Cover art for podcast Counting Countries

Counting Countries

79 EpisodesProduced by Ric GazarianWebsite

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… read more

1:33:43

Petro Marais … and the slow boat to Laos

Key Links -----I am announcing that Counting Countries is now partnered with Patreon. Patreon is a platform that allows patrons, that’s you, to support creators, and that is me. I have been extremely fortunate to be be able to create this podcast and to meet so many interesting and compelling travelers, but I have also spent a tremendous amount of time and some money creating this podcast.  

This is an opportunity for you to support Counting Countries. I have created several tiers of support, each one offering something in return. I will highlight the Senior Executive Producer tier which will give you access to extended interviews with guests of Counting Countries. To check out how you can support Counting Countries, go to patreon.com or https://www.patreon.com/CountingCountries. On another note, due to time constraints, Counting Countries will be publishing one episode a month starting in 2019.   

More about Petro Marais:
  • Born in: Pretoria, South Africa
  • Passport from: Australia
  • Favorite travel book: Vagabonding
  • Favorite travel film: Wild
  • Favorite app:   booking.com and Momondo
  • Must carry: Phone and wallet
  • Favorite food:  Mexican
  • Favorite drink: Late Machiotto
  • Favorite Airline: Etihad 
On today’s episode, I welcome Petro Marais to Counting Countries. Petro and I have been internet friends for over a year, as we are both fellow moderators in the Facebook group of Every Passport Stamp. We communicate on a frequent basis, but this was the first opportunity I had to really learn more about her life. Petro is a child of both South Africa and Australia where she spent her formative years, partaking in road trips in both countries with her family. After high school she entered the Australian Navy, spending eight years in the service. After leaving the Navy, her life of travel began in earnest. Petro shares with us her adventures in Somalia and Afghanistan, and the risks she took. She tells us why she loves Bhutan and considers it a special place. Petro talks about her frustration with Djibouti.   I encourage you to subscribe wherever you listen, Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify. Travel Buff wrote “Really love the concept of this podcast. Interesting to hear the stories of people who’ve explored so much and hear their thoughts on places I’ve never even heard of before. Do have to admit it gets a little “one note” after a while with people saying the same things to the same questions all the time. Would be good to see some of the show feature more people with unique angles like Danay Bustamante’s dancing goal.  LGBT travelers? Someone from a country with a weak passport? So many stories and angels to hear. Or even better to hear interviews of travelers that are chasing the goal of every country but have 50-100 visits and have them interviews from the middle of the struggle. Would be great to hear from people striving for it in addition to those that have done it or are pretty much done. Still, great podcast.” See, I don’t only read perfect reviews. Travel Buff, thanks for the feedback. To point out, I have interviewed many people in the 50-100 countries category, when you have a chance check out, George Kashouh, Randy Williams, Rick Shaver, and Mario Hardy and Petro today. In terms of unique goals or unique challenges, check out David Langan, who is mailing a postcard from every country, Thor, who is traveling to every country without flying, or Anthony William, who is traveling to them all in a wheelchair. I have also interviewed a couple of people from the LGBT community, but their sexual orientation was not a major part of their travel. And of course I added in a couple of travelers with weaker passports like Pong from Thailand, Anna and Artemy from Russia, and Danay began with a Cuban passport. There are 69 podcasts, so a lot of amazing travelers to check in with. I will see if I can mix up the questions a bit more to get some more variety. Remember to start of your New Year with an official Counting Countries t-shirt...head to Amazon to pick one up.   And, as I mentioned before in the previous podcast, Counting Countries is part of Patreon.com. Patreon is a platform that allows patrons, that’s you, to support creators, and that is me. I have been extremely fortunate to be be able to create this podcast and to meet so many interesting and compelling travelers, but I have also spent a tremendous amount of time and some money creating this podcast. This is an opportunity for you to support Counting Countries. I have created several tiers of support, each one offering something in return. I will highlight the Senior Executive Producer tier which will give you access to extended interviews with guests of Counting Countries. To check out how you can support Counting Countries, go to patreon.com or https://www.patreon.com/CountingCountries.  

And a shoutout to Bisa Myles, Counting Country’s first patron. You can check out Bisa on her blog, Myles To Travel. You can read about her goal of visiting 50 countries and experiences in five years. I wouldn't be surprised if that 50 grows to 100 and then some.

But for now, here’s my conversation with Petro, who was in Frankfurt while I was in Chicago. Please listen in and enjoy.

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