Her name is Cassie De Pecol, she’s only 27 and is about to become the first person to visit all the 196 sovereign states on the planet.
It’s quite likely that as you’re reading this article, this young American triathlete from Connecticut will have completed her remarkable mission. Just a few short days ago she only had 15 countries left to visit to complete the record after having perfectly planned her route to wind up this amazing achievement before the end of 2016.
Cassie’s quest began in July 2015, so as you can imagine she hasn’t stayed too long in any of the places she’s visited. But, long enough to give a good account of her adventure on social networks with photos that would be the envy of any self-respecting travel blogger.
196 borders to cross with 196 cultures to experience is easily said but not so easily done. This incredible trip was given the name Expedition 196, and the aim was for Cassie to act as a global ambassador for peace. The mission is to “inspire new generations to leave their prejudices to one side”. In addition to trying to achieve this remarkable feat, she’s also set to break a Guinness World Record. This commitment to peace is backed by the IIPT (International Institute for Peace through Tourism), so her schedule is chock-a- block with talks and events geared towards political sustainability and environmental actions during her whirlwind world tour.
The first stamp on her passport was in Palau, an island located in the Philippine Sea and from there she has spent the last 15 months with only a crumpled up old map full of notes and her backpack for company. As you can imagine, the trip is quite expensive, but Cassie has the support of several sponsors and also promotes eco-friendly luxury hotels on her social networks in exchange for a free night’s accommodation now and again.
Cassie’s lived an adventure that most of us could only dream of, and even if we had the necessary time and money, not many of us would embark on an adventure of this type. I’ll only mention a few of the places she’s visited as the jealousy would be too much for any of us: Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Colorado Mountains, the Mostar Bridges in Bosnia, the city of Petra… OK, OK, let’s stop there before…