By: Zoe Melnyk
For many of us, a big adventure is a summer in Europe or a mission trip in South America.
In society, travel is seen as a luxury. It’s a vacation that, if you’re lucky enough, might happen once a year. It usually involves a pool, lots of alcohol, and daily Instagram updates to prove that you’re having a great time.
For others, though, travel is not just a once-in-a-while getaway, it is a way of life. They aren’t escaping from reality because it is their reality.
That’s exactly what 27 year-old travel enthusiast Cassandra De Pecol did. De Pecol has already traveled through over 180 countries and is just weeks away from visiting every single sovereign country in the world.
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Exulansis. 🕷 The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it – whether through envy or pity or simple forgiveness – which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land. @thedictionaryofobscuresorrows #expedition196 My travel partner (A.K.A. Backpack): @sovrnrepublic
As incredible as it is, it’s not just a backpacking trip. De Pecol is travelling as an Ambassador for Peace on behalf of the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism.
Her trip, otherwise known as Expedition 196, began back in July of 2015. So not only has she travelled to basically every country on Earth, but she did it in under two years. That’s an average of about 11 countries per month.
De Pecol isn’t just an inspiration for nomads, she’s a prime example of a successful entrepreneur as well. According to her website, De Pecol started her own business in May, 2011 called Geo Hospitality that, “aimed at optimizing revenues for small businesses and boutique hotels.”
De Pecol’s wanderlust started from an early age through a sporadic education experience. She went in and out of public school, home school, and self-home schooling from Keystone National High School.
Then at the age of 18, De Pecol became even more involved in Eco Tourism and Sustainable Hospitality. During college, she studied Environmental Studies and used that experience to work with “boutique hotels around the world to increase their energy efficiency and regenerative measures.”
She proved that you don’t need to be a professional photographer or create an amazing blog in order to travel for a living, although those things don’t hurt. There is always a way to combine travel and work as long as you make it a priority.
De Pecol ended her brief biography on her website with the quote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. So throw off your bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
If you still need a reason to pack up for your own trip around the world, you can check out De Pecol’s Instagram account dedicated to capturing her adventures.