De Pecol left on the journey in July, 2015, and will eventually visit all 193 sovereign nations as well as Taiwan, Kosovo, and Palestine. That has entailed, so far, 254 flights to see 180 countries in a little more than 15 months. That's cost her the piddling sum of $198,000, which she's funded through sponsors and occasional free stays in hotels in exchange for social promotion. She will be the first-documented woman to do so. If she finishes in the next 45 days, she'll set a Guinness World Record for the fastest person ever.
Hi to all my new friends and fellow travelers out there! Thank you so much for all of the love and beautiful comments! It's so awesome hearing where all of you are coming from 🌎😊🌎! Knowing that you're here supporting my Mission is just the positive push I need to successfully finish. Please don't hesitate to reach out, I love hearing from you all ❤️🌎❤️ #fbf to Palawan #expedition196
"Since school, I've had this desire to visit every country in the world, intrigued to learn more about every culture, natural habitat, and religion," De Pecol says. 'In America we are lucky to have such a vast melting pot of cultures and people from all over the world who make the country what it is today ... Going to every country was for me a personal quest to learn as much as I could about our world, stepping outside my comfort zone and becoming comfortable in the unknown, while also aiming to leave a legacy behind."
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
"I've been harassed and in sticky situations, whereas a man in the same situation likely wouldn't have experienced the same," she tells the Daily Mail. "Some like to be believe that they can take advantage of me because I'm a woman, thinking I'm more gullible to cough up more money or talk to them more because they want me to, but I don't tolerate any inequality anymore. If I feel that I'm being harassed or taken advantage of, I say how I feel, then I'm out."
Heady stuff. And maybe some motivation to spend two years of your life travelling to every country with the spare $200,000 you have tucked away.
Follow De Pecol's amazing journey on her Instagram and her website.