Wouldn’t you consider visiting 50 countries in your lifetime an impressive feat? What of 100? However, for young Cassandra De Pecol, that’s nowhere enough. The 27-year-old female from Connecticut is about to be recorded as the first woman to visit all 196 countries on the globe.
The young American has visited 181 countries already, with 15 states remaining to put an end to the adventure she started since July 2015.
Though Benny Prasad currently holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest traveler to visit every country on Earth, that’s about to change! With only 40 days left for her to ‘grab the gold,’ De Pecol is wonderfully positioned to give Mr. Benny a break. And Cassandra will do this in grand style when she visits an additional 11 countries.
The inspiration for the altruistic journey came when the former freelance web designer gave it a thought that she should be “doing something more meaningful” with her life. Her Expedition 196 was conceived after serving as a worker at eco lodges in Ecuador and Peru and especially after reading the book The Happiness of Pursuit that was written by pacesetter Chris Guillebeau who had also traveled around the world, but not until he clocked 35. With an unfathomable determination to try similar feat, De Pecol joined force with Skal, an agency that promotes friendship and tourism, and the International Institute of Peace through Tourism.
Cassandra, an Ambassador of Peace, spends one to four days in each country. Her route is not pre-predetermined and is influenced by factors such as school visits, visa, and weather conditions. Her priority, once she steps foot in each country, is to discover two locations that are not on the sightseer trail. She meets with school children and dignitaries, and get water sample on behalf of a US non-profit organization involved in testing for micro plastics presence in the ocean.
As you might have thought, this expedition cost a whole lot of money. Till date, De Pecol’s trip has cost her a whopping $200,000 – an amount that came from the purse of many sponsors. The brave lady won’t have been able to document her spectacular journey in a film without their help. Her Instagram page features the luxurious hotels of the brands and people who invested in her globetrotting trip. In exchange for an advertising space, they gave her free accommodation.
Though you can’t follow her footsteps as she lands in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, United Kingdom, or Ukraine, you can enjoy her exciting adventure via Instagram. So, what do we say to her? Go, go, go Cassandra!