There are tourists, travelers and then there are explorers.
Jeff has an incredible travel resume, and at times when speaking with him I recalled explorers like Lewis and Clark or Shackleton during our conversation.
After sailing across the Pacific in a small sailboat, he spent time in Papua New Guinea. He then began a 40 day adventure of walking and rafting across PNG. He spent months walking and exploring in South America. And Jeff shared his stories of exploration of untouched wilderness in Venezuela. These lands have been unexplored by man. Jeff hired an expedition crew of indigenous people, satellite phones, and collapsible canoes to explore this virgin land.
Jeff is passionate about preserving the environment. Jeff has created World Parks Inc. whose purpose is to promote, support, facilitate the establishment of, and establish world parks, which will consist of large tracts of land on each of the continents, set aside and maintained by the international community, in the parks’ natural state, unencumbered by the inventions of modern man.
We are all familiar with TCC, MTP, and Nomad Mania, but Jeff found these groups to be insufficient in measuring his travels. He has created SISO which is comprised of 3,978 places. One of his many goals is to visit every place on that list. He practices the “contamination theory” to evaluate his visits.
In addition to speaking with Jeff, I also incorporated both his wife and daughter into our conversation. His wife who he met during his travels has been to over 100 countries. His daughter is a former Guinness World Record holder for travel.
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And for some trivia, Counting Countries has fans in 114 different countries, including Somalia, Togo, and Paraguay.
Jeff joined me from California while I was in Bangkok, please join in and listen to today’s episode.
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Check out our friends: Chasing 193, Volume II: The Quest To Visit Every Country In The World and Large Minority. They organize international rallies around the world including: Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines and the Amazon.
More about Jeff Shea:
- Born in: San Francisco
- Passports from: USA
- Favorite travel book: Bill Dalton’s Indonesia Handbook 1983
- Must carry: Headlamps, Neosporin, satellite phone if on an expedition
- Favorite food: My wife’s cooking
- Favorite drink: Soursop juice
- Favorite airline: Garuda and Turkish Airlines
- Website: Jeff Shea
- Map: Nomad Mania
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.
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.
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 Century Club states that there are 325 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands.
- The Most Traveled Person states that there are 875 unique parts of the world.
- The Nomad Mania states that there are 1281 unique 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.
Check out our partner and sponsor: Chasing 193, Volume II: The Quest To Visit Every Country In The World.
Explore the unique stories from 20 more world-class travelers from various backgrounds and nations and from all walks of life who have tirelessly pursued visiting every country in the world and have filled their lives with a virtually endless amount of adventure.
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