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 15: Anna Zavialova - 92 countries ... and counting!

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Anna is on a quest to travel to every country in the world.  Anna is an adventurous, solo female traveler who couchsurfed on her own in Afghanistan and then some!   Anna’s youth was spent as a citizen of the USSR effectively cut off from over half of the world.  She dreamed of travel and exploration.  As the Soviet Union collapsed, her travel opportunities expanded.  She began by visiting her neighbors in Europe.  Overtime, she stretched her wings and started exploring more challenging countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.  Anna and I met on a group trip to Eritrea in Eastern Africa this past Spring.  Today, she joins me on Skype from her home in Moscow while I am in Bangkok.  Please listen in and enjoy. Subscribe on iTunes today!

More about Anna Zavialova:
  • Born in: Moscow, Russia
  • Passports from: 2 over stamped Russian passports (-;
  • Favorite travel book: I like books about countries, about people’s traditions, cultures, they inspire me to discover new places: “Shantaram”, “A Year in Provence”, ”Nothing to Envy”, “A Thousand Splendid Suns”, and “Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia”.
  • Favorite travel film: Same as books, different films that inspire to feel and discover new lands. I guess ‘Shocking Asia” “Borat” “Eat, Pray, Love” “ A Separation”.
  • Favorite travel site: Openflights ( yeah, I count my flight statistics) and flightradar24.
  • Must carry:  I always check 3 things in my bag - passport, credit cards and IPhone. “Whatever I have forgotten I can buy It wherever I would be” – it’s my last thought before leaving my house for a new adventure.
  • Favorite food: Fresh seafood at Brun in Cannes.
  • Favorite drink: Glass of cold Veuve Clicquot Brut.
  • Favorite Airline: Swiss. If I get my salary this week! I also love LOT Polish airlines!
  • Favorite Hotel: Hilton and IHG brands.
  • Instagram: @CrazyFromRussia

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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.


 2016-09-20  41m