© Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedMr Hawthorne is pictured on a camel in Cairo, Egypt. He started planning his solo expedition aged just 14 and decided not to go to university, spending three years saving up for his travels instead
A British man hopes to be the youngest man to set foot in every country aged just 23.
Sam Hawthorne, of Winchester, Hampshire, is on course to visit all 196 countries by April 17, 2020 and set a new Guinness World Record.
Mr Hawthorne has visited 138 countries in the past 15 months, including Senegal, Malawi, Russia and Peru.
© Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedSam Hawthorne, of Winchester, Hampshire, is on course to visit all 196 countries by April 17, 2020. He is pictured in Dakar, Senegal
He started planning his solo expedition aged just 14 and decided not to go to university.
He spent three years saving up for his global trip with a string of catering jobs in London.
Mr Hawthorne is currently in Benin and he will soon move on to Ivory Coast and travel across Africa before heading to countries in the Middle East and then Asia.
He usually spends up to five days in each country after travelling by bus, train or plane.
Mr Hawthorne is seen by the beach in the Bahamas. He has been to countries including Afghanistan, Venezuela, El Salvador, Somalia and the Republic of Congo © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited
He has been to countries including Afghanistan, Venezuela, El Salvador, Somalia and the Republic of Congo.
Mr Hawthorne, who set off on his travels on June 26 last year, said: 'I've wanted to do this since I was 14.
'I was reading Graham Hughes's blog as he attempted to become the first person to visit every country without flying - since then it's been one of my dreams to do it.
'I've been planning, researching and thinking about doing it since then. © Provided by Associated Newspapers LimitedHawthorne is pictured on a boat in Malawi. He usually spends up to five days in each country after travelling by bus, train or plane
'I decided in February last year that I was going to at least try to pursue my dream and I began four months later.'
One of his top destinations was Harar in Ethiopia, with the backpacker also visiting lesser known countries including Suriname in South America.
He said: 'I didn't feel uneasy at any point in Afghanistan.
'In fact as we were climbing in the mountains a group of Afghan men invited me and my guide to be their guests for lunch which meant them making a fire, preparing and then cooking delicious kebabs for all of us to eat as we hung out for a few hours.
'Harar was a beautiful ancient city with narrow brightly coloured streets that twisted around 82 mosques and countless other religious shrines. It is also the only place in the world where you can feed wild hyenas.'