If you have trouble saving up some money for a family trip, take a hint from this woman’s life and start saving those precious pennies. She has traveled all over the world, fought for humanitarian causes, and raced against time to beat a world record. Her expedition is the result of months of planning and sheer force of will, a journey of discovery and her own restlessness. So what are you waiting for? The world’s your oyster and we can tell that you’re hungry!
1. MEET CASSIE DEPECOL, A MODERN DAY ADVENTURER
Born in 1989, she comes from the little rural town of Washington, Connecticut. If you had to describe her, you could say she’s an explorer, environmental activist, women’s rights and peace activist, educator, triathlete, and even an entrepreneur. She might blush at the thought, but she’s the whole package!
2. SHE WANTED TO SEE THE WORLD, AND SO SHE DID
This wasn’t her first foray into international travels, as she did a couple of test runs before. In 2010, she embarked on a journey that took her to 25 different countries around Europe in two years. Her initial budget was only $2000, but she made it work by couchsurfing and getting small jobs in every place she stayed. She visited Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland, among others.
3. SHE WAS INSPIRED BY AMELIA EARHART AND WOMEN LIKE HER
“My parents instilled a sense of curiosity in us from a very young age” she said. Whenever she would leave her state as a child she was ecstatic. She wanted to push the boundaries on what women could do and looked at Earhart and her accomplishments in aviation as a source of inspiration.
4. A 9 TO 5 JOB WASN’T THE LIFE SHE WANTED
After giving seminars in Bolivia and the Amazon, she returned home and got a normal job. But she was restless and couldn’t stay put much longer. She began planning her “Expedition 196,” a trip that would take her to all sovereign countries around the world.
5. WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY COME FROM?
In 2015 she embarked on her great journey, with only $10000, which she had saved thanks to her babysitting gigs. But she also secured deals with sponsors and investors who would pay for her expenses, via a lot of networking and drawing up lots of pitches for them.
6. EVEN WITH SPONSORS, SHE RAN OUT OF MONEY
Just a bit shy of the halfway point of her trip, she had no more money and couldn’t continue her trip. She went back to her hometown in the US and told no one. She had to get more money soon, otherwise her trip would’ve been for nothing.
7. SHE ALSO WANTED TO BREAK A WORLD RECORD
The condition of the Guinness world record she wanted to break was that she had to stay no longer than two weeks in a single country. With no money, she scrambled to get a fundraiser running that would get her on the road again, and she succeeded.
8. IT WASN’T ALL FUN, SHE ALSO HAD A CALLING
Now keeping a closer eye on her budget, she could return to the trip and her duties. Besides meeting people and places, she was also a peace ambassador for the International Institute for Peace through Tourism, meeting government officials and students to promote sustainable travel.
9. SHE WASN’T SAFE ALL THE TIME
Unfortunately, she had to suffer a couple of incidents. While she spent the night at a hotel in Central Africa, an unknown man entered her room at 2 AM with a swipe card of his own. She screamed for him to go and he did. In Peru, she was in a cab heading to the airport and 4 teenagers walked up to her and started attacking the taxi. They were looking to rob the driver and they even got into her car, while wielding knives. They took his GPS and the money he had.
10. SHE RETURNED HOME AFTER HER TRIP, A RICHER PERSON FOR IT
18 months and 4 passports renewals later, she came back to her home and family. She had gained a deeper understanding of other people and cultures, and helped spread her message of peace and prosperity. A couple of weeks later, she received the news that she had broken the Guinness World Records for “Fastest Person to Visit all Countries” and “Fastest Female to Visit all Countries.” Curiously enough, and despite being in the air for so long, (she’s boarded more than 200 planes,) Cassie’s still afraid to fly!