Jorge Sanchez … ranked first on Nomad Mania

Jorge has traveled to all 193 and so much more

Jorge, a Spaniard, had an aborted trip to Africa as a 13 year old, as he traveled solo to the continent without a passport.  He travels were delayed until he was 18, when he then left home for two years as he traveled Europe. The journeys continued for decades.    

Jorge viewed the world as a classroom.  He took to the road to learn about languages, religions and philosophies.  Jorge lived in a cave in India with Sadhus, in a monastery in Japan with monks, and even in a prison in Afghanistan.     

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Jorge shares with us his passion for Russia and India.  He traveled slowly on the road. Jorge often took on odd jobs while he was traveling, including a job which required a pistol in a house of ill repute.  I had not heard that one before on the podcast.

Jorge believes the world as an expansive library with 193 volumes.  He feels that he has read and studied this library extensively and now is “retired” from traveling and is living with his family in the Far East of Russia.  

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Jorge joined me from Italy 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 Jorge Sanchez:

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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: 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

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.  

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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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(57 Posts)

6 thoughts on “Jorge Sanchez … ranked first on Nomad Mania

  1. Zeynep Gülin De Vincentiis

    Jorge Sanchez is one of the people I respect most, his way of travel and thinking resonate with me. His likening countries to books and saying “You have to read the books, it’s not enough to have them in your library,” is a very good point.
    However, I’d say he is missing a big point. I’ll be writing this in capital letters to emphasize:


    So we have 7 billion books to read now. Ok, let’s cut out the children, but perhaps not even them. They may have had short lives, therefore short stories but their stories might be amazing. Some books are long but boring. Yet even those ones have something interesting in them. Maybe just a line. A line worth reading. Some books invite you in and you may enter with caution, others grab you by the hand and drag you in, yet others take time to get into but once you do, you lose yourself in them. Or you just get to see a reflection of yourself in them.

    As we cannot read all the books, books in the literal sense, i.e. published books, or all the people in the world, we have to choose. Travel exposes us to books which we won’t be able to find at home or books that we may not pick out of the shelf ourselves but may find interesting and worth reading if we find it in our hands. Or we at least get to read a chapter of those books.

    By passing through the lives of people in unknown far-away places you get to get a glimpse of a cross-section of their lives.
    Nowadays you get to read about many books online as we have the chance to learn about so many people through their blogs. The downside of the internet is that it is mostly dominated by the “Western” world and mainly to the “haves” who get to tell their stories and put out their opinions. The “have-nots” do not have much of a say in this world. They are too busy trying to survive. They don’t get their voices heard. Their voices are so weak. If ever, it’s the foreign agencies who speak on their behalf. Or rarely, a few remaining real journalists out there give a voice to them.

    So to me, travel is perhaps getting to find the real stories. But travel is not an imperative. There are wonderful books that can introduce you to the “culture” of a place. I’m not saying reading a book replaces seeing and experiencing things for yourself. However, it is important to keep this point in mind: Someone having travelled to a country, even be it for a long time, DOES NOT necessarily mean he knows the “culture” of a place or has gained a lot of insight. Travel is an important part because of first-hand knowledge, however it’s not of the greatest import as some people try to make it be.

    Travel is creating your adventure, travel is making yourself open to serendipity to whatever may come your way, travel is learning and growing through interactions that you would not get at home living your routine life. Travel is “on the road” education. But it’s not the ONLY way nor the foremost to be revered. There are many ways of experiencing and acquiring knowledge. Even knowledge is not enough, wisdom is what we should aspire to acquire.

    There are other essential traits of paramount significance that should accompany travel: like the capacity of logic and reasoning, like a good-heart, like a deep and intense care for the world, for people.

    There are, -I might say many- petty people who are only obsessed with themselves and their exploits, not caring about the world they claim to have seen extensively. So reading the 193 books, or even the 7 billion ones is not enough. The important thing is if we can live in harmony, or at least without hurting others, and add some value to the world we all live in as we pass by.

    Hear it from a social outcast 😉

  2. Zeynep Gülin De Vincentiis

    Or to look at it from another point of view:
    As in the dictum of the Baha’i faith, THE EARTH IS BUT ONE COUNTRY.

    Then, of course, that would leave people without any competition at all as everybody on earth has been to that one country ;)))

    As for the fastest to having been to that one country… Well, we’ll need to decide if it is the shortest birth counting from the start of the contractions to getting out of the mother’s womb -sorry, this any Cesarean sections are disqualified for this category- or the shortest gestation period. The poll is out on that ;))

  3. Zeynep Gülin De Vincentiis

    Counting to 193 is the worst definition of a country. Think of it. How are borders defined? Either by bloody wars or by bloody politics. As Manny Neira puts it:
    “To be recognised by the United Nations, all that matters is that a government hold power: it doesn’t matter how it is held. Indeed, so non-judgemental is the UN that should a coup d’etat replace one dictator with another, after a reasonable delay to ensure that the new thugs are securely in office, they too can join the club. The UN doesn’t ask embarrassing questions about how you came to govern. The currency is pure realpolitik: if you rule, you’re in.
    In fact, United Nations is a cartel for the world’s ruling classes…”

    It’s all about power, not upsetting the big thugs. What’s the fault of poor Somaliland that not a single country recognizes it even though it’s been running a rather peaceful place for about what, 27-28 years now? UN is a club of thugs.

    Yeah, I’m using these thugs’ definition as a guideline too, but it is only to spotlight the idiocy of this antiquated and anachronistic belief or faith in borders. It is to ask for the abolition of statehood/citizenship as we know it.
    We need a new political organization.
    Oh well… Until then, we enjoy this game we are playing. I wonder what future generations will think when they look back at us.


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