Counting Countries

With a membership of only around 100, it’s one of the most exclusive clubs on Earth. In fact, more people have been to outer space than have earned their way into this, the ultimate travel club. According to the United Nations there are 193 sovereign nations in the world. Welcome to the only podcast to bring you the stories from the dedicated few who’ve spent their lives on the singular quest of traveling to them all. Welcome, to Counting Countries. With your host, Ric Gazarian.


episode 13: William Baekeland - 154 countries ... and is traveling to another list of 12,000 places!

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At the young age of only 23, William has made his way to over three quarters of the world’s countries! William began traveling at a young age with his family, including a 6 week cruise from the UK through Australia via the Suez Canal.  He took his first independent trip to Scotland via train.  He has only 39 countries until he visits every country in the world.  William has also created a list of approximately 12,000 places in the world. He plans and hopes to visit these places over his lifetime.  William also has a penchant to visit some of the most remote corners of the globe including the Russian Arctic and  Tristan da Cunha.   Subscribe on iTunes today!

More about William Baekeland:
  • Born in: United Kingdom
  • Passports from: Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom
  • Favorite Travel Book: I like historic accounts of colonial expeditions. One which ones to mind is Richard Burton's 'Wanderings in West Africa from Liverpool to Fernando Po'. Good luck finding a copy, it took me a few years.
  • Favorite travel film: I'm not so into movies, but perhaps I'd say Titanic.
  • Favorite travel site: None in particular, I rarely use any.
  • Must carry:  A Caran d'Ache writing pen. The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory.
  • Favorite food:  With food, I am far too particular to reasonably attempt answering this question. Simplicity is an overlooked culinary virtue nowadays, though.
  • Favorite drink: Gin and Tonic
  • Favorite Airline: No commercial airline jumps out as being a favorite. Timetable is paramount, so is a good route map.
  • Favorite Hotel: Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki Beach, Honolulu.

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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!

  • The United Nations states that there are 193 member states.
  • The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are 225 countries and territories.
  • The Century Club states that there are 325 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands.
  • The Most Traveled Person states that there are 875 unique parts of the world.
  • The Best Traveled states that there are 1281 unique places in the world.
  • Me? My goal is the 193 countries that are recognized by the UN, but I am sure I will visit some other places along the way.

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


 2016-09-06  1h3m