The Jakarta Post
According to her website, Cassandra de Pecol's odyssey began with a flight from her home city of Connecticut, US, to the Pacific island country of Palau. (instagram.com/expedition_196/File)
Cassandra de Pecol, who aspired to travel to all 196 sovereign nations of the world, has accomplished her mission—in just 18 and a half months.
Winding up her journey in Yemen, the 27-year old globetrotter from Connecticut beat the Guinness World Record held for more than three years by Yili Liu.
De Pecol called her undertaking ‘Expedition 196’ and kicked it off in July 2015, fulfilling her quest on Feb. 2 this year.
She documented most of her journey while traveling and worked as an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism. In doing so, she spread the word about sustainable tourism to mayors, ministers of tourism and universities across the globe.
The caption on one of her Instagram posts reads: “Through my life's purpose, I'm committed towards continuing this global mission of promoting peace through sustainable tourism, now more than ever,” as quoted by The Independent.
Hello to everyone and all of you who are new to my page! 👋🏽🐧 This whole weekend I've been reading all of your comments and messages and am overwhelmed with the amount of support and respect 💙. Contrary to what some might think, I'm actually a huge introvert and like to keep to myself. However, with that said, I love being able to share with you the authenticity of the environments, cultures and people I discover around the world throughout my travels. The adventure of Expedition 196 has reached the "ultimate boon", but the mission and quest has only just begun, and man, do I have my work cut out for me!🏃🏼♀️ • • • "Sometimes the 'hero' must escape with the boon. This can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it." - Joseph Campbell • • • Through my life's purpose, I'm committed towards continuing this global mission of promoting peace through sustainable tourism, now more than ever. To provide guidance to all of you, in order to help you achieve your travel dreams as much as I possibly can, is also a main priority. In June, I'm launching a course that will teach you how to find the funding to take off and pursue your own travel adventure, while helping to shape the world for the better. Head to the @expedition196entrepreneur Instagram page and click the link in bio to learn more 📚👌🏽! On another note, I'm so excited to head to Antarctica in a week with @quarkexpeditions! I'll admit, I am a wuss when it comes to flying and turbulence or traveling by vessel in high seas. These fears are just two I've had to face head on throughout this Expedition, and I feel that my biggest personal challenge is yet to come. For four days, I'll be traveling across the Drake Passage to Antarctica, and while that voyage scares me, it's what gives me purpose and also makes me feel alive, just as Expedition 196 did. We all have fears, and many of us let fear get in the way of pursuing a dream. If there's one thing I've learned over the course of this Expedition it's that; we're never going to make it out of life alive, so may as well push the boundaries and make our dreams come alive. 🌎🐧🌏 PC: @quarkexpeditions
Staying only two to five days in each country, De Pecol went on more than 255 flights and planted a total of 50 trees in the nations she visited.
Promoting peace and sustainability the entire way, she got sponsors to contribute US$198,000 to the $10,000 she had saved up with babysitting jobs. To ease the financial burden along the way, she stayed at eco-hotels in exchange for her promotional efforts on social media.
De Pecol believes that her adventure does not end here. Her future plans include a visit to Antarctica and giving courses on how travelers can reduce their expenditure and carbon footprint. (nik/kes)
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