My name is Bill Wiatrak, aka The Traveling Wizard, and I create videos of places I visit around the world, dispense travel advice and write travel articles for a handful of magazines as well as this site. I made a goal quite a few years ago to travel to every country in the world. I’ve still got quite a few places on my to-see list but I’ve been fortunate to see all seven continents and visit most of the famous landmarks around the world. There’s several ways to decide how many countries are in the world, but I have been to 173 out of the 230 on my list. The UN recognizes 198. There are different levels of independence and definition of “what is a country?” that affects that number.
I’m a native Houstonian and began traveling in my late teens after learning how to SCUBA dive. Since then my desire to see the world has only increased and my thirst for knowledge of history and geography has never been sated. I started performing as an entertainer while in college and have been lucky enough to make a living doing the strangest things from riding unicycles, to eating fire, juggling, performing magic, acting in a few movies and putting on game shows for companies. In 2013 I made a commitment to start sharing my knowledge with others, travel more and put my knowledge into words and video that could help my viewers and followers. You’ll find my stories and tidbits of knowledge on this website as well as my YouTube channel, Flickr, Facebook and other social media sites.