10 Journey Ideas From Lady Who Has Visited Each Nation on Earth

  • Cassie De Pecol has traveled to all 193 sovereign nations along with Taiwan, Kosovo, and Palestine.
  • She accomplished her journey world wide in barely over 18 months, breaking the report on the time.
  • These are a few of her high journey ideas — from her favourite airways to how you can keep secure as a solo traveler.

This as-told-to essay relies on conversations with 33-year-old Cassie De Pecol, a journey influencer who beforehand held the Guinness World Report for touring to each nation on this planet within the quickest time in 2017  (her report has since been damaged). She is the creator of “Expedition 196” and the founding father of Her Worldwide, a non-profit group that funds female-driven companies addressing the United Nations Sustainable Growth Objectives. The next has been edited for size and readability.

Rising up, I did not really journey in any respect apart from to Canada, the place my mother is from.

It wasn’t until the age of 18 that I booked a one-way ticket to Costa Rica for varsity. From there, I by no means regarded again.

After I completed my research, I went to Nicaragua, traveled all through Latin America, and went backpacking throughout Europe. Then I ran out of cash. I had traveled round backpacking in about 25 nations, working odd jobs right here and there. 

I labored in motels and hostels cleansing bogs, making beds — no matter wanted to be completed — and they might give me a free room and board in change. I additionally had a weblog and would attain out to attempt to write for different folks’s blogs to assist me make small quantities of money to maintain me going. Generally they might pay me $100 bucks for the month and I would use that to purchase my subsequent flight. In order that’s how I used to be in a position to maintain a really small earnings on the time.

I want I had identified about bank cards and bank card factors sooner. However again then I could not even qualify for a card if I wished to, so I used platforms like Workaway.information to seek out jobs in change at no cost housing. 

Once I got here residence, I used to be approaching my mid-twenties and did not know what I wished to do in life, however knew I beloved to journey. 

I am one to have very outlandish concepts and I very a lot observe the “you solely reside as soon as” kind of mindset. So I made a decision to go after the Guinness World Report for touring to each nation within the quickest period of time.

How I traveled to 193 nations in simply over 18 months 

Cassie De Pecol in North Korea.

Courtesy of Cassie De Pecol

The journey began once I was 25 and ended once I was 27. It took round a yr and a half of making an attempt to determine all of the logistics. There have been the flights and the political conditions, climate patterns — I regarded into all of it. 

I strategically began with the costliest locations, since I had sufficient cash to start out out, after which discovered the remainder in a while. I had saved roughly $10,000 from working two babysitting jobs 80 hours per week. I additionally relied on a few bank cards with nice journey rewards incentives.

It is a bit difficult to calculate the whole price of the journey as I obtained free motels, experiences, flights, and so on., however the journey landed someplace across the $110,000 mark. AIG was an essential sponsor and actually regarded out for my security, providing me kidnap and ransom insurance coverage as nicely. 

The Asia-Pacific and Oceanic areas had been the costliest, in order that’s the place I began out. Then I went to Europe. At this level, I used to be working out of cash and knew Europe was a lot simpler to journey on a finances.

I used to be additionally assembly with college college students and Ministers of Tourism, getting talking engagements and planting timber and such. In order that additionally required planning round.

For nations like North Korea and Yemen, I needed to be extra strategic in my planning. To get into North Korea as an American vacationer you should pay $1,000 only for the minimal three-day visa, and it’s a must to fly in on their airline. 

I used to be the one Westerner in my tour group. I stayed on the similar resort that Otto Warmbier, the American scholar who was imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months, stayed in. This was simply six months after that complete ordeal occurred, so I used to be strolling on eggshells the entire time. I imply, the folks had been good and the tour information was good. It was undoubtedly an expertise — however one I would not do once more.

Cassie De Pecol at a talking engagement.

Courtesy of Cassie De Pecol

None of my talking engagements throughout the expedition had been paid. I poured myself into my work pro-bono and wasn’t making an earnings. I knew it might repay ultimately, nevertheless it was a giant wrestle financially to provide out free work.

I wasn’t allowed to spend greater than 14 days in a rustic. So once I ran out of cash, I’d fly residence to Connecticut to my dad and mom’ home and go to New York for conferences and networking occasions to attempt to safe funding from manufacturers and buyers. It was actually a pedal-to-the-metal state of affairs so I might safe funding and take off inside two weeks. 

That half was actually difficult and put a damper on the expertise — It was type of miserable to complete this journey world wide so shortly. Nevertheless it was additionally so invigorating to see the entire world and need to spend extra time in these locations. 

10 classes I realized whereas touring world wide

Cassie De Pecol in Yemen.

Courtesy of Cassie De Pecol

1. Be a traveler, not a vacationer

I at all times attempt to help the native economic system by staying in native motels as an alternative of massive company chains. Additionally, going off the crushed path and visiting native communities and supporting them versus simply mainstream vacationer actions. 

2. Do not rule out complete nations simply due to one dangerous expertise

I do not assume there are any nations that I would not return to apart from North Korea. Even when I had a type of destructive expertise in a rustic, I’d at all times give it a second or third likelihood as a result of a number of the time, it simply is determined by the circumstance, or the day, or who you are with.

My high nations are at all times altering and it is at all times so arduous to choose once I’ve traveled to so many and had such nice experiences. Essentially the most underrated nation for my part is Pakistan. It is a pure and culturally lovely nation with actually sort folks.

3.  Reap the benefits of bank cards and factors

If folks have the chance to get a few bank cards which have good journey factors packages, I’d actually suggest that. Particularly, the American Categorical Platinum, Chase Reserve, and Chase Most popular playing cards. I used Chase Reserve for my complete journey world wide and would use IHG Rewards Traveler Credit score Card for motels.

4. Know how you can defend your self in an emergency

Cassie De Pecol in Mongolia.

Courtesy of Cassie De Pecol

As a solo feminine traveler, it was essential to me to know how you can defend myself. For those who’re a very small girl and there is a actually huge man, it is good to know what it’s a must to do to avoid wasting your personal life.

I am an enormous advocate for girls figuring out Krav Maga, an Israeli martial artwork. Other than that, simply observe little issues like not roaming the streets with headphones in, at all times being conscious, not trying misplaced, and figuring out the place you are going. At all times let a minimum of one pal or member of the family know the place you might be, do not feel that you should be sort and reply to everybody – your security and sense of environment come first.

5. Pack door stoppers, mace, and a satellite tv for pc GPS monitoring system

There was a person who broke into my resort room in Burkina Faso at three within the morning and it was actually scary. I want that I had introduced a kind of doorstoppers with me to forestall it. I additionally suggest bringing mace — you’ll be able to pack it in your checked bag. One different factor I used was a satellite tv for pc GPS monitoring system with an SOS button. So if my cellphone cannot monitor me, a minimum of this system can.

6. I discovered motels are often safer than Airbnbs for solo vacationers

I used Airbnb perhaps 10 instances or so. I attempted to remain in motels extra simply because it tends to be safer for solo journey. They will have a shuttle from the airport, you’d have somebody you’ll be able to name right down to on the entrance desk. There’s extra safety. So I felt safer and I additionally discovered higher offers with motels. It was really extra budget-friendly to remain in motels than Airbnbs more often than not. However I did have some nice experiences within the Airbnbs I did keep in.

7. Being humble and empathetic might help with tradition shock

Once I traveled exterior North America for the primary time once I was 18, it was an enormous tradition shock. The way in which I adjusted over time was simply recognizing that these individuals are similar to me – a human – making an attempt to outlive and make the most effective out of this life we’re given. As soon as I used to be in a position to humble myself, I used to be in a position to really feel “at residence” in even essentially the most precarious of locations, and that tradition shock by no means got here again.

All each human needs is a sizzling meal, a roof over their head, clear ingesting water, and somebody who loves them. Typically talking, most individuals need to present you the great thing about the nations they reside in, and get excited to point out you. Connecting with communities from a grassroots stage, supporting their endeavors and economies, and recognizing the humility in others and your self can open up a world of contentment and inspiration. I did discover most nations welcoming, if not the federal government, the folks.

8. Do analysis to see how one can offset your carbon footprint

Cassie De Pecol tree planting in Bhutan.

Courtesy of Cassie De Pecol

Sustainable journey is one thing I am tremendous obsessed with. I feel it is essential for folks to see if they will offset their carbon footprint. Some Airways have carbon footprint fashions you can buy, and sure organizations you’ll be able to donate to within the nation that you just land in. I planted timber in nations that I landed in to offset the emissions, and stayed in sustainable and regenerative motels. 

9. For those who can, pack gentle

For my journey world wide, I traveled with only a backpack. I had one outfit in there, perhaps two pairs of leggings, two sports activities bras, plus dietary supplements, and my digital camera tools. 

I desire touring lighter nevertheless it’s tougher for me to journey lighter nowadays. So I undoubtedly are likely to test a bag most of the time. However once I was racing world wide, I would not have been in a position to wait on the baggage declare after each flight so it undoubtedly labored out for me to journey that method.

10. Rack up these airline factors: 

My favourite US airline is Delta and my favourite worldwide airline might be Qatar, they’re each actually nice.

Get factors, turn into members of all of the resort teams and airways, and use your bank card for all the pieces so you need to use all of the factors you accumulate in direction of your journey. I’ve realized it really does not should be that costly to journey — you are able to do it on a finances. 

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