Maurice is planning on completing his quest next year

On today’s episode, I welcome Maurice Brand to Counting Countries.  Maurice of course is a fellow country chaser as well as one of my neighbors in Bangkok.  We met for a Lebanese lunch on Soi Arab in Sukhumvit and then retired to my apartment for our conversation.

Maurice does everything at either 0 or 100.  Maurice began a career in entrepreneurship in his home country of Holland.  So for many years, he was focussed on growing his business and nothing else.  After nearing burn out, he sold his business and moved to Thailand. Why Thailand?  He had a lovely Thai girlfriend.

Maurice also began to dip his toe in the water, with a trip to Bali.  He was disappointed with the number of tourists and motorbikes. This was not his expectation of paradise found.  A triple inspiration led him down the path of travel. As a kid, he grew up with a globe in his room which planted the seeds of travel.  After Bali, he wanted to test the media’s narrative and visit the countries himself to see what they were really like. And, he was a reader of Gunnar Garfor’s blog, which made him also want to chase 193.

During our conversation, Maurice shares why he loves Ethiopia and why spending two days in Nauru was two too many days.  He explains the magic of visiting Afghanistan and the people he met there. We spoke about an upcoming trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that we were both scheduled to attend, but both of us were unable to get visas.  And Maurice, who plans to finish the 193 next year, touches on how he will reinvent himself in the future.

I encourage you to subscribe wherever you listen, Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify and of course if you like the program, feel free write a review.

And in fact, a quick thank you to Daria Clau from Russia for her review on Apple Podcast.  “Great podcast – I like both the idea and the execution. Nice choice to listen to during daily walks with baby stroller not far away from home 🙂 Makes me jealous every day!”  Thanks for sharing these kind words and I hope you get to add in a little bit more travel into your life.

But for now, here’s my conversation with Maurice from my apartment in Bangkok, also known as Krung Thep.

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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 Maurice:

  • Born in: Kerkrade, Netherlands
  • Passports from: Dutch
  • Favorite travel film: Given
  • Favorite travel app: Skyscanner
  • Must carry: Camera and several lenses
  • Favorite food:  Hummus
  • Favorite drink: Water
  • Favorite Airline: Ethiopian Airline
  • Facebook: Maurice Brand

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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.  

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.

Disclaimer: I will earn a fee if you order from Amazon/Agoda.

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