World's youngest traveller plans to return to Indonesia

World's youngest traveller plans to return to Indonesia
British-born James Asquith was still 24 years old when he was bestowed as the youngest person to travel to all sovereign countries by Guinness World Records and he has retained the title ever since.
PHOTO: Instagram/James Asquith

British-born James Asquith was still 24 years old when he was bestowed as the youngest person to travel to all sovereign countries by Guinness World Records and he has retained the title ever since.

During his journey to break the record, from July 4, 2008 to July 8, 2013, he visited 196 countries, including Indonesia.

"It feels amazing to have the Guinness World Records, but very surreal," he told The Jakarta Post via email.

"I've been to every country in the world, but what is a country? A man-made border. There's so much more of the world to discover and I keep on exploring every time I travel which is amazing."

During his visit to Indonesia, Asquith travelled to several provinces, including Bali and Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara.

He described his experience in those provinces in his book, Breaking Borders: Travels in Pursuit of an Impossible Records.

"[โ€ฆ] after a brief stop through the heaving heavyweight city of Jakarta, it was a complete contrast to visit the Gili Islands, where there were no cars. None at all," he wrote.

"[โ€ฆ] but the destination that really enticed me was Bali. Quite simply paradise, and it was understandable why this has become a top destination for travellers."

He visited several places in Bali, among them Ku De Ta and Tanah Lot.

"To be honest, I found the atmosphere slightly strange in Kuta, as huge amounts of drink deals were washed down with thumping music in the background of a structurally questionable six-story bar that overlooked the Bali bombing memorial below. Quite sobering," he jotted down on his book.

"I cannot wait to come back to Indonesia," Asquith stated.

"And I'll be checking out Palawan, Sumatra and Central Java for sure."

Asquith shared that he had been travelling since he was little.

"My father was a pilot and my mother lived in Hong Kong and Germany for a while, so I always had the travelling bug from a young age," he said, adding that his parents had also inspired him to break the record.

"My first trip that I can really remember was an overnight boat to Copenhagen in stormy conditions, and this was pretty exciting and new to me."

His passion for travelling did not stop there.

After working and saving money from an early age and then investing in stocks when he was 18, Asquith began his "real" trip.

He started with Vietnam where he volunteered to build houses and continued to other Southeast Asian countries.

Some of the countries he visited were North Korea, Iran, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.

He also went to Libya three weeks after the fall of Gaddafi and to Afghanistan two weeks after the bombing in Mazar-i-Sharif, as quoted by The Sun.

"Yes, my timing always seemed awful with visiting places when they were at war or unrest," he said.

Asquith has advice for people who want to follow his path.

"Just buy the ticket and go. Embrace it," he said.

"Life is too short; so enjoy it and create memories to the fullest."

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