Future Media Office Social Media Chair Virginia Wooten’s Piece on the First Woman to Travel the World


For those of you that know me, you are aware of my love of the world and exploration. I am infatuated with traveling to different places, meeting new people, and discovering new activities from far and wide. This love of mine was passed down from my parents who have exposed me to all corners of the globe. I have recently discovered the story of Cassie De Pecol, a twenty seven year old from Connecticut, who was the first woman to ever travel to every country in the world. Not only was she the first woman, but she did it in a record time of eighteen months and twenty six days, beating the previous record of three years and three months. She traveled to all 196 sovereign countries alone, and titled her trip  “Expedition 196.”

She left the United States for the first time back in 2015 to travel to Palau. When she left for her expedition, she became an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism. During her travels, she spoke with 16,000 students about environmental sustainability, economics, and more. She believed strongly in displaying safety and peace throughout her travels across the globe because women often believe that they can’t travel alone to many places because of their safety. This is not the case at all. De Pecol practiced self-defensive martial arts to help build her confidence of traveling alone, but did not feel threatened or face any problems during her stay around the world.

De Pecol had many motives for committing to accomplish this journey. In the beginning she knew she wanted to explore what her planet has to offer, but to do this, she realized that she would have to travel by plane. Since air travel produces greenhouse gases, she vowed to plant trees in every country. By doing this De Pecol would eliminate the carbon footprint she produced. So far she has planted trees in about fifty countries and hopes to carry out this action in more.

Before she began her journey, she saved up $10,000 by babysitting to pay for some expenses, but she knew she would need more to fund her journey. She took inspiration from other famous explorers by searching for sponsors. De Pecol raised $198,000 in sponsorships by promoting the brands she wore, the places she stayed, and the activities she participated in to pay for her expenses during Expedition 196.

Now that she is back home safe and sound, one might guess the adventure ends there. De Pecol stated that she hopes to venture to Antarctica because it is the only place she has never been to. After her return from Antarctica, she hopes to complete a book about her adventures and finish an educational documentary. Since completing her trip, she hopes it has taken a step for women’s equality, promoted clean energy, and supported peaceful relations between the Western Hemisphere and Middle East.