Brit James Asquith visits 196 countries – by 24

Travel fan James Asquith has spent £125,000 to achieve his goal of visiting every country in the world before he was 25.

Asquith began travelling while he was a student in 2008, and has since accrued a full house of 196 passport stamps.

But despite his endeavours, Asquith’s claim of becoming the youngest person to achieve this feat is not yet officially recognised by Guinness World Records.

The discrepancy in the amount of countries cited is due to differing interpretations of how many there are in the world.

There are 196 internationally acknowledged nations, although by other measures there are as many as 201 countries, including some that are not recognised everywhere. This has proved a source of contention within the travel community, as James strives to be recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

Vietnam, where Asquith spent three months, was the first independent country ticked off his list.

He also spent five months in the US and Canada, visiting 27 states from Hawaii to Alaska.

Asquith part-funded the trek by taking jobs in bars and hostels as he travelled.

The longest the Stevenage-based explorer spent anywhere was six months in Africa, travelling overland from Senegal to the Congo and then over back up through the east.

He now plans to visit Tahiti, Easter island and Antarctica next year.


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