How Cassandra DePecol Became the First Woman to Travel Every Country on the Planet—and Stayed Insanely Fit

Cassie depecal world travel

For most, traveling is the ultimate break from reality and responsibilities. And if you’re being honest: your fitness and diet. Your regimen all but falls apart by the time you touch down. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth for Cassie DePecol, the 27-year-old nvironmental activist and entrepreneur headling news for her monumental achievement. DePecol just finished a record-setting journey around the world in just 18 months. (If you’re trying to crunch the numbers, she spent about 2-5 days in each destination.)

She documented her trip, titled “Expedition 196” after the 193 sovereign countries, plus Taiwan, Kosovo and Palestine, on her Instagram and blog to promote the message of Peace Through Sustainable Tourism (an initiative to bring forth a peaceful and sustainable world).

After a 1 hour and 15 minute fast paced uphill trek, I arrived at Paro Taktsang. The pilgrimage was like 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. Passing over a bridge and waterfall and up the last flight of stairs, I entered one of the chambers where I was completely alone. Tip-toeing past the glowing butter candles and sacred relics, I kneeled on a rug, cracked open an aged window and rested my head on the windowsill to reflect and admire the massive 2,000ft plunge into the vast Himalayan valley below, as clouds swiftly passed. Without my phone or camera equipment, I was able to consciously enjoy this moment in peace. 🏔 • • • #expedition196 #everycountryintheworld

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Her journey began on July 24th, 2015, and ended on Feb. 2, 2017—a timeframe that broke the previous record by one year and nine months. DePecol now holds the Guinness World Record for “Fastest Person (Female) to Travel to All Sovereign Nations” and is the first documented woman, youngest woman, youngest American, and fastest American to make the journey.

Oh, and she just so happens to be a triathlete, too. When she could, DePecol documented her workouts—proving it’s sure as hell possible to keep up your fitness and travel the world at the same time. Now that she’s back, DePecol is training for her first full Ironman, which she plans to compete in by 2018.

And in case you needed any more motivation to be a better human today, DePecol also posted how, along her journey, she spoke with over 15,000 students in over 40 countries about her mission to inspire.

Follow DePecol on her Instagram, blog, and YouTube channel to keep up with her latest adventures. Itching for a fit adventure of your own? Check out our top destinations and travel advice. 

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