Cassandra De Pecol is about to become the first woman to travel to every single country in the world. Making her accomplishment even more impressive, she has been been promoting world peace and global sustainability throughout her landmark journey.
What was once a mere fantasy quickly turned into an astonishing mission that would later be called Expedition 196 –and it all began when Cassie turned just 25.
She always knew that she wanted to do something big and memorable with her life, but she wasn’t sure what it would be. Cassie spent two years travelling throughout Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the Middle East with only $2,000 in her bank account. She lived off bread, slept in train stations, hitchhiked all over, and utilized organizations like CouchSurfing.com for free accommodation. Through this experience, Cassie discovered not only that travelling was her passion, but that it was something she excelled at, too.
How Did This All Come About?
Cassie also cared deeply about promoting world peace and spreading kindness to others, so she thought to herself, why not combine her two greatest passions? She partnered with the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), created a platform, planned her adventures, gathered up some sponsors, and took off, and she’s been documenting the entire journey ever since. You can check out her daily adventures on Instagram, YouTube, and her blog, soon to be revealed in an upcoming documentary, too.
At this moment Cassie has only three more countries to go before she becomes the first woman in the world to travel to every single country, and amazingly she has done it all in just 16 months — another first, which means she’ll also break a Guinness World Record.
What Cassie Hopes to Accomplish
Cassie has spoken at many universities and held events to promote her idea of world peace. She also plants trees at each step along the way to reduce her carbon footprint and to help promote sustainability.
Check out the video below to learn more about Cassie’s mission and what she hopes to accomplish.
On her website, you can find a map of her route across the world and stories about her journey, whose end is nearly in sight.
Many people have wondered if she is truly experiencing each country while travelling under such time constraints, and Cassie offers an eloquent response on her blog:
It all comes down to two words: time management. One could spend Saturday and Sunday chilling at home watching Netflix (totally okay, I am guilty of that at times) or traveling to 5 places within one country, 5 countries within those two days, doing an Ironman, etc etc.. It’s all a matter of choice. I have lived in the US for 27 years and have not been to every state and have not learned the depths about our own history, as I should.
She also addresses the issue of sustainability, which people have been quick to point out becomes complicated by air travel. Cassie has made it one of her missions to completely offset the impact of her travels by participating in a tree planting project, which is something that she focuses on during this expedition and is already set up to be a continual project once she has finished. Another one of her goals throughout this journey is to promote sustainable tourism, which she speaks about often. She reveals that there are many people in the countries she visits who have never heard of sustainability or know what it means, which she hopes to rectify. Education and action are clearly essential elements of her journey.
Does This Story Inspire You?
What most people could only dream of completing in their lifetime, Cassie has nearly achieved at just 27 years of age. Instead of feeling overwrought with jealousy and wishing that you were her, or that you had been able to do something equally as significant with your life, let this serve as inspiration for you. We can do anything we set our minds to, and it is never too late to get started. What is something that you always wanted to accomplish, but have let fear hold you back?
And what are you waiting for?
Get up and get going! The time is now, and it is the only time we truly have.
Thank you to Cassie for showing us that anything is possible when we care enough to make it happen.
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