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 closing keynote in Bangkok.  Want to hear and meet him?  Don’t miss out and join us today.  You can buy your ticket now and use the code BANGKOK to save big at the Extraordinary Travel Fest.

I would like to thank everyone for their support of Counting Countries, especially my Patrons: Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmerman, Lori Pastorelli, Carole Southam, Sunir Joshi, Philippe Izedian, Gin, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Steph Rowe, Thor Pedersen, Adam Hickman, Katelyn Jarvis, Ed Hotchkiss, and Barry Hoffner for supporting this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to  My patrons will hear extra content with Thor that you will not hear.

Thor is appearing in your feed for the third time.  In addition, I have documented Thor an additional 7 times for my patrons, every 6 months, document his trials and tribulations.  You can access these additional episodes by being a patron or subscribing to them on Apple Podcasts.  I have interviewed Thor a total of 10 times for Counting Countries since 2016.     

I want to let you know that Off The Beaten Path is a great resource for those of us who are Chasing 193.  Patron and traveler Justine Kirby is the founder of the group.  For those who are in EPS, this is another great platform to trade travel information to achieve your travel goals.  Join today with the link in the Show Notes. 

For the third episode in a row I am highlighting another author from the travel community.  Previously I highlighted Harry Mitsidis’s Welcome To The NomadMania, Flavio Ferrari Zumbini’s Every Country: A Journey To All 193 Nations, and this month I am speaking with author Michael Richards who just published The Traveling Ape.  Listen to my conversation with Michael after my conversation with Thor.  And after my conversation with Michael, stick around for some more info about the Extraordinary Travel Festival.    

More congratulations are in order to new 193ers Hayley Kennedy who finished in Libya.   And Mike Downes who finished in Antigua.  Well done to both!  According to NomadMania 27 new people have completed 193 in 2023 so far.

I was in Chicago for this recording while Thor was in Copenhagen. Please listen in and enjoy.   

Thank you to my Patrons …. Phil Marcus, Jorge Serpa, Per Flisberg, Justine Kirby, Marc Jorgensen, Sonia Zimmermann, Lori Pastorelli, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Barry Hoffner, Ed Hotchkiss, Katelyn Jarvis, Carole Southam, Thor Pedersen, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles, Ted Nims, Sunir Joshi, Gintaute Liutkeviciute, Philippe Izedian & Dale Wursten.  

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More About Thor Pedersen Counting Countries

  • Born in: The Kingdom of Denmark, in the high north of Europe
  • Passports from: Denmark
  • Favorite travel book: GRUK – about travel, by Piet Hein
  • Favorite travel film: Into The Wild
  • Favorite travel site: Google Maps
  • Must carry: Pen, scarf, passport, smartphone, credit card
  • Favorite food: A good pasta dish or: fresh fish and manioc near the sea in Central Africa (eaten with my hands and not with cutlery)
  • Favorite drink: Milk (from Denmark)
  • Favorite Airline: Haven’t flown for years. Figure they are all the same more or less?
  • Favorite Hotel: I’ve been thinking hard. I’m not sure I have one? But Best Western Plus: Lusaka Grand Hotel in Zambia if you push me. I had free accommodation and the staff was great! 🙂 I like a few lodges and hostels…hotels haven’t been a big part of this journey.
  • Website:
  • Facebook: OnceUpon-a-Saga-320287321444752/
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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.  

Disclaimer: There are affiliates in this post. 

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