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Man Who Traveled 198 Countries Shortlisted 12 Best Countries Everyone Should Visit

By Jatin Sharma, 25 June 2018

Travelling is perhaps one of the most common hobbies in the world. People love to visit places and keep exploring their own country and many other countries in the world.

However, it depends on people’s spending capacity to travel wherever they can and often end up exploring many places in the process. Everyone travels to unknown destinations according to wishes. Some need to fulfill their need for adventure, some want their dose of extreme junkie and then some just want to visit a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and just enjoy the calmness.

Gunnar Garfors, a Norwegian travelled the world, in literal sense, visiting 198 countries in just five years and created the record of the youngest person to visit every country in the world at just 38 years of age. He then decided to write a book about his experiences and shared a list of 12 shortlisted countries that everyone must visit for others.

Gunnar Garfors - The man who traveled an astonishing 198 countries

Gunnar Garfors is a Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) employee who was fed up with his monotonous life. He loved his job at NRK, but he wanted to travel the world and made it happen thanks to an arrangement between his company and his journey started in 2008.


Image Source: buzzfeed.com

Biography of Gunnar Garfors

Gunnar Garfors is president of the International DMB Advancement Group and was the CEO of Norwegian Mobile TV Corporation from 2008 to 2013. Norwegian Mobile TV Corporation was the first company to launch mobile TV services via DMB in 2009.

He is oldest of the seven children and was born in Hammerfest in Norway. He has lived in places like Dublin, Falmouth, Copenhagen, Taipei, and Oslo. He holds Bachelor of Arts from Falmouth College of Arts in Britain and Master of Management from Norwegian School of Management.


Image Source: medium.com

His book- 198: How I Ran Out Of Countries

His book 198: How I Ran Out Of Countries was published in 2014 by Norwegian publisher Samlaget. Gunnar also had articles in publications in Afghanistan, Germany, the UK, the USA, and Brazil. In the book, he has diarized his visits to all the nations he visited. He started out in 2008 and ended in 2014, at the age of 37 years and 344 days old, making him the youngest to do so.

In the book, he has shortlisted 12 countries that one must visit during their lifetimes amongst the 198 he has visited and we have brought you facts why you should follow Gunnar’s advice.


Image Source: garfors.com


Gunnar has fascinations for castles and mountain ranges and Romania fulfilled all of those for him. Also the fact that Bram Stoker got his inspiration from Vlad Dracula or Vlad III, a ruler of Wallachia in the 1400s; makes Romania interesting for people to visit.

Apart from Gunnar’s recommendations, there are 8 beautiful Churches in Moldovia, Danube Delta, Monastery of Horezu and many more tourist attractions. People can hike and ski in the mountains of Prahova Valley, experience the cultures of cities like Bucharest, Sibiu, Timisoara, Arad and Targu Mures.

Gunnar says about Romania, “Transylvania, best known for its castles, mountains, and of course, Dracula will stun you. Not to forget the parties in the capital Bucharest.”


Image Source: www.nationalgeographic.com


The best country on the Gunnar’s list is Madagascar. It is an island country in the Indian Ocean, near the coast of East Africa. It is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. One can enjoy animals like aye-aye and lemurs, famous from the animated movie series Madagascar in real life.

Madagascar, being an island country is a haven for water sports fans and is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations. Gunnar requests one to try out the cuisines of the capital city of Antananarivo and says the wildlife and coastline will leave you will unforgettable memories.


Image Source: gadventures.com


Visit Iceland for glaciers, volcanoes and flora and fauna. One can see amazing wildlife in many national parks of the country, go on whale watching tours or just enjoy the cuisine of Iceland. Gunnar advises one to enjoy the waters and swim your heart out, or enjoy the hot natural springs.


Image Source: www.divergent.no


Vietnam is the new tourist destination in South Asia for people who love to explore the nature, culture of an Asian nation. With 31 national parks to explore, Vietnam is exciting for nature lovers. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city are food lover’s delight and on the list of places to visit in Vietnam.

Gunnar was amazed by friendly nature of the country and advised people to sit in one place, relax and have a drink to soak in the hustle and bustle of the country.


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Kyrgyzstan is full of beautiful lakes and mountains. It is also rated as the 5th best adventure destination in the world. People can buy many wonderful handicraft works done by local Mongol women like slippers, bags, panel decorations etc. One of the most popular items to buy in Kyrgyzstan are carpets known as shyrdaks.


Image Source: squarespace.com


Kiribati is a group of islands in Micronesia. The climate is humid and not hot, and the place requires visitors to rough it out. Not many amenities are present in the 33 atolls of the island, hence be prepared nicely when you visit Kiribati. Seafood is in abundance and places to visit include beaches, snorkeling amongst coral reefs in the Phoenix Island Marine Protected Area.


Image Source: www.kiribatitourism.gov.ki

7New Zealand

The smaller cousin of Australia, New Zealand is famous for sheep and earthquakes, apart from the beaches. Activities like whale watching, bungee jumping, water sports, and trekking are much recommended.

New Zealand

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Nicaragua is famous for the Apoyo Lagoon, Granada’s central park- the Parqué Colón is home to traditional food vendors and is a must visit. People who love surfing and diving will be at home in Nicaragua. Eco-tourism is another thing to do and lake Cocibolca and Bosawas rainforest are must visit for any tourists.


Image Source: cnbc.com

9Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a surprise entry on Gunnar’s list, as the place which was more known for a civil war than for tourism. The civil war ended in 2002 and since then, the country is getting back on its feet and tourism is one industry that is doing well. The tropical islands of Banana island and turtle island are best for lovers of tropical paradise. There are beaches that are sparsely used, Bonthe town is full of culture and Tiwai island is full of wildlife.

Sierra Leone

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Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean island nation not many people are familiar with. Places like Indian River, Emerald pool, Scotts Head- where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, world’s 2nd largest boiling lake in Morne Trois Pitons National Park are some of the tourist attractions in Dominica to visit.

Dominica is a mountainous Caribbean

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Gunnar hails from Norway and definitely recommended people to visit his homeland. It is a must visit for skiers and place like the fjords, mountains, and waterfalls including Holmenkollen ski jump and Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo are often recommended by him. He also speaks highly of glaciers and the amazing view of the midnight sun.

Beautiful Norway

Image Source: www.hfholidays.co.uk


Many people will associate Uruguay will football, as it hosted the very first football World cup, but there is more to the place. Hot springs, places like Piriápolis, the coast of Punta del Diablo and National Park of Santa Teresa are just a handful of places to explore in Uruguay.


Image Source: www.taringa.net