Everyone talks about wanting to see the world but only a few people ever do, let alone at a record pace. Meet Cassie De Pecol, the woman who visited 196 countries in 18 months and 26 days.
De Pecol completed the trip in less than half the time it took the last Guinness World Record holder. After graduating with her degree in environmental studies it became her goal to spread a worldwide message of conservation.
Cassie has gained a lot of attention along the way, not all of it positive. Many critics have slammed her for logging so many thousands of air miles while preaching an environmental message. But Cassie asserts she will offset the carbon emissions incurred on her trip by planting trees. Lots and lots of trees.
Cassie started her world tour in July 2015 with the larger purpose of preaching sustainable tourism everywhere she went as an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism—a non-profit founded in 1986 during the United Nation's "Year of Peace."
Throughout her trip, Cassie met with ministers of tourism from many of the sovereign countries she visited, presenting them with the institute's "Declaration of Peace." SKAL International made Cassie a peace ambassador, helping her arrange meetings with dignitaries in over 50 countries worldwide. At 27 years old, she is one of the youngest people to be in such a position of international influence.
How did Cassie afford to travel the world? She began saving at 23 to reach her $198,000 budget. During the year and a half period leading up to it, she saved over $10,000 by babysitting and then she started acquiring sponsors to help with other expenses. Cassie would receive free board at eco-hotels in return for her promotion of the brand's sustainability efforts.
While traveling so frequently from country to country, Cassie made sure to exercise often and stay hydrated. She chronicled several of her workouts on social media.
As a result of her improved fitness, Cassie is ready to tackle the Ironman Challenge this March in San Diego. Guarantee she'll be the only one there who has run in hundreds of countries and practiced Krav Maga in places like Israel.
There's one place De Pecol neglected on her journey, Antarctica. For this expedition she will bring a film crew and create a documentary. She's also planning to write a book about her around the world adventure and educate readers about the perils of climate change.