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801, 2020

Stefan Krasowski and Jakob Oster … Return Again

By |January 8th, 2020|Categories: Podcast|1 Comment

Stefan and Jakob have both traveled to all 193 UN countries. I welcome back returning guests, Stefan and Jakob.  I spoke to both of them in 2017 when they were nearing their quest of traveling to every country in the world.  And in 2019, they both completed their quest, so I thought it would be interesting to check back in with them.  Jakob is also known for traveling with his family, and I also spoke with Charlotte Felk, Jakob’s long time partner, who is an accomplished traveler in her own right who has been to 119 countries. Counting Countries is offering its first group tour to Madagascar in August of 2020.  Please reach out to me with any questions on this trip.  In addition, if you are planning trips to places like Antarctica, Svalbard, Galapagos, please consider my partner G Adventures and use my link. I am reminding you that Counting Countries is partnered with Patreon.  Patreon is a platform that allows patrons, that’s you, to support creators, and that is me creating Counting Countries.  And thanks [...]

701, 2020

20 Best Photos Of Afghanistan

By |January 7th, 2020|Categories: Asia, Photos|0 Comments

20 Best Photos Of Afghanistan.  An ancient culture and land.  A country often invaded, enslaved and in turmoil.  A country in the news for all of the wrong reasons.  I spent two weeks exploring the country and witnessing a side of the country not typically shown on the front page of the newspapers. Here are twenty photos that show a different side of Afghanistan.  I traveled with Untamed Borders, they specialize in off the beaten path locations.  Check out their trips on their website. Ziarat-e Sakhi Mosque.  This photogenic mosque sits at the edge of a hill, with a houses overlooking this colorful mosque.  The color of the mosque is similar to the styles that you might see in Iran or Uzbekistan.  I made a short visit here one morning, admiring the design and colors while watching the locals take in the day. The last Jew of Afghanistan.  This was a bit of an odd and interesting visiting.  Zabulon Simentov, a 66 year old, has weathered the years, whether it was the Soviet invasion, rule of the [...]

301, 2020

Worst Travel Company Ever

By |January 3rd, 2020|Categories: Advice, Asia|3 Comments

Worst Travel Company Ever.  I started to plan my trip to Pakistan, and I began the process I have utilized many times before. I reached out to a couple of veteran, trusted travelers and asked for recommendations of a tour provider in Pakistan. I received two recommendations of local providers. I sent a couple of emails with a desired itinerary. Part of my initial screening process is quite simple, who can respond to emails and answer questions. I consider this to be a forward indicator of competent future services. One provider lost the race when he went a week without responding to an email. That left me with Travel & Culture Services, based in Karachi. Our correspondence began in May for a September trip. Plenty of time to sort through the agenda. Several weeks into my correspondence and my Spidey sense began to tingle. Jamal, the owner, could or would not answer basic questions. And the timeliness exhibited during our earlier emails eventually began to slow. Despite my concerns, I steadied myself with the knowledge that two [...]

3012, 2019

A Year In Review 2019

By |December 30th, 2019|Categories: Advice|2 Comments

A Year In Review 2019. Sounding like a broken record, it was another busy travel year in 2019 with some amazing experiences. After spending New Year’s Eve in Connecticut with friends, I hopped over to celebrate my birthday in Chicago. After that, I repositioned to Bangkok, my home away from home. I was able to travel to ten new countries in 2019 with a visit to my 140th country, Afghanistan, in November. There were also a fair number of repeats. The UN states there are 193 sovereign nations, meaning I still have 53 still to visit before I complete my quest. Here are the new countries I visited in 2019 in chronological order. Bolded names are new countries. USA Thailand Uganda Rwanda DRC Burundi Myanmar (Burma) Turkey Mauritania Western Sahara Morocco Portugal Cape Verde UAE Armenia UK Principality of Sealand Japan India Pakistan Uzbekistan Afghanistan I made mediocre progress in 2019 in terms of collecting new countries. Last year I visited 15 new countries, but this year I was only able to visit 10 new countries. [...]

2412, 2019

Best Photos Of Uzbekistan

By |December 24th, 2019|Categories: Asia, Photos|0 Comments

Best photos of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan had been on my bucket list for a long time. I heard the Silk Road and its rich history calling me. I had visions of intricate azure tiles, towering minarets, and ancient madrassas. I could barely put my camera down as I explored Uzbekistan for two weeks. The country has great infrastructure, a lack of tourists, low costs, and so much to see. In other words, I highly recommend that you visit. And you can check out my two-week agenda in Uzbekistan. Samarkand Samarkand is considered one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in Central Asia, with some dating it back to the 8th century BC. In the 14th century, it became the capital of the powerful Timurid Empire. Many of the highly regarded landmarks of the Silk Road were constructed under this empire. In 2001, Samarkand was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Registan The Registan was the heart and the pubic square of the Timurid dynasty. This open space is framed by three majestic and large madrasahs. One was [...]

1212, 2019

Maryam Sultan Abdullah … The Wonder Woman Of Travel

By |December 12th, 2019|Categories: Podcast|0 Comments

Maryam has traveled to 130 UN countries I had the great opportunity speak with Maryam Sultan Abdullah of Kuwait.  Ryan Gazder, a former guest of Counting Countries, introduced us via email. And after some time, Maryam and I were able to schedule a time to speak over the internet. I am reminding you that Counting Countries is partnered with Patreon.  Patreon is a platform that allows patrons, that’s you, to support creators, and that is me creating Counting Countries.  And thanks to my other patrons, Steph Rowe, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Ryan Gazder, and Adam Hickman.  As thanks, they are able to listen to additional interviews like the extra interview I did with Maryam that only they will hear. Counting Countries is offering its first group tour to Madagascar in August of 2020.  Please reach out to me with any questions on this trip.  In addition, if you are planning trips to places like Antarctica, Svalbard, Galapagos, please consider my partner G Adventures and use my link. Maryam was launched into the world of travel from a [...]

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