Ildikó Szabó has traveled to every country in the world.  Ildiko Szabo Counting Countries

I knew of Ildy for several years and had noted her social media presence, but it wasn’t until October of this year when I met her in person at the Extraordinary Travel Festival in Yerevan.  I shared several conversations with her and recognized she would be a great guest for the podcast.  And, voila, a month after the festival we were recording this podcast.

I would like to thank Ildy, since this podcast was a challenging endeavor.  To create 2 hours of recordings took us nearly 6 hours.  And then in post-production another 6 hours.  To say we had some technical difficulties would be an understatement.  Ildy was very, very gracious with her time.  And that is how the cookie crumbles, some episodes are straight forward and easy to publish, and well others suck up a ton of time.  And just a warning, at times it might seem like the podcast is missing audio from our conversation since at times it appears we are skipping around.  And it is true, we lost a fair amount of audio recordings, besides re-recording and my best attempts of editing, the podcast might be wanting for a better flow.  Nonetheless, Ildy provides a ton of great stories from her travels.      

I found Ildy to be an accomplished traveler as well as very adventurous.  One thing I personally enjoy about interviewing all of these great travelers is how so many of them are interconnected.  I learned of a connection between Ildy and Johnny Ward.  I was impressed years ago to hear of Johnny’s adventure on a cement ship from Oman to Socotra.  Well, in this conversation I was to learn Ildy took the same trip on her own to Socotra.  Really impressive.  

I have a new partnership to announce.  I am promoting SafetyWing, a travel insurance company, and yes, I am an affiliate.  I have been using them personally for over 2 years.  And yes, there are a couple of reasons why … let me highlight a couple of the features.  First, you can purchase insurance while you are already on the go.  Some insurance products force you to sign up only when you are in your home country.  Second, you only have to share your initial country on your trip.  Many times, on my open-ended trips, I end up adding in additional countries.  I don’t have to worry about forgetting to update SafetyWing.  They have me covered.  Third, most countries are covered.  Exceptions are Cuba, Iran, DPRK, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.  Everywhere else is covered from Mogadishu to Tripoli.  To me, this insurance is fire and forgot.  It will renew every month, or you can set an end date.  But compared to many of the other products out there, this one to me is the most flexible.  So, take a moment, check out SafetyWing, and click on the link to sign up for your next trip.  


I would like to thank everyone for their support of Counting Countries, especially my Patrons:  Lucy Shoe, Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Thor Pedersen, and Adam Hickman for supporting this podcast. They help pay for the production of this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to  I would also like to thank and highlight two new patrons of the podcast, Ed Hotchkiss and Barry Hoffner.  I also met Ed in Yerevan for the festival as well.  Ed is Chasing 193 and is also an accomplished photographer.  I just purchased his book, Station To Station, a labor of love with black and white photos highlighting the people of the NYC subway.  Please take a moment to check out his book.  Barry is also Chasing 193 and has been to over 150 countries.  Say hi to him on his IG account, barryh99.  You can also support Counting Countries be writing a review or sharing this podcast with a travel lover.  My patrons hear extra content, like an additional hour of my conversation with Ildy.    

And at the end of Ildy’s conversation, you will hear a ten-minute conversation with Thor Pedersen of Once Upon A Saga.  As you might know, I have been documenting his journey every 6 months for the last 3 years.  My patrons will hear nearly 90 minutes of Thor recounting his last 6 months and his predictions for the end of the saga.    

I was in Bangkok for this recording while Ildy was in Budapest.  Please listen in and enjoy.   

Thank you to my Patrons …. Barry Hoffner, Edward Hotchkiss, Lucy Shoe, Phillip Jones, Thor Pedersen, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles & Ted Nims.  

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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.

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: India7000 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

How Many Countries Are There?

Well… that depends on who you ask!

An analysis of these lists and who is the best traveled by Kolja Spori.  

Disclaimer: There are affiliates in this post. 

Ildiko Szabo Counting Countries

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