MAMOSA Report — According to her website, Cassandra de Pecol’s odyssey began in July 2015, with a flight from her home city of Connecticut in the U.S., to the Pacific island country of Palau.
De Pecol, who majored in environmental studies in college, and aspired to travel to all 196 sovereign nations of the world, accomplished her mission—in just 18 and a half months — she went on world tour as an ambassador for the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism.
The nonprofit was founded in 1986, the United Nation’s “Year of Peace,” to promote cultural understanding after terrorist incidents sparked tensions between Eastern and Western countries.
Winding up her journey in Yemen, the 27-year old globetrotter from Connecticut beat the Guinness World Record held for more than three years by Yili Liu.
De Pecol called her undertaking ‘Expedition 196’, fulfilling her quest on Feb. 2 this year.
She documented most of her journey while traveling promoting sustainable tourism everywhere she went as ambassador of the organization. In doing so, she spread the word about sustainable tourism to mayors, ministers of tourism and universities across the globe.
The 27-year-old spoke before more than 16,000 students about the ways to offset your carbon footprint when you travel.
The caption on one of her Instagram posts reads: “Through my life’s purpose, I’m committed towards continuing this global mission of promoting peace through sustainable tourism, now more than ever,” as quoted by The Independent.
Staying only two to five days in each country, De Pecol went on more than 255 flights and planted a total of 50 trees in the nations she visited.
“If you say, fly from Bangalore, India, to Colombo, Sri Lanka, you end up killing one tree during that flight, the goal is to plant two trees, for regenerative tourism, not just sustainable tourism,” De Pecol said.
Promoting peace and sustainability the entire way, she got sponsors to contribute US$198,000 to the $10,000 she had saved up with babysitting jobs. She attracted a wide range of sponsors, from big companies like AIG to a hand-painted tote bag artisan.
To ease the financial burden along the way, she stayed at eco-hotels in exchange for her promotional efforts on social media.
De Pecol believes that her adventure does not end here. Her future plans include a visit to Antarctica and giving courses on how travelers can reduce their expenditure and carbon footprint.