Meet the first woman to visit every country on Earth

An American traveller has smashed four world records after becoming the first woman to travel to every country on Earth.

Cassie De Pecol isn’t your average 27-year-old.

The American adventurer has officially been crowned the first woman to visit every country on Earth after an epic 18-month trip.

Smashing four Guinness World Records in the process, Cassie is now the first documented woman, first American woman, youngest American and the fastest person to travel to every sovereign nation.

 

So how do you get to travel to every country on Earth by the time you’re 27?

Cassie first got the taste for travel in 2010 while touring Europe and spent the next few years raising funds for her round-the-world trip from part-time jobs in between studying.

In July 2015, Cassie set off on her adventure of a lifetime, gaining a massive social media following in the process, which she used to her advantage by securing big brand sponsors to fund her travel.

 

She also became an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism, promoting sustainable tourism as she toured the globe.

Cassie calls the trip 'Expedition 196' in reference to the 196 countries she visited, where she typically spent around two to five days each.

"It’s taken a quick 18 months and 26 days but that’s not to say I haven’t had some of the most life changing memories and moments that have happened in each one of them, each shaping my life in a completely new way," Cassie said.

While she used her travels to help a number of good causes including producing an educational documentary, Cassie’s trip hasn’t been entirely without criticism.

 

She’s received some backlash online for spending such little time in each place, while others have questioned her claims to be environmentally conscious while taking hundreds of flights around the world.

"The negativity I get from this expedition is vast," Cassie added. "I'll never know why I've been criticised for my hard work and dedication to make even just a small, positive change in our world.

"[It] only fuels me to do bigger things and reach higher in order to craft something more vast and impactful to positively enhance our world, while leaving a great legacy behind."

As for her favourite place in the world? Cassie is probably better placed than anyone to answer this question and lists the best countries as Mongolia, Bhutan, the Maldives and Pakistan.

And while Expedition 196 may be over, Cassie's adventures continue, most recently with a trip to Antarctica!

For more stories about inspiring women, take a look at our International Women's Day hub.

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