Mar 15. 2017
Adventurer Cassandra De Pecol is a woman on a mission:
she was visited 196 countries of the world. And now that she’s become the youngest, fastest, and first American female to fully stamp her passport, De Pecol is continuing her mission of spreading peace.
The 27-year-old was raised in Connecticut and has dedicated the last 20 months to wandering around the world as a “global citizen” and an advocate for peace. She has visited an astounding 196 countries, and became the first female, youngest American, and fastest individual to did so.
Though De Pecol’s love of travel has been a lifelong affair, her wanderlust took off in 2009, when she and her brother traveled around Europe. What started as a tour of Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland eventually turned into two years of travel across the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia.
With only $2,000 to her name, De Pecol supported herself by “sweeping floors, serving tables and planting seeds.” Six years later, on her 25th birthday, she decided she wanted to do it all over again—but this time, she wanted to do it even bigger. With a crinkled map, a kickstarter campaign, and a goal of seeing every country on earth, she set off on Expedition 196.
While Expedition 196 supports many of De Pecol’s personal goals—to expand her horizons, leave her comfort zone behind, and, of course, experience the myriad cultures the world has to offer—it serves an even larger purpose: to promote peace.
Inspired by her undertaking, The International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) has named De Pecol as one of their Ambassadors for Peace. As a representative, she speaks to audiences (primarily students) around the globe about sustainable practices and beneficial environmental actions. Already she’s spoken to over 16,000 students and dignitaries across 38 countries while on her voyage.
“This Expedition really wasn’t about me at all. My goal was to prove to you how kind and hospitable people all over the world are, but specifically in regions that many people consider to be dangerous,” she shares.
“It is my hopes that, through traveling alone as a blonde, American woman, I’ve been able to respectfully introduce you to a completely different perspective of the world and it’s people; the safety, kindness, and the similarities of 99% of people around the world.”