Have you ever dreamed of traveling the whole world?
It is something many people aspire to do, but it is also something that can be difficult, if not impossible to do. Traveling the world takes bravery, resourcefulness, good health, openness to other cultures, and a decent chunk of time and money. Cassie De Pecol, a triathlete and entrepreneur, had this same dream. In a recent article with The Daily Mail, she explains, “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.”
How did she do it?
At 25 years of age, Cassie De Pecol bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and proceeded to travel to 26 countries. Having only $2,000 of savings from babysitting in her bank account, Cassie survived off of bread, sleeping in train stations, couch surfing, and working in boutique hotels for a living. After this trip, Cassie knew she wanted to do more with her life than simply travel.
With her travel experience, Cassie launched “Expedition 196” at The World Domination Summit, in Portland, Oregon. Her goal was to inspire the millennial generation, especially women, and completely offset my carbon footprint. These travels were no holiday, as this young woman boarded over 255 flights, planted trees in over 50 countries and went through five passports, most likely jet-lagged 100% of the time.
Expedition 196 allowed Cassie to speak as an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism to over 16,000 university students in 36 countries at events like the IPTT World Symposium in South Africa. Recently, she spoke at Bethlehem University in Palestine. Cassie has taught others about world peace through economics, and responsible tourism through regeneration and sustainability of the environment. She discussed how “tourism can be a mediator between peace and conflict, and a way to further friendship among nations as well as providing humanitarian assistance.”
In order to work in certain countries and to enter others, Cassie needed to obtain the “Global Citizen” title. For example, countries like North Korea do not even allow US citizens to take a bus or a train. Later, she began working for the Institute for Economics and Peace.
In February of 2017, Cassie, 27, broke two Guinness World Records: “Fastest Time to Visit all Sovereign Nations” and “Fastest Time to Visit all Sovereign Nations – Female.” She is also the youngest American to travel to every sovereign country in the world.
Even with working as an ambassador and opting for budget food and accommodation options, traveling is still not free. About $198,000 (€184,700) of travel funds was given by sponsors and donations like Cliff Bar, Air New Zealand, and DogEared Jewelry. Also, she is able to stay in eco-friendly hotels as long as she promotes them.
While Cassie has been able to walk the streets of Paris, she has been detained at the airport in Libya and accused of being a spy. Nonetheless, Cassie believes that tourism has the potential to reconcile conflicts between countries and has no plans to give up, until she has left a legacy of spreading peace around the world. As a solo female traveler, she visits countries that are politically unstable, not as appealing, and perhaps downright dangerous. She told The Daily Mail, “I just hope that I’m able to inspire young women (and men) around the world to go after goals and feats, which so far, people think can only be done by man.”
As for the future, Cassie De Pecol plans to visit Antarctica. But first, she will race in an Olympic Triathlon in San Diego. Follow Cassie on her mission to achieve world peace, along with her 407 thousand followers on Instagram at @cassiedepecol.