Globetrotter Ric Gazarian and Extraordinary Travel Festival 2024 

May 9, 2024

Join me as I delve into the world of extraordinary travel with Ric Gazarian, the mastermind behind the Extraordinary Travel Festival. From country counting adventures to micro-nation diplomacy, we explore the diverse tapestry of human experience through the lens of travel.

Let me take you on a journey through my recent conversation with Ric Gazarian, also known as Global Gaz. In this conversation we explored fascinating insight into Ric’s remarkable life, journey, and his role as the driving force behind the Extraordinary Travel Festival. 

The Encounter: A Reunion Across  

Our virtual reunion spans continents, from Manila to Boston. We’ve also met in London, Berlin, and Thailand, but when we had this conversation, he’s in Bangkok and I’m in Buenos Aires – so this is one of the rare times, I do an online interview. 

As I reconnect with Ric, memories flood back of our shared adventures across the globe. Ric’s reputation as a true citizen of the world precedes him, setting the stage for an enriching conversation filled with anecdotes and shared experiences that transcend borders and cultures.

Counting Countries: A Quest for 193 

Ric is a “country counter” with the ambitious goal of visiting all 193 UN nations. He shares tales of triumphs and challenges along the way. Despite the unprecedented setbacks brought about by the pandemic, Ric’s unwavering determination shines through as he edges closer to his goal, with only 15 countries left uncharted. His resilience and passion for exploration serve as an inspiration to adventurers worldwide, demonstrating the transformative power of travel in expanding horizons and fostering understanding.


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The Extraordinary Travel Festival:

Where Passion Meets Purpose 

Central to our conversation is the Extraordinary Travel Festival, an event that goes beyond the realms of conventional tourism. Ric’s vision for the festival is nothing short of inspiring, emphasizing authentic cultural exchange and ethical travel practices. From its humble beginnings in Armenia to its expanding reach across the globe, the festival celebrates the rich tapestry of humanity and fosters connections among like-minded adventurers who share a deep appreciation for exploration and discovery. 

Speakers of Note: An Eclectic Ensemble 

Within the vibrant roster of speakers at the Extraordinary Travel Festival, a few personalities stand out for their remarkable journeys and insights. Thor Petersen’s epic voyage without air travel captivates audiences, challenging traditional notions of exploration and adventure.  

Thailand Guru

Meanwhile, Joe Cummings, revered as the OG of Thailand, offers invaluable perspectives on the evolution of travel in Southeast Asia, drawing from his wealth of experience and deep-rooted connections to the region. Each speaker brings a unique perspective to the festival, enriching the discourse and inspiring attendees to embark on their own transformative journeys of self-discovery and cultural immersion. 

A Sultan’s Tale:

Micro-Nations and Beyond 

Adding a touch of eccentricity to the festival is “Sultan” Randy Williams, sovereign of the Republic of Slowjamastan, and his whimsical creation nestled in the California desert. Sultan Randy’s story showcases the boundless creativity within the travel community and serves as a reminder of the limitless possibilities that await those who dare to dream beyond the confines of conventional travel. His imaginative approach to nation-building sparks conversations about identity, belonging, and the human desire for exploration and discovery in even the most unconventional of places. 

Lakshmi’s Odyssey:

A Testament to Courage 

Finally, we delve into Lakshmi Parthasarathy’s courageous journey through Somalia, from humble homestays to unexpected Instagram and TikTok fame. Her immersive experience highlights the transformative power of travel and serves as a testament to the resilience and curiosity that drive us to explore the unknown. Lakshmi’s story resonates deeply, reminding us of the profound connections we forge and the invaluable lessons we learn on our journeys, regardless of the challenges we may face along the way. 

Navigating the Uncharted 

Our conversation offers a glimpse into the extraordinary experiences and personalities that converge at the intersection of travel and exploration. From country counting to micro-nation diplomacy, Ric Gazarian and his fellow adventurers epitomize the spirit of discovery that knows no bounds.  


Festival: ExtraordinaryTravelFest.com 
Blog: Global Gaz 
Podcast: Counting Countries 
Instagram: @globalgaz 


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