Traveling around the world is everybody’s dream. However, it is very costly, and many people set aside some budget to make their wish come true. A woman achieved that wish at a young age which made netizens feel envious. Travel blogger and influencer Cassie De Pecol from Connecticut, USA, embarked on a journey in July 2015 when she was only 25 years old.
33-year-old Cassie named her journey in 2015 “Expedition 196”. Her first stop was in Palau, Oceania. When she reached Taiwan, she enjoyed having some snacks in one of the country’s night markets. Cassie’s beautiful photos in Taiwan made some of her followers very excited to visit the country.
While traveling around the world, Cassie makes a checklist of all the equipment needed for the trip. In this age of the internet, most photos are digital and can be easily transferred to a laptop and shared online for family and friends to enjoy viewing.
Cassie also brought a world map to mark all the countries she has been to and makes a trail to show the next country she will be visiting.
Visiting a total of 196 countries took her 18 months and 26 days. Cassie has filled out 5 passports in total for 255 flights. In her travels, she has participated in planting trees for charity in more than 50 countries.
Cassie broke the world record. She has been featured in the Guinness World Record and has become the youngest and fastest woman to travel the world. However, insufficient time allotted for each country makes her only stay for a maximum of 2 to 5 days.
Cassie participated in the “International Institute for Peace Through Tourism” program of the International Tourism Organization, which allowed her to travel around the world at a very young age. By the end of 2016, Cassie has traveled to 180 countries, with just 45 days left to complete her journey.
Cassie’s trip around the world cost about US$198,000. It was funded by a mixture of ‘planning, saving money, and obtaining sponsors and endorsements, including a $10,000 savings she acquired from babysitting. For her accommodations, she would upload photos of the hotel on Instagram, in addition to reviews, to promote the place in exchange for free accommodation.
During her trip, she also worked for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation and collected water samples to check for microplastics.
Cassie has always wanted to travel the world, and now that she has achieved her goal, she says while containing her excitement, “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. 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.”
Cassie is fortunate to carry a baby lion, which animal lovers around the world are eager to achieve. Cuteness overload!
The young traveler has also experienced skiing on the mountain slopes of Colorado.
As a promotion ambassador, Cassie also communicates with students and ministries on her trip. She promotes cultures and talks about her travels in each country she visits.
“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,” Cassie said. “It’s been amazing meeting with the students and dignitaries, also traveling to off-the-beaten-path locations on my own, places that no one else I know has experienced. I also love long bus rides.”
Most netizens are envious of Cassie’s travels. She has admitted that a woman traveling alone encounters more thrilling adventures than men. However, she reminded women who plan to travel on their own to always be alert, careful, and to protect themselves.
In addition to traveling on her own, she has revealed, “I’ve been harassed and in sticky situations, whereas a man in the same situation likely wouldn’t have experienced the same. Some like to 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. After all, they want me to, but I won’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.”
Cassie hopes that she has inspired people who dream of traveling around the world to reach for their goals, especially women who long to travel alone and accomplish what other people say only men can achieve. Go out, see the world, and marvel at its beauty!
Images credits: © Cassie De Pecol @cassiedepecol/Instagram