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 98: Tommy Shuai Shao … Chasing 244

Key Links

  • How Many Countries Are There In The World video
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  • The new Counting Countries Merch Store

Thank you to my Patrons…Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Thor Pedersen, Steph Rowe, Adam Hickman, Bisa Myles & Ted Nims.

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Check out our friend: Large Minority.  They organize international rallies around the world, including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, the Philippines, and the Amazon.  And watch my full-length documentary in Cambodia when I traveled with Large Minority.  

I am friends with Tommy on Facebook and also met him on the somewhat famous Adam Hickman Covid Zoom travel trivia game, but he was many of my social media friends who I really did not know.  On Tommy’s FB page I noted some interesting posts with a lot of flight maps.  It definitely caught my attention and thought I would love to learn more about Chasing 244.   

After my conversation with Tommy, I will be checking in with Thor Pedersen again of Once Upon A Saga.  I have been documenting Thor’s journey to every country in the world and all of the challenges he has been facing with this pandemic.  You will hear a snippet of this conversation but my patrons will hear the entire conversation. 

Thanks to Phillip Jones, Simen Flotvik Mathisen, Steph Rowe, Ted Nims, Bisa Myles, Thor Pedersen, and Adam Hickman for supporting Counting Countries. They help pay for the production of this podcast.  You can support this podcast by going to

I endeavor to interview a diverse set of voices within our community.  I want to hear different perspectives and experiences and I believe you appreciate that as well.  It has been my shortcoming that I have not had a guest from China, the world’s most populous country.  Well, that has been rectified with this conversation with Tommy as we learn about his journey to every country in the world and his recent project of Chasing 244.

I was in Yerevan, Armenia for this recording while Tommy was in Shanghai.   Please listen in and enjoy.  

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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. Fewer 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

Well…that depends on who you ask!

  • The United Nations states that there are193 member states.
  • The British Foreign and Commonwealth office states that there are226 countries and territories.
  • The Traveler’s Century Club states that there are329 sovereign nations, territories, enclaves, and islands.
  • The Most Traveled Person states that there are949 unique parts of the world.
  • The Nomad Maniadivides the world into 1301 regions.
  • SISO says there are3,978 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.

An analysis of these lists and who is the best traveled by Kolja Spori. 

Disclaimer: I will earn a fee if you order from Amazon/Agoda. Or book a trip through G Adventures.  PS  Thanks!


Produced by Sonorous Lab Studio


 2021-10-13  2h20m