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Recent Posts2019-05-24T12:13:39-05:00
2101, 2024

Raiiq Ridwan … The Travel Bug

By |January 21st, 2024|Categories: Podcast|0 Comments

Raiiq has traveled to 118 countries Hey now and Happy New Year to all!  I am your host, Ric Gazarian. I knew Raiiq from EPS and had the pleasure of meeting him at the ETF in Armenia.  I was spurred to learn more about him after a recent post in EPS detailing his challenges with carrying a Bangladeshi passport.  We all know Chasing 193 is no easy feat, and Raiiq shares with us an additional set of impediments he faces to complete his goal.  The next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be held on November 15, 2024 in Bangkok.  I am also excited to announce optional trips, one for UNESCO Thailand and 3 different agendas to Bhutan before and after the festival.  Check out the website or send me a message.  You can buy your ticket now and use the code BANGKOK to save big at the Extraordinary Travel Fest.  If you have questions, just let me know. I would like to thank everyone for their support of Counting Countries, especially my Patrons: Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per [...]

301, 2024

Extraordinary Travel Festival II Update #3

By |January 3rd, 2024|Categories: Podcast|0 Comments

Join us in Bangkok for the Extraordinary Travel Festival in November of 2024.  Please use code – BANGKOK – to save $120.  Reserve your place today. Want to go to Bhutan?  Join us on our side trip to Bhutan.  Or you can join us on a tour to UNESCO Thailand. I am happy to introduce a new speaker at the ETF, David Van Driessche.  I consider David a Papua New Guinea product expert.  He has spent a cumulative one year over the last five year in PNG as the founder of Tribes of Papua New Guinea.  David will be sharing his tips for traveling independently in PNG.  He is a professional photographer, and you will be impressed with his skills. We also have two special guests joining us on the episode after my conversation with David.  Both of these guests attended the first event in Armenia and they will be joining us in Bangkok.  I wanted to use this opportunity to learn more about them. John McKenzie is a travel content creator documenting his travels from around the globe.  [...]

1712, 2023

A Year In Review 2023

By |December 17th, 2023|Categories: Advice|4 Comments

I got my travel mojo back!  2020, 2021 & 2022 were all years of limited travel and missed opportunities.  F Covid! This year was my year of revenge travel, and I came out of the gate swinging.  (There are great affiliates in this post.)  I ended 2022 at 152 countries.  And this year I made some serious progress while Chasing 193.  I visited 19 new countries bringing me to 171 UN member countries.  I can finally see the end of the horizon with 22 UN member countries remaining.  22 does not seem like an insurmountable number at this point. The New Ones. Africa is considered by many who are Chasing 193 to be the most challenging continent with 54 countries.  And in the last couple of years, I made a substantial effort to visit these countries.  I am happy to report I am now at 52/54 with just Libya and Sao Tome remaining. I left Boston in early January for a 65-day visit to Africa.  Finally visiting Djibouti and Sudan.  This was my 4th effort to visit [...]

1212, 2023

20 Best Photos Of 2023

By |December 12th, 2023|Categories: Advice, Photos|1 Comment

20 Best Photos Of 2023.  I am back again with my annual wrap-up of my best travels from the year.  It was another incredible year of travel, especially the first half of the year.   The first half of the year was supercharged with two big trips to Africa.   Please take a gander and feel free to share any comments. SOMALIA In some ways, this photo of Mogadishu sums up the dichotomy of Somalia.  The buildings surrounding this beach are destroyed, yet there is a beautiful beach with equally beautiful waters.  A lot of money is pouring into Somalia from the diaspora and hopefully there is a silver lining for this country that has been racked by brutal violence over the decades. ETHIOPIA I met this very smiley girl after I bought some bananas from her in a small market a couple of hours outside of Addis Ababa. DJIBOUTI This is the magnificent Lac Abbe, a dry salt lake on the border of Ethiopia.  Amazing, otherworldly landscapes. SUDAN I had attempted visit in 2021 which was thwarted in [...]

1112, 2023

Thor Pedersen … He Did It!

By |December 11th, 2023|Categories: Podcast|0 Comments

Thor Pedersen has traveled to every country in the world Hey now, I am your host, Ric Gazarian. Checking in with multi-repeat guest and travel legend, Thor Pedersen of Once Upon A Saga.  For those of us in the know, Thor recently finished a nearly 10 year journey to every country in the world without flying in an unbroken journey with a minimum of 24 hours in each country.  These additional rules that Thor instituted increased the complexity and length of this journey in addition to the global Covid lockdown. Thor demonstrated an immense amount of grit and determination to overcome so many challenges.  It is a singular and unique accomplishment.  The next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be held on November 15, 2024 in Bangkok, plenty of time to save the date.  I am also excited to announce optional trips, one for UNESCO Thailand and 3 different agendas to Bhutan before and after the festival.  Check out the website or send me a message. Thor joined ETF virtually in Armenia but will be in person as the [...]

1611, 2023

Zach Forbes … Passion For People

By |November 16th, 2023|Categories: Podcast|0 Comments

Zach Forbes has traveled to 140 countries Hey now, I am your host, Ric Gazarian. I am excited to introduce Zach Forbes, our new guest this month.  Zach was a character I saw all around social media and connected to many of my friends.  I finally met him face to face in Yerevan at the Extraordinary Travel Festival.  Zach is a true global citizen, raised in Canada and the US.  He also lived in China, Dubai, and Vancouver while traveling to 140 countries.  As some of you might have heard the next Extraordinary Travel Festival will be held on November 15, 2024 in Bangkok, plenty of time to save the date. You can buy your ticket now and use the code BANGKOK to save big at the Extraordinary Travel Fest.  I am also excited to announce our first trip, and that is 3 different agendas to Bhutan after the festival.  Check out the website or send me a message. And I am very excited to let you know that the ETF will be hosting the NomadMania Awards [...]

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