Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wanderlust Woman Attempts To Become First Female To Travel To All Countries

Most of us grow up with the encouragement that if we dream and work hard enough, we can have anything we want in this life. However, somewhere between pre-school and high school, we're told to be realistic. We're told to manage our expectations, try our best, and have a plan B (just in case). Nothing is for certain. Dreaming and working hard is half the battle. This continues until one day, some of us just stop believing. We fall in line. We aim lower. We play it safe.

And we wonder. What if?

One woman knew she didn't want to wonder her life away. Rather, she wanted to wander. This is her story.

Meet Cassie DePecol. She's not your average wanderlust woman. 

She was raised in rural Washington, Connecticut. Her educational background is as vast as the oceans she wades her days in now. She was home-schooled, went to top private schools, and then headed into an impressive stint of post-secondary schools including Long Island University, Global College in Costa Rica, Green Mountain College, Post University, Santa Barbara City Colleges and Galleleo Travel School.

At 25, Cassie had three-and-a-half years of university completed. She was feeling unfilled and rather restless.

"School just did not fulfill her inner yearning for living life to the fullest." It's a common qualm. You see, since she was a young girl, Cassie wanted to be an inspiration to others. It's hard to do this through traditional means. 

When August 2009 rolled around, she decided to take a trip with her brother. 

The two spent a month touring Europe. They went to Belgium, The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland.

After their Eurotrip, her brother went home. Cassie was changed. She knew traveling was the inspiration she'd been looking for.

Right then, she made the decision to continue on, solo.

With just $2,000 in her name, she toured four continents over two years.

It wasn't always easy.

"She slept in train stations, lived off of bread, swept floors, and hitchhiked her way through the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia while pursuing Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality through independently gained internships."

Nothing was too much to change her mind.

The passion was in place: Travel would be the way she inspired others. Now she just needed a way to make this dream a reality and keep safe and fed at once.

At 25, this happened.

Cassie paired up with Louis D'Amore, the founder of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT).

Together, the two would make both of their dreams come true. She would travel to all 196 sovereign nations in just over three years.

 Cassie's travels would now focus on promoting peace.

With mentoring and finances in place, she set off to be the first documented woman to travel to every single country.

She creates weekly vlogs and always updates her Instagram so her 35K followers can keep up with her. You can find her under the name "Expedition 196."

Some people are calling her the fastest woman around the world.

Here are her solo-traveling stats so far:

Oceania (14/14)

Asia (46/50)

Europe (44/44)

North America (23/23)

South America (11/12)

Africa (40/53)

Cassie and her crew have taken great measures to make sure this record-setting trip is as inspiring as possible.

They even considered her carbon footprint.

Her website reads: "Skal International and Expedition 196 are partnering together with the Skal Chapters around the world to plant trees in order to offset Cassie’s Carbon Footprint!"

"In addition to advocating sustainable tourism by staying in eco establishments and embarking on eco tours, Cassie is now contributing by physically planting the national tree of the country she visits, with the extraordinary help of Skal International!"

Definitely not your average wanderlust experience!

28 trees have already been planted in this project's name.

Her experiences and platform have only made her goals that much easier to accomplish. While she's working on becoming the first documented female to visit every country on earth, she's leaving pieces of her spirit behind to inspire others toward a more peaceful coexistence.

If you're wondering more specifically how she is promoting peace, her website has a plethora of information. For now, I'll leave you with this: "Throughout her expedition, Cassie will be carrying the banner for World Peace as she meets with the Mayors [sic], Skal Presidents (skal.org), and Ministers of Tourism of Nations throughout her expedition. It is here that she will present to them the Creo of the Peaceful Traveler in a form of a ‘Declaration of Peace’. She will be delivering this to each leader in front of students of local schools and she will be interacting with the students and discussing with them what their meaning of what peace is, and how they believe we can enhance our world through responsible tourism efforts."

We wish Cassie all the best with her goals. With her focus and determination, it's not hard to see these dreams becoming realities really soon.

Would you ever do this? Let us know in the comments!


Author: verified_user