There is no right answer to the question: “How many countries are there in the world?”
Political map of the world is changing rapidly nowadays. Life does not stand still. Territories gain and lose their statuses, become dependent or independent, are recognized and not recognized by other countries. According to Wikipedia, there are 196 sovereign states on the planet at the moment. 193 sovereign states that are members of the United Nations (UN)
There are also dependent territories, such as small islands or Antarctic territories. They are not accepted to be included in the general list.
As of December 2013, there are 259 countries in the world.
We are faced with a choice: where to start? Where to go first? Is it enough to travel to 50 countries? Or 100 countries? Or all 259? And enough for what? That, it seems to me, is the most important question!