
Francis and I met up online, with Francis in San Francisco while I was in the Bangkok studio of Counting Countries. Please listen in and enjoy.
Thank you to my Patrons … Stephen Rothwell, Steph Rowe, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles, Ted Nims & Ryan Gazder.
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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.
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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. Francis Tapon Counting Countries.
Theme music for this podcast is Demeter’s Dance, written, performed, and provided by Mundi.
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. Francis Tapon Counting Countries.
More About Francis Tapon Counting Countries:
- Born in: USA
- Passports: Chile, France, and USA
- Instagram: FTapon
- Podcast: Wander Learn Podcast
- Website: Francis Tapon
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 Most Traveled Person states that there are 949 unique parts of the world.
- The Nomad Mania divides the world into 1281 regions.
- SISO says there are 3,978 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!
Francis Tapon Counting Countries.
Photos From Chernobyl
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Have been following Francis via his occasional postings with great interest and will continue to do so. I will admit to a bit of negativity to the notion of “counting countries”. Having lived in eight countries an average of two years each, I find the notion of “counting countries” a bit, I don’t know, shallow. I used to see how many stamps I could get in my passport. And i decided that was a bit shallow on my part and stopped. (Not as many countries were stamping passports as well. You actually had to chase somebody to get your passport stamped in some places.) Knowing Francis a slight bit, I know that shallowness is not a trait I would attribute to him. Maybe it is just the name – Counting Countries, that is a bit offensive. I will check further beneath the somewhat unhappy title of this enterprise and hope to be further enlightened.
Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback and insights. But where did you get your definition of “counting countries”? You are implying that someone who is counting countries is simply checking boxes. My understanding is that counting countries is in the eye of the beholder, ie., someone could decide to spend the day in a country or a month, and regardless of their duration still could be counting countries.
I sort of found Francis interesting in a way at first. Until I looked around a bit on his website. Sure, he has some nice thoughts, even deeper understanding compared to most travellers. However, there is one thing that made me lose all respect.
In his https://francistapon.com/About/Future-Plans page he writes:
“What will I do after visiting all the countries in the world? Pray for World War III, so that afterward there will be new countries to visit!”
Woooow! I cannot imagine how, it’s not even shallow, it is the epitome of shallowness, so self-centered and egoistic that it is actually hard to find such an extreme even in this conceited bunch of vanity project country counters. You cannot get any worse than that I suppose.
I’m sorry, even if it is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, he should have said right afterwards “I’m joking of course.” It definitely is very tasteless and very pointless coming from someone who is travelling the world with the claim that he is interested in getting to see it!
Another point I found strange was not with Francis but Ric being surprised with Francis’s take on being swindled or robbed in poorer countries. I, too, see it as Francis does, and I would have thought all world travellers would see it that way too.
I feel whatever we spend or leave in a country without our volition contributes to the local economy and they certainly need it more than we need the money. Of course it hurts sometimes, especially when it is taking advantage of your good-intentions. http://www.gulin.world/blog-eng/airport-scam-in-madagascar