We recently had the opportunity to get to know Cassie De Pecol, who holds the world record for visiting every country in the world in the fastest amount of time. Cassie also happens to be a long-time Primally Pure customer (she even took our deodorant and dry shampoo with her on her expedition!). We hope you enjoy reading our exclusive interview with this incredibly inspirational human!
You’re the first woman on record to travel alone to every country in the world. What inspired you to begin such a pivotal journey?
I was babysitting when I decided to start mapping out my route around the world. What made me have the attitude of wanting to just get up and go was the fact that I never knew how much time I’d have left, and I wanted to leave a positive influence on society once I’m gone. I wanted this to be my legacy and I wanted to help the world through following a far-fetched passion of mine. Of the 25 countries and two years I’d traveled between the ages of 21 and 23, the 5 universities I attended, and living in 8 cities, this move was by far the biggest moment when I changed course. This Expedition would not only change my entire career for the better, but completely shift my outlook on life as a whole and personal way of living and thinking.
What did your friends and family think? Did anyone try to discourage you from going?
My parents were very supportive through and through. And of course I had a few friends (and many people) who discouraged me from taking off, those friends are no longer my friends now :).
Traveling around the world sounds like a blast, but I’m sure it was difficult at times. Did you ever feel like quitting and returning home? If so, what inspired you to keep going?
Flying had been a fear of mine since high school when my family and I were flying to St. Johns and I looked over at my mom only to see the fear in her eyes as we went through a bout of light turbulence. From that moment on, flying or rather, dying, became a fear of mine. Throughout my Expedition, I had to succumb to this fear as I traveled long and far in these long, cylindrical tubes, on airlines that didn’t have the safest rep, and in weather that tested my mental endurance. This fear made me want to quit at times. A major turning point for me was when I was about to head to Tunisia on a 14 hour overnight ferry ride from Sicily. Two weeks prior, there was a terrorist attack that left a lot of civilians in Tunis decapitated or dead. I questioned my sanity of going to such a place alone as a young, American woman, but relied on my international cell phone plan or GPS satellite to let my parents know if I was okay. Before I went, I called my dad to deliberate on whether or not it was a good idea to go to a place that just experienced such turmoil. He told me, “the chances of me dying in a car accident driving 1 hour on my way to work today are 10x higher than you dying in a terrorist related event or even being kidnapped in Tunis over the course of the next couple of days”. He reminded me that I had to think of statistics, and it was statistics for both flying and terrorism, and kidnapping that got me through the rest of the Expedition with ease. P.S. Once I arrived in Tunisia, there was no cell reception and my GPS device didn’t pick up the satellite connection, go figure.
If you could teleport to one place right now, where would it be?
French Polynesia, because I’ve never been!
Best piece of travel advice for our readers?
Embrace change, face your fears head on, keep an open mind, and always be kind.
What would you say to girls/women with BIG dreams that may feel out of reach or unattainable?
You own your life, and only you have the ability to make it the best one possible. Don’t let other people or yourself hold you back from achieving your greatest dream.
We were SO excited to hear that you took some of our products with you on your expedition! So we have to ask – what’s your favorite PP product?
It’s probably a tie between the dry shampoo or the tea tree scented deodorant, both of which I couldn’t live without!
Photography by Stefanie Vinsel