Woman, 27, Who Quit Her Job To Travel The World Becomes The Fastest Person To Visit All 196 Countries In Just 18 Months

Ever since her schooldays, Cassie De Pecol, 27, from Washington, wanted to travel the world. She always wanted to learn about different cultures, religion and natural habitats, so she quit her unfulfilling job and took to the roads.

The organisation for her trip began when she turned 25 years old, when the former office worker started to make her plans. She wanted to learn more about people outside her home country, and find out more about where her ancestors came from.

Curiosity made her wonder what things were really like outside the states. What was the Amazon really like? Was the Middle East as the news informed her?

“Since school, I’ve had this desire to visit every country in the world, intrigued to learn more about every culture, natural habitat, and religion.”

“In America we are lucky to have such a vast melting pot of cultures and people from all over the world who make the country what it is today.”

Cassie De Pecol, 27, from Washington, Connecticut embarked on her journey in July of 2015 and has now reached the end of her epic mission to visit all 193 sovereign nations plus Taiwan, Kosovo and Palestine (pictured above in Bhutan)
Bhutan

“I wanted to learn about where these people came from, more specifically, where I came from, with my ancestors originating from Europe.”

“I wondered what existed outside of North America and what it was like. Is the Middle East really like how they say it is on the news? What about the Amazon?”

“Going to every country was for me a personal quest to learn as much as I could about our world, stepping outside my comfort zone and becoming comfortable in the unknown, while also aiming to leave a legacy behind.”

“All sponsors and funding is obtained by me while I’m on the road, which is not an easy task.”

Having developed a passion for travelling, the former office worker began to plan for the trip of a lifetime - Expedition 196 - on her 25th birthday (pictured above in El Nido Palawan, Philippines)
El Nido Palawan, Philippines
So far the intrepid traveller has ticked off 196 countries, taken hundreds of flights and now plans to explore Antarctica - the only place she hasn't been - for her next journey. Cassie, from Connecticut, is pictured above in Kazakhstan
Cassie, from Connecticut, is pictured above in Kazakhstan
Speaking out: Investors have also contributed to the making of the educational documentary which Cassie has filmed along the way, to promote sustainable travel

Cassie admits that travelling forced her to step outside her comfort zone and also taught her to be more comfortable in situations she had never thought of before.

Cassie budgeted $198,000, of which $10,000 came from babysitting, and set off to explore a total of 196 countries, thus making her a world record holder.

By the end of 2016, Cassie had already ticked off 180 countries and taken over 254 flights in just over 15 months, with an estimated 45 days left to complete her whirlwind adventure.

Cassie admits that she did have sponsors who helped fund her trip, and also investors who contributed to a documentary she made along the way.

Balancing act: It's estimated Cassie has burned through more than $198,000 (£161,880) in a bid to break the world record. A range of sponsors have also helped lighten the financial burden. She is pictured above in Bali, Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia

Eco friendly hotels are also noted on her social media platform, which has upwards of 295,000 followers. Along the way, Cassie worked with a conservation company collecting water samples to test for micro plastics. Often she will meet with members of ministries and university students.

“If I’m not meeting with the ministry, giving keynote sessions to university students, collecting samples, obtaining visas, or doing promotion, I travel around the country on my own, but not for long.”

“I try to spend the most time in countries where I’m able to promote my mission to make a difference,” she noted.

Cassie admitted that sometimes it was difficult travelling alone as a woman. Occasionally people would try to take advantage of her because of this, but she learned not to tolerate inequality and how to defend herself against unwanted advances.

Low times for Cassie are waiting in airports and finding herself in unsafe situations, where she is unable to go out for a run on her own. The high times are when she gets to see other countries and get off the beaten track. Cassie – while she enjoys talking to dignitaries – prefers to be on her own. She loves long bus rides where she can relax and absorb nature. She spends between 2 – 5 days in each country.

Different perspective: After 18 months on the road, Cassie has experienced both highs and lows and believes that travelling as a solo woman has shaped some of her experiences. Pictured above on the beach at Christmas Island, Republic of Kiribati
On the beach at Christmas Island, Republic of Kiribati

“On average, I spend two to five days in each country,” she said.

“It’s been amazing meeting with the students and dignitaries, also travelling to off the beaten path locations on my own, places that no one else I know has experienced. I also love long bus rides.”

“Lows are flying, being in airports, and not being in a safe enough environment to go for a run.”

“I’ve been harassed and in sticky situations, whereas a man in the same situation likely wouldn’t have experienced the same,” she revealed.

“Some like to be believe that they can take advantage of me because I’m a woman, thinking I’m more gullible to cough up more money or talk to them more because they want me to, but I don’t tolerate any inequality anymore.”

“If I feel that I’m being harassed or taken advantage of, I say how I feel, then I’m out.”

Paperwork: Along the way, Cassie has had to return to America to get new passports and apply for travel visas
Mapped out: Cassie's epic route across the globe is seen planned out above
Mapped out: Cassie’s epic route across the globe is seen planned out above

Cassie likes to describe herself as a world traveller and explorer. She also considers herself to be an environmental activist, women’s rights activist, educator and entrepreneur.

The only country Cassie has not been to is Antarctica, which she is already making plans to visit.

Soaking it all in: Cassie says although she isn't the first documented woman to travel to every country in the world, she imagines that the 'feeling of accomplishment and awe will be overwhelming'. Pictured above at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Although Cassie is not the first woman to complete a travel venue of every country, she admits that when she finally has visited them all, the feeling will be one of overwhelming awe at the accomplishment.

“Though I haven’t yet become the first documented woman to travel to every country in the world, I imagine that the feeling of accomplishment and awe will be overwhelming.”

“I just hope that I’m able to inspire young women (and men) around the world to go after goals and feats that so far, people think can only be done by man.”

Read More: Woman, 27, who quit her job to travel the world becomes the fastest person to visit EVERY country after hitting 196 destinations in just 18 months

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