Cassanda De Pecol claims she has just broken the Guinness World Record to become:
- The first documented woman to travel to every sovereign nation
- The first American woman to travel to every sovereign nation
- The youngest American to travel to every sovereign nation (at 27)
- The fastest person to travel to every sovereign nation
In case you were wondering, there are 196 sovereign nations on the planet to date. Beginning when Cassie was 23 on the Pacific island of Palau in July 2015, the trip lasted 18 months and 26 days – half the time of the previous Guinness World Record. Her journey, Expedition196, was almost entirely funded by sponsorship, has been an installation in sustainability and ethical eco-friendly tourism. Now I know we’ve all had enough of experts, but if you were going to take travel tips from anyone…
These are, according to De Pecol, the top ten best countries in the entire world to visit, and why:
Fall in New England is something everyone should experience. They say home is where the heart is, and the more I travel, the more that’s becoming more real to me. Home is where family is, it’s where my safety net is, it’s where everything that I’m familiar with is, and my country is rich in nature, which is important to me.
#9. Costa Rica, Central America
Monkeys, fresh fruit, good music and volcanoes…need I say more?
#8. Peru, South America
The Amazon rainforest and Aguas Calientes [gateway to Machu Picchu].
De Pecol also spent some time living in Peru.
#7. Tunisia, North Africa
To experience northern African culture with a Middle Eastern feel and an immense amount of archaeological history.
According to De Pecol, the town of Sidi Bou Said (20km from Tunis, the capital) “blew me away”.
#6. Oman, Arabian Peninsula
To immerse yourself in the desert and mountains, while learning from locals who live in the mountains, it’s a whole different lifestyle.
To get a true sense of raw, authentic Asian culture, and for the food.
De Pecol especially appreciated Pakistan, she had to wait four months to get her visa approved but said she was not disappointed. revealing that her time in Pakistan was one of the “many wonderfully educational and culturally enriching experiences” of her travels.
The hospitality I’ve received so far in #Pakistan and specifically #Karachi has been astounding! From being offered a random, free upgrade to business class on @gulfair to being graced with the amazing hospitality of the crew and entering the cockpit and meeting the Pilot (the Captain knew about my Expedition before I even told him!), speaking to the students at the Institute of Business Administration, meeting the Mayor of Karachi, Mr. Wasim Akhtar, for the planting of the Cedrus Deodara tree (the National Tree of Pakistan) 🌲, coming back to my beautiful (sponsored) hotel and seeing my story and Mission on the front page of Traveller International, and finally, meeting with @rotaryinternational tonight! So incredibly humbling. Also, just comes to show (for those who think I’m not seeing anything in the countries I visit and that 2-5 days isn’t enough) that it’s all about time management and maximizing every moment of your time to make the most with what you have. But same applies to everything else in life, doesn’t it? My time here in Pakistan has just begun and has been one of the many wonderfully educational and culturally enriching experiences on #Expedition196. Don’t judge a book by its color or a country by the media. Much love ❤️🇵🇰 #peacethroughtourism • • • ✨Snapchat @ cassiedepecol To view all videos from today including the tree planting and meeting with the Mayor, head to Facebook.com/expedition196 ✨
Today is a monumental day for #expedition196… why? Because after 4 months my Pakistani visa is finally approved and ready for pick up!!!! WOOHOO!!!! So eager to go!!! ❤️😁🌎 • • • #regram photo by @fictionography #pakistan
A post shared by Cassie De Pecol | Official (@expedition_196) on
#4. Vanuatu, South Pacific
To experience the process of how Kava is made and to meet some of the kindest people.
To see some of the bluest water, whitest sand and most stunning sand banks in the world.
To learn the ethics of peaceful living. The pilgrimage [to Paro Taktsang] was something out of Avatar, a dream to trek through low-hanging clouds with a harrowing drop at any given moment on either side. Prayer flags swayed through the pines, prayer wheels spinning in the breeze, and tsa-tsas (ashes of the dead) wedged between crevices of stone.
To be immersed in the remote wilderness and to ride the wild horses.
“If you are not the hero of your own story, then you’re missing the whole point of your humanity.” – Steve Maraboli • • • Know your truth, own your truth, go confidently in the direction of your dreams. You live once, you die once. Try to make a positive difference. Respect others. Help others. Be confident, be clear. Own your failures. Commit yourself and work hard. Persist and persevere. Never give up. Embrace your successes. This is it. YOU’RE it. And I believe… you can do it. 🌏🌍🌎💛 • • • Speaking at the @womenstravelfest March 4th. Stoked to share my story with everyone on stage! 👩🏼🏫📜 • • • Taking off soon with @quarkexpeditions to Antarctica and exited to work on some sustainability efforts while there 💙🐧 • • • Register for the @expedition196entrepreneur seminar to learn how to secure funding for your own passion project involving travel and helping to change the world! Seminar begins June 2nd 🌎🚀 #expedition196