Stephen has traveled to 168 countries

On today’s episode, I welcome Stephen Hughes to Counting Countries.  Steve and I met on the road during a visit to Iran, where we are both not allowed independent travel.  I enjoyed our time together since Steve is not shy about sharing his opinions, and I knew he would be a good fit for the podcast.

And this episode was a long time in the coming.  We met in 2016 and recorded an episode in 2017.  Unfortunately, the file was corrupted and never published.  It took many months to reschedule and was finally recorded for a second time in the summer of 2018.  This recording was of really, really poor quality.  I was going to have to schedule a third interview.  But Counting Countries is not a one-man operation.  My producer/editor is Evo Terra, the author of Podcasting for Dummies, was called in for emergency help.  While this podcast is not the best in audio quality, Evo was able to resurrect this interview from the grave and make it listenable. For those who have any questions on podcasting, feel free to reach out to Evo and his company Simpler Media on Facebook or the web.

Back to Steve, who became interested in travel with his interest in maps, flags, and the game of Risk as a kid.  He lived an unconventional life, quitting school at 16 and working at a bank.  He hit the road with a friend for three years in a camper called the HammerMobile as they toured Europe at just 18.

Steve shares with us falling off a three story building in Mexico, being bit by a scorpion, and almost being lost at sea.  And he tells us why he was refused entry at the Canada/US border.  He is considered a threat to national security.

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 like hoosiergrad02 did.  “One of the best travel podcasts out there.  Motivates me to travel more and to places I would have never discovered before”.  Thanks Hoosier grad!  Thanks for sharing this great feedback.

Remember go to Amazon to pick up your Counting Countries T-shirt, just like Guiness World Record holder, Maurizio Giuliano recently did.

Besides hosting this podcast, I also wear a couple of other hats in the world of travel.  I have produced and been featured in two full-length, adventure travel films; Hit The Road: India and Hit The Road: Cambodia.  In both films, I am piloting a rickshaw for days on end in both India and Cambodia.  It is amazing and authentic way to see the country and meet a lot of people.  So, I made films documenting the adventure which are available on iTunes and Amazon or simply go to  And before our conversation with Steve, I will be speaking with Julian Carnal the founder of Large Minority who organizes the rally in Cambodia.

For this episode, you might want to have the kids in another room due to some salty language.  But for now, here’s my conversation with Stephen who was in the UK while I was in Boston, home of the New England Patriots. Please listen in and enjoy.

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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 Stephen Hughes:


  • Born in: Chatham UK
  • Passports from: 2 British passports for convenience
  • Favorite travel book: Flashman paper series; an historical travel about and lothario and a cad!!
  • Favorite travel film: Favorite travel film; Road trips across USA stand out. Duel – Steven Spielberg’s first film I think and also My Little Sunshine as they travel to the beauty pageant!
  • Favorite travel app: Don’t really use apps or travel websites but it’s now our Facebook page and before it was Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree
  • Must carry:  5 books as I read voraciously when traveling
  • Favorite food: I normally search out the spicy food but also the local traditional food wherever I am
  • Favorite drink:  Water of course but only until 4pm when it turns to booze of any type.
  • Favorite airline: I always use the local airlines of flying internally and don’t really have a favourite long haul but if had to choose one; would probably be one of the Arab ones!


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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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